IS commander arrested in Lahore

Yousaf alSalafi admitted that he represented Islamic State in Pakistan

Hassan Naqvi January 22, 2015
Yousaf alSalafi admitted that he represented Islamic State in Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS


Security forces have arrested a commander of the ultraorthodox Islamic State (IS) group as well as two accomplices involved in recruiting and sending fighters to Syria. IS has set up a self-proclaimed caliphate on large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq after making stunning military victories against government forces in the two countries.

“Yousaf alSalafi and his two accomplices were arrested by intelligence agencies and Punjab police in a joint raid in the Shahdara neighbourhood of Lahore,” an official told The Express Tribune on Wednesday. “IS’s hate literature was also recovered during the raid,” he added.

Yousaf alSalafi, a Pakistani Syrian, confessed in subsequent interrogation that he represented IS in Pakistan. One of his associates, Hafiz Tayyab, was a prayer leader at a local mosque in Lahore and was recruiting fighters for Syria.

AlSalafi was detained after crossing over into Turkey from Syria. Somehow he managed to escape and travelled to Pakistan five months later to establish a foothold for the group here, a senior police official said.

Pakistani officials are concerned about the rise of IS, also known by its Arabic name Da’ish, in a country already beset by a home-grown Taliban insurgency. Graffiti in favour of IS has emerged in several cities, from Karachi, in the south, to Peshawar, in the north.

After the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan developed fissures, key commanders, including their former spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid, pledged allegiance to IS. Earlier this week, 50 militants from a Tirah Valley-based self-styled extremist vigilante group, Amar Bil Maroof, also joined IS.

Security analysts, however, say there is no evidence to suggest that IS and Taliban militants maintain effective links or that the ultraorthodox group has operational capability in the region.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2015.


US CENTCOM | 6 years ago | Reply

If these reports are accurate, there are grave implications of such recruiting efforts by Daesh in a region already plagued with terrorism. These reports also suggest that these so called recruiters are charging Daesh for the number of recruits they send back. Such reports are disturbing. Their efforts to brainwash and recruit misguided people have met with some degree of success, as in the few cases we have seen of people leaving their nations to join Daesh. We need to collectively combat not only the actions of these ruthless terrorists, but also diminish their influence on impressionable minds.

Haroon Ahmad DET – U.S. Central Command

Pakistani | 6 years ago | Reply

Good job done by security forces.

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