Security forces arrest local Islamic State commander in Lahore: sources

Published: January 21, 2015
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A masked man speaking is shown in a video released by IS militants in September 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

A masked man speaking is shown in a video released by IS militants in September 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: Pakistani security forces have arrested a man they believe is the commander of the Islamic State group in the country as well as two accomplices involved in recruiting and sending fighters to Syria, intelligence sources said on Wednesday.

Authorities in South Asia are concerned about the rise of the militant group in a region already beset by home-grown insurgencies fighting to topple local governments and set up strict Islamic rule.

Three intelligence sources, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the man, Yousaf al Salafi, was arrested in Lahore and confessed during interrogation that he represented IS in Pakistan.

“Al Salafi is a Pakistani Syrian who reached Pakistan through Turkey five months ago,” said one source. “He crossed into Turkey from Syria and was caught there. Somehow he managed to escape and reached Pakistan to establish ISIS (IS).”

The account could not be independently verified.

The source said one of his accomplices, Hafiz Tayyab, was a prayer leader in Lahore and was involved in recruiting Pakistanis and sending them to fight alongside Islamic State in Syria, charging IS about $600 per person.

Rifts among the Taliban and disputes about the future of the insurgency have contributed to the rise of Islamic State’s popularity but security sources believe there are no operational links yet between IS and South Asia.

Disgruntled former Taliban commanders have formed the so-called Khorasan chapter – an umbrella IS group covering Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and other South Asian countries – in recent months but have not been involved in any fighting.

Their leader, Hafiz Saeed Khan Orakzai, a former Pakistani Taliban commander, appeared in a video address this month urging people in the region to join the group.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Sonya
    Jan 21, 2015 - 6:17PM

    But PML N said there was no ISIS in Pakistan? and that too found in the heart of PML N – Please check again the commander might have been a PML N worker.

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  • Chaudhry Z. Ahmad
    Jan 21, 2015 - 6:58PM

    @Sonya:

    Good and appropriate comment and a timely reminder to Sharif brothers!

    Recommend

  • Saad Nazim
    Jan 21, 2015 - 6:58PM

    I do not wish to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but the rise of these numerous militant groups has more to it than what meets the eye. It seems like Uncle Sam, has found new proxies.

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  • B-Quick!
    Jan 21, 2015 - 7:47PM

    We must man all borders for returning fighters from Syria to take more. All must be ID’d and checked at moment notice. No undocumented person is found recruiting any body or anything.. Finding a young terrorist from Pakistan under the circumstances is no hard. List all signs and posting types and catch them in the act. All sympathizers, excusers and blamer must be Put under the watch! A list of recruiting lines and code words must be established from such recruiters and matched against all such found.
    @Saad Nazim:
    Balogni! unless if ur one of them?

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  • Waseem
    Jan 21, 2015 - 8:08PM

    Any conspirator such as this one who is planning to kill/kidnap/destroy Pakistanis and their properties and state organs must be executed right away. nothing to debate on it. just eliminate the terror.

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  • Emjay
    Jan 21, 2015 - 8:35PM

    LOL @ Sonya

    And yes, PML-N has been going on continuously about there being no ISIS in Pakistan. And its leader gets caught in the Sharif brothers’ hometown, right under the nose of the ever vigilant Shahbaz Sharif.

    Recommend

  • Ashok
    Jan 21, 2015 - 8:56PM

    @Saad Nazim:
    I wonder who Uncle Sam learned from.

    Recommend

  • Omar
    Jan 21, 2015 - 9:10PM

    I read the same news on DAWN.

    Off topic did anyone note that many news articles on ET and DAWN are like ditto word to word?. In other words copy/paste?

    I have written the same comment on DAWN.

    Failure to publish would give me a hint as to who is plagiarizing!

    Recommend

  • MJ
    Jan 21, 2015 - 9:58PM

    The “manager” here has a good racket going on … he is charging $600 per recruit. I wonder how much he charges TTP for recruits for suicide attacks?

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  • Jan 21, 2015 - 10:07PM

    @Omar:
    There is no copy and paste between Dawn and ET.
    Though ET is blatantly pro India. A news item from,
    say Reuters, can be published word for word in both.

    Recommend

  • Wizarat
    Jan 21, 2015 - 11:19PM

    @Saad Nazim:
    When one points one finger to others please notice atleast three points to ones self..

    Wake up and pull your head out of your sand and look around please.
    This is your doing and no one elses.

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  • Saad Nazim
    Jan 21, 2015 - 11:57PM

    @Wizarat:
    So what you’re implying is this global militancy is courtesy Pakistan ? While, oblivious to Uncle Sam’s invasions without evidence and killings of innocents in millions from Afghanistan to Iraq, which by the way, is the foundation of this rise of Global jihad.

    It’s quite obvious that you have forgone your rationality -sigh-

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  • Karachiwala
    Jan 22, 2015 - 2:57AM

    so i guess uncle altaf is right again!!!!

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