KARACHI: The Crime Investigation Department’s (CID) Anti-Extremism Cell (AEC) and the Liaquatabad Town police claimed to have apprehended four ‘terrorists’ in separate raids in the city. The AEC nabbed two suspects believed to be members of the banned Jundullah and another alleged member of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) Swat chapter.
Separately, the Liquatabad police arrested a man after a raid near Khamosh Colony graveyard led by Super Market SHO Shafiq Tanoli. The accused, Saleem, is suspected to be affiliated with the banned Jaish-e-Mohammad.
AEC chief Chaudhry Aslam Khan announced these arrests at a press conference held at the Garden police headquarters on Friday. They caught the two Jundullah suspects — identified as Mohammad Saleem alias Rizwan and Rizwan Ali — from Hawkes Bay Road and Mauripur. The TTP man, Nazeer Ahmed alias Waqas, was apprehended in Site area. The arrests were made in a raid in the early hours of Friday.
Khan told the press that Saleem confessed to working for Jundullah’s Fasihur Rehman and is incharge of terrorist activities in the city. He said that the accused confessed to being involved in several bomb blasts, including the attacks on the Ashura procession near Light House in December 2009, the Muharram 8 procession in Paposh Nagar and the Muharram 9 procession in Qasba Colony.
The bomb blast at Sharae Faisal and the Jinnah hospital on Chehlum were also his doing, he added.
“They have divided their group into two halves,” SSP Khan explained. “One group prepares bombs in the form of blocks, while the other places the bombs in the area they are targeting and detonates them. They are assigned tasks and all the bombs used in these incidents were prepared by Saleem and his team.”
In response to a query, he said that the suspects are also being questioned about the bomb found in Jinnah Colony on Friday but there are no findings yet. The accused also claimed to have planted a bomb in the car of Shia scholar Allama Talib Jauhri that the police found and defused.
A special team had been put together by the police that finally succeeded in both the raids, he said. However, some of the accomplices fled under the cover of darkness. They are still searching for them.
SSP Khan said that they also found two suicide jackets, 25 kilogrammes of explosives, one light machine gun (LMG), ten detonators, 30 feet of detonating wire, TNT blocks, three rifles, four repeaters, 300 bullet-rounds of sub–machine gun (SMG) and four police uniforms on the two Jundullah suspects.
Earlier, four of the group’s members had been arrested by the Karachi police’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) for their alleged involvement in the bomb blasts Saleem has confessed to. However, their associates helped three of them flee from the city courts and one was killed during the escape.
The three men arrested by the AEC have been remanded for five days till June 29. Controversy in the investigations: Investigations into the 2009 Ashura and 2010 Chehlum blasts have been marred with controversy in the past.
Previously, CID had doubted the findings made by the Karachi police’s Special Investigation Unit that showed that a Karachi–based Jundullah group was involved in the attacks.
SIU SSP Raja Umer Khattab said that the CID press conference on Friday justifies his unit’s stance. He said there were four Jundullah terrorists that were behind the two attacks. “Haider was the mastermind of this group and was recently killed in Wana in a drone attack.” According to SIU, the current mastermind of the group is a resident of Korangi, Yasir.
“The Jundullah suspects that escaped from the city courts were the ones who planted and detonated the bombs,” SSP Khan said. “The arrested accused have confirmed this and Saleem harboured the men for three or four days after the escape and then sent them somewhere else.”
In another raid, AEC arrested Nazeer Ahmed who was the third commander of the TTP Swat chapter. SSP Khan said that the accused belonged to the Fazlullah group and had been involved in various terrorist activities in Swat including attacks on security forces, sensitive installations, government buildings and schools. His name is also on the list for the most-wanted terrorists of Swat.