Thursday’s brazen attack on a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) airbase was accurately predicted by intelligence agencies, a report of which was published in The Express Tribune on August 10.
It was suggested on Thursday that the reports were the reason PAF base Minhas was able to ward off the attack.
According to the report, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was planning attacks on a PAF base and other military and security establishments before Eid.
The detailed intelligence reports revealed that at least two TTP teams had already made arrangements for the attacks – both of which were based in North Waziristan, where an operation is being mulled by the Pakistan military. According to one report, members of the Qari Yasin Group, initially a part of the Harkatul Mujahideen, based in Miramshah, North Waziristan, were planning to attack a PAF base and other installations, on 27th or 28th Ramazan.
Another report stated that a team, led by Qari Aslam, also based in Miramshah, was planning its attacks towards the end of Ramazan.
Their main target was likely to be the PAF base. Reconnaissance of the targets has already been done, the report stated. It further revealed that the plots had been financed through the kidnapping of doctors from Taunsa Sharif, Dera Ghazi Khan, which had netted Rs2.5 million in ransom.
Another report revealed that the Ilyas Kashmir group had resurfaced and was planning terrorist activities in reaction to the reopening of Nato supply routes. Terrorist organisations made contacts with local facilitators including Lal Masjid leftovers in this regard, the report further revealed.
According to the reports, the preferred targets of terrorists include key installations in the Red Zone – the President and PM house and secretariats, Parliament House, Kahota Research Laboratory, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base Chaklala, police academies, as well as other military and security agency’s installations.
Furthermore, the report stated that parties of five to six terrorists for each of the targets have been detailed, and claimed the terrorists are likely to use guise of smartly-dressed businessmen.
Another intelligence report revealed that terrorist linked with the Bannu jailbreak episode are planning to attack on a military convoy moving out of the Jhelum–Kharian cantt and the PAF base in Kamra.
After receiving the reports, the National Crisis Management Cell of the Ministry of Interior forwarded them to provincial home departments, provincial police chiefs, heads of other LEAs and other officials, directing them to immediately tighten security.
Attacks on Eid predicted
Quoting more intelligence agency reports, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Thursday that terrorists may attack vital installations across the country on Eidul Fitr.
In the wake of the threat, security of important public and non-public establishments would be beefed up, he added.
Chairing a meeting of heads of security agencies, police, and civil administration of Islamabad and interior ministry officials, Malik decided to increase the strength of existing Rangers and Frontier Constabulary personnel in the federal capital. (WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY UMER NANGIANA IN ISLAMABAD)
(Read: Attack on PAF base in Kamra)
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2012.