KARACHI: It turns out that the family of one of the men killed in a mysterious suicide blast at Sea View knew of his terrorist links and had even disowned him for it. He was also removed from two madrassas, The Express Tribune learnt on Monday.
The five alleged terrorists blew themselves up with suicide jackets to avoid arrest after their Suzuk hi-roof van was intercepted by a police patrol at Sea View on Wednesday night. Two policemen were killed.
The group was believed to have been headed to the Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine. Investigators suspect they are linked with the outlawed Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, part of the al Qaeda and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan nexus.
Two of them were later identified as Shoaibur Rehman and Atiq Bengali, however, the other three remain unidentified. Investigators are trying to trace Atiq’s family and to identify the remaining suspects, said an official speaking on condition of anonymity. Initial investigations suggest that Shoaib and Atiq were not suicide bombers themselves but provided logistical support.
Shoaib lived in SITE and his father was a plumber at Jamia Binoria, SITE. His family, neighbours and even the two madrassas in Karachi distanced themselves from Shoaib because of the crowd he associated with. He has apparently been linked to terrorist outfits for the three to four years.
Shoaib’s neighbours claim that, after discovering his links with terrorist organisations, his father, Abdul Rehman, disowned him. “His father disowned him in 2009 after he would spend months away from home and mixed with jihadi boys,” said Shoaib’s neighbour who did not want to be named for fear of arrest. “After that, he often came home to meet his mother.” Shoaib was enrolled at Jamia Binoria and another madrassa in Korangi but was expelled from both.
Jamia Binoria media coordinator Maulana Saifullah Rabbani confirmed that Shoaib had attended the seminary but was removed in 2009. “We expelled him because he kept company with jihadi boys who were involved with jihadi wall chalkings,” he explained. “The seminary is no longer linked with him in any way.”
Shoaib’s father, Abdul Rehman, and uncle, Wali, are in custody as investigators are trying to derive possible leads from them. However, officials denied having detained them.
“This is all untrue, we never arrested or detained them,” said Crime Investigation Department (CID) SP Mazhar Mashwani who is heading one of the three teams looking into the incident. “We did not force them in anyway, they volunteered to help us.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2011.