Crackdown 2010: More than 180 terrorism suspects arrested

Published: December 29, 2010
A policeman stands guard inside the compound of an Ahmadi worship place, May 30, 2010. PHOTO: REUTERS

A policeman stands guard inside the compound of an Ahmadi worship place, May 30, 2010. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: More than 180 people were arrested by police in Lahore in 2010 on suspicion of terrorism. Of these, around 70 were arrested in connection with the attacks on Ahmedi places of worship.

Police claimed to have recovered tons of explosives, many suicide jackets and other weapons during raids carried out for the arrests.

According to the record available to The Express Tribune, the largest single series of arrests across the province took place on July 12, 2010 in which 39 people were arrested. Of these, 19 were arrested from Lahore.

On February 8, police arrested six men from GT Road. Addressing a press conference after the arrests, Senior Superintendent of Police (Invetsigations) Zulfiqar Hameed said the suspects had admitted during initial interrogation that they were plotting an attack on foreigners staying at a Lahore hotel. He said police seized detonators, suicide jackets, 26 grenades and four kg hashish in the raid.

On December 3, the Criminal Investigation Agency (CIA) officials arrested five people accused of helping the suicide attack on Rescue 15 and ISI buildings on May 27, 2009. The attack had claimed 29 lives, of which 19 were policemen. The suspects were arrested from Ravi Park.

On July 2, the police arrested 17 people in connection with the attack on Ahmedi places of worship in Model Town and Garhi Shahu on May 28, 2010. More than 70 people had been killed and 78 injured in the attack.

Police record said almost all weapons seized from the suspects arrested in connection with the attacks on Ahmedis were manufactured abroad.

On May 30, the police arrested a burqa-clad suspect from near Ghazi Road in DHA. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was scheduled to pass through a short while later.

A special police team arrested a man on May 24. During interrogation, he confessed to involvement in low-intensity blasts at Peeru’s Café and in Tibbi City area.

On December 3, a police team arrested five men and recovered suicide jackets, sophisticated weapons and explosives from them.

On June 7, police arrested 12 suspects from Township. On April 16, two suspects were arrested from Ferozepur Road. Suicide jackets were recovered from them.

On September 15, police seized around 15,000 kg explosives from Allama Iqbal Town. About 3,000 kg potassium nitrate was confiscated from a vacant depot near the Vegetable Market the next day.

Most of those arrested were Taliban, Tajiks or members of Fazal Mehsud group of Tehreek-i-Taliban Afghanistan and Fidayeen.

According to police record 20 members of the Fidayeen group were arrested. The police also recovered a list of targets and several maps from them.

Addressing a press conference earlier this year, Capital City Police Officer Muhammad Aslam Tareen said investigations suggested foreign elements were involved in the terrorist attacks in the city during 2010.

There were a total of 18 attacks in 2010 in which more than 270 people were killed and around 700 injured.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2010.

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