Enemies within: Naib qasid, running terrorist cell, still at large

Escaped just before the police raided hideout; seven members of cell arrested so far.


Umer Nangiana August 30, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


The ring leader of a terrorist group, two members of which were arrested by the capital police on Monday from the outskirts of the city, is still at large. They were allegedly planning to hit high value targets in the Federal Capital, police claimed.


The ring leader of the terrorist cell, Sardar Ali Khan Khattak, a naib qasid in the Finance Division, managed to evade arrest once again. Security agencies feared that due to his inside knowledge of the sensitive locations on Constitution Avenue, the group of terrorists may have been planning to target a high profile government installation in the city.

Acting on information retrieved from the suspects already in custody, security agencies and the police caught the trail of Khattak and his accomplices.

On Monday, a raid was carried out at a terrorist hideout in Nilore, the rural area of the city. However, Khattak managed to escape once again, said a police official. Khattak has been on leave for the last two years.

Security officials said he had gone to the tribal areas to get weapons training. His knowledge of sensitive locations in the city and his urban orientation got him a relatively good position in the terrorist outfit and was entrusted with reconnaissance and facilitating suicide bombers and terrorists from different militant groups based in the tribal areas, said a police official.

Earlier on Friday last, security agencies and the Aabpara police arrested five suspected terrorists from different locations in Sector G-6 and seized a suicide jacket, arms, ammunition and foreign currency from their possession.

“They were carrying Rs100,000 and some US currency,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Malik Yousuf revealed. The suicide-vest was also shown to the media.

The city police and security agencies claimed that the terrorists were planning an attack on Jumatul Wida (last Friday) prayers in the city.

(Read: Jumatul Widah: Terrorist bid foiled)

The previous arrests were made based on information provided by intelligence agencies.

The Aabpara police, along with officials of the Crime Investigations Department (CID), raided Anwar Hotel in Aabpara market and arrested a suspected terrorist from there.

This arrest led to the subsequent arrests of the terrorists from other parts of the city including a house in Sector G-6/1-1. They were shifted to an undisclosed location for further investigations.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2011.

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