Assistants of terror: How women raise funds for Da’ish in Karachi

Published: December 21, 2015



It all started with a request. Short and simple. “Aap se darkhwast hai [We’re making a request to you]”. And that was enough. It was a code, used by Islamic State-inspired militants to raise funds for their activities in the metropolitan city.

The women’s wing of the Middle Eastern terror outfit was mainly responsible for generating funds. Once the money had been collected, the women would give it to the male members of the group, who then passed it on to their head honchos. Another code came into play when the middle man came to receive the money. “Amanat de do [Please return the keepsake],” he would say. These words were enough.

CTD to target ‘women’s wing’ of Islamic State-inspired group in Karachi

Women’s role

The women’s wing usually met at The Faith Academy school. “They [women] sent darkhwasts [requests] to well-off women, seeking donations for IS by using the name of the school,” explained an official of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD). “After collecting the money, they used to hand it over to the male wing of the outfit,” he added. “Then Adil Butt, the recently-arrested CEO of the College of Accounting and Management Sciences (CAMS) used to hand over the funds to a person, identified as Omar, alias Jalal Chandio, who used the code word ‘Amanat de do’.”

On Friday, CTD in-charge Raja Omar Khattab uncovered a group of women tasked by the militant group to arrange for marriages of their operatives and also raise funds for their activities. Though there are around a dozen women in this group, six of them were particularly active in collecting funds from different parts of the city. Three of them are accused of abetting the Safoora bus carnage in May, 2015.

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One of them is the wife of Omar alias Jalal Chandio, a key suspect of the Safoora attack, while another is the spouse of Adil Butt. The latter was arrested on December 2 from his residence in the Defence Housing Authority for his alleged role in the assault.

Arrests likely

CTD officials are likely to arrest the wife of Safoora attack mastermind Saad Aziz and other women affiliated with the IS-inspired group operating in the metropolis. “We were delaying the arrests because they are women,” said a CTD official. “But now the stage has come to arrest them. The women will be detained at the CTD’s detention centre where women police will be deployed round the clock.”

Officials claim the women’s wing is being operated by the families, particularly the wives of the suspects arrested in connection with the Safoora carnage and other terrorist attacks in Karachi.

Aziz’s wife and mother-in-law are key suspects in the case. So are the wives of retired PIA engineer Khalid Yousuf Bari, who was also arrested for his involvement in the attack, and Mufti Tauseef, who is an absconder in the case. Bari’s wife, along with the wife of Mufti Tauseef, and some other women are operating a strong network, said the official. But the key role lies with Bari’s wife.

“Bari’s wife has a vital role in generating funds and brainwashing well-off women to garner support for IS. She also organised Aziz’s wedding,” said an official. Forensic experts are examining the laptops, cell phones and other valuables to get more evidence.

“Bari’s wife also used to run an organisation – Idara al Zakra Academy – comprising around 20 women who used to generate funds in the names of donations, zakat and khairat for the terror outfit,” explained CTD in-charge Raja Omar Khattab. “Their other responsibility is to recruit women into the organisation through sermons and videos about IS by distributing USBs,” he added.

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CTD officials say they have been keeping a close eye on the activities of this women’s wing. Besides, they have also started keeping watch on various educational institutions in Karachi, as well as other parts of Sindh, as the group has a considerable following in various colleges, universities and other educational institutions in the province from where they recruit highly-educated people. Four of their recruits have so far been arrested for their involvement in the Safoora carnage.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st,  2015.

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Reader Comments (22)

  • Pakistan Zindabad
    Dec 21, 2015 - 10:09AM

    I’ve been always surprised, whenever or wherever any Pakistani are held for any kind of terror connection, they are from Regular college or universities. Surprise is that why the Madrassahs’ are always blamed.Recommend

  • Faiza
    Dec 21, 2015 - 10:41AM

    “We were delaying the arrests because they are women,” said a CTD official.

    Really? what a great police we have.!!!!!!!!!

    Terrorist are killing our children and law enforcement agencies are making these statements…

    Let me remind you that terrorist don’t have gender, religion…they should not be treated on humanity ground.Recommend

  • lkhan
    Dec 21, 2015 - 11:34AM

    Why not immediately arrest these extremist women, who are not only funding the massacre of innocent people including other women with total impunity, but spreading words of hatred, intolerance, and sectarianism, and thirdly bringing recruits to the armies of extremist destruction? They have had no mercy in their minds or hearts for minorities, why should the rule of law be lenient towards such barbarians? Arrest them, and arrest them immediately, interrogate them, find out all details as to how they function, please show no mercy as they have not practised it either. Our police/intelligence services should take such mad people off the streets, let them suffer a taste of their own medicine deservedly.Recommend

  • Zubair
    Dec 21, 2015 - 11:46AM

    These women still haven’t been arrested? I don’t understand why?Recommend

  • Zubair Khan
    Dec 21, 2015 - 11:47AM

    So claim was correct that ISIS has footing in Pakistan also. Fear was echoed if ISIS uprooted in Middle East it will find fertile area in subcontinent. Hopefully authorities will remain more vigilant to un earth any such symptoms.Recommend

