While the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) tactfully termed the attack on Dera Ismail Khan central prison an “intelligence failure” and blamed the attack on the federal government, evidence suggests there was prior information about the jailbreak plan.
A senior intelligence official said that on July 27 they wrote to the National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC), Ministry of Interior about threat of attack on DI Khan jail by militants.
He said the intelligence cell in another letter on July 28 wrote, “It has been learnt that Umer Khettab along with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) elements is planning to carry out a Bannu jailbreak-like attack on DI Khan central jail and the same group is also planning to carry out a suicide attack to target DPO DI Khan.”
The letter was sent to the home secretary, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), provincial police chief, additional chief secretary, inspect general prisons, inspector general and commandant of Frontier Constabulary, and commandant Chitral Scouts.
“The group has reached in the vicinity of DI Khan,” read the letter a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune.
The copy of the letter was duly forwarded to military secretaries to president and prime minister, Ministry of Defence, National Coordinator of National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), DG ISI, DG Military intelligence, and DG Military Operations, Rawalpindi.
Another security official said that keeping in view the security threats coordination drills were practised and some 100 policemen were deployed in which 20-25 were armed. However, the militants managed to break through three security cordons and make an exit too.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2013.
Correction: The word "break" was earlier misspelled in the headline. The error is regretted.
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