The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) claims to have preempted a terrorist attack on the Police Training Center in Saeedabad, Karachi, by arresting five suspected terrorists.
The suspects were taken into custody during a raid in Jamshoro district on Sunday night. The CTD conducted a joint operation with the Rangers near a hotel on Sehwan-Jamshoro road after a tip-off from an intelligence agency.
The department claimed two suicide bombers were among the five arrested. It added that the group's involvement in six terror attacks, including one on the armed forces and Data Darbar, had been traced. Officials said the incidents spanned from February 2018 to August 2019.
"We received information from an intelligence agency that five terrorists have been spotted on Sehwan-Jamshoro road near Baloch hotel. When we reached, we found them sitting with their bags," read the police statement. The bomb disposal squad was called to comb their bags.
According to the police, two suicide jackets, four detonators, six hand grenades, three submachine guns with 200 rounds, two 9mm pistols with 50 rounds, two police uniforms, a map of the Police Training Center Saeedabad, two mobile phones and three CDs were recovered from the terrorists. The CDs contained video statements of the suicide bombers and footage taken during the suspects' reconnaissance of the police training centre.
The detainees were identified as Sheeraz Akbar alias Hamza, Liaquat Ali alias Huzaifa, Mirwaiz alias Hasham, Aamir Khan alias Umar and Nigar Ali alias Zaid. Aamir and Nigar were the alleged suicide bombers, the police said.
The CTD claimed the suspects revealed that they planned to carry out a terrorist attack on PTS Saeedabad for which they had completed a reconnaissance mission. According to the press statement, the terrorists also confessed of their involvement in at least six terrorist attacks.
The department said the group claimed a suicide blast at a volleyball match in Swat on February 3, 2018, in which 11 soldiers, including a captain, were slain. It also allegedly attacked a convoy of the army and Frontier Constabulary in Kachlak, Balochistan in April, 2018 and martyred seven soldiers, while injuring 15 others. In June, 2018, the group members claim to have planted an improvised explosive device at the shop of a trader in Peshawar as he refused to pay extortion.
Security forces thwarted one of their planned attacks on the judges' colony in Peshawar in February, 2019. They were also allegedly involved in the suicide blast at the shrine of Hazrat Data Ganj Bux in Lahore on May 8, 2019, when 10 people were killed and 25 injured.
They had also attacked Aman Lashkar Ameer Malik Mutabar Khan in Dir in August, 2019. According to the CTD, the group was involved in several other attacks on security forces in Swat, Jamrud, Landikotal and other areas.
On the complaint of the state, an FIR was registered at the Hyderabad CTD police station by Sub Inspector Roshan Ali Shaikh. The arrested men were booked under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, and Section 4/5 of the Explosive Substance Act.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2021.