  • Entangled
    Dec 21, 2015 - 1:09PM

    It started with FATA to religious madrassas to conventional educational institutions to educated well off citizens and it seems it still has a long way to go. We also need an investigation as to why people want Islamic supremacy, Islamic Sharia and Khilafah. It cannot be resolved by physical arrests, what capabilities do we possess to arrest this mental ideological war.
    We need 180 million staff to keep an eye on 180 million population.Recommend

  • lkhan
    Dec 21, 2015 - 2:06PM

    Simply, my outrage is caused by these women who are knowingly 1) collecting funds for terrorists; 2) these funds are utilised to kill minorities, amongst them innocent women and children and 3) these women are busy finding converts for the uncivilised cause of intolerance, hatred, killing and worse of all those who do not think as they do and 4) they who have no respect for killing women, children men of all ages, are being treated with dignity just because they are women!! Why should such vermin be given preferable treatment even if women? Why have they not been arrested, interrogated, imprisoned, for all the despicable deaths caused by their single minded mad ways? Pakistan wake up. Treat those who are savages as they deserve, they showed absolutely no mercy when killing, bombing, destroying. Pakistan has sacrificed 60,000 plus lives including a brilliant ex prime minister; this, without mention of the loss of natural resources or the GDP, to these miserable beings. Respect the 60,000 plus dead, the rule of law should fall hard on such barbarians without exception. Recommend

  • Dec 21, 2015 - 2:06PM
  • Pakistan Zindabad
    Dec 21, 2015 - 4:31PM

    Pakistan got freedom from England for Being “Muslim” otherwise what was the problem with Congress and living in India?Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Dec 21, 2015 - 4:45PM

    Let me remind you that terrorist don’t have gender, religion…they should not be treated on humanity ground.

    They should just be treated as terrorists and bombed by the Paki army.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Grafello
    Dec 21, 2015 - 7:18PM

    I’ve always wondered ‘how come their families never knew what kind of activities their men are involved in?’ Now I know they are also the part n parcel of these activities. With so much fund generated I always wondered that people are still poor. It’s because the funds are being used for some other purposes. Why should I give my money to any organisation when it is not going to be used in a proper place? Recommend

  • Amir
    Dec 21, 2015 - 7:26PM

    Spot on! When will our so called ‘law enforcement’ agencies start to think with their heads instead of their hearts ?? If these women are ruthless accomplices to terror why are our ‘law enforcement’ agencies so soft on them ?? Whose interests are they serving ??Recommend

  • The Saint
    Dec 21, 2015 - 7:35PM

    Classified information! even before the arrest of the females mentioned … dont get it, can anyone explain the reason?

    In any case, bust the gangs irrespective of gender!!! Recommend

  • cautious
    Dec 21, 2015 - 8:38PM

    “We were delaying the arrests because they are women,” said a CTD official.
    What’s wrong with this picture? You would think that women suicide bombers would have changed the Neanderthal attitudes of law enforcement but I suppose their called Neanderthals because their not to bright.Recommend

  • sperlay
    Dec 21, 2015 - 8:51PM

    Keeping watch isnt the answer, we need to deradicalized the nation, though the people from FATA and KPK are exploited for their ignorance and economics, what is the excuse of this lot foreign well educated urban men and women !!!Recommend

  • I am a Khan
    Dec 21, 2015 - 9:23PM

    CTD officials once again making up tall stories….arresting random people (with whom they may have personal grudges) to settle their personal scores and labeling them as Daish operatives….how can the CEO of CAMS be involved? that looks like an outrageous story..Recommend

  • nasir hafeez
    Dec 21, 2015 - 10:39PM

    @Pakistan Zindabad
    Please read the history which clearly shows that Nehru & Patel were responsible for the failure of the “Cabinet Mission Plan” which Jinnah had accepted, resulting in the partition of India. Excellent book would be “Partition of India – Legend and Reality” written by H.M. Seervai, attorney general of Maharashtra.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Dec 21, 2015 - 11:36PM

    Keeping peace inside the cities in the mandate of the police and the ministry of interior.Arrest try and execute these women!Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Dec 22, 2015 - 12:05AM

    @I am a Khan:
    that looks like an outrageous story..

    You reckon sir that this is a made up story of the Paki military Goebel alias Bajwa? If true this guy is genuinely copying Goebels tactics?

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Nero
    Dec 22, 2015 - 5:12AM

    @nasir hafeez: No wonder democracy hasn’t taken one step forward in your country since formation. Recommend

  • Jawad U Rahman
    Dec 22, 2015 - 6:22AM

    These are cold blooded murderers. Even if they just were collecting funds, and even if they were women. They should have been arrested even before any hint of them being tracked leaked out. Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Dec 22, 2015 - 8:34AM

    @I am a Khan:
    We all might conclude that YOU are the one making up “tall stories” about the innocence of those arrested!Recommend

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