Karachi: ‘Top govt officials on TTP hit list’
KARACHI: A letter received by the Sindh Police Department from an intelligence agency has warned that a number of important government officials and buildings in Karachi are under threat from terrorists belonging to the banned Tehrik–e–Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The letter lists names of a number of prominent personalities and government buildings that are under threat from TTP militants, and that the terrorists are likely to use a VBIED (Vehicle–Borne Improvised Explosive Device) in their next attack.
A senior intelligence officer, who has requested anonymity, informed The News that investigations to track down the terrorists had begun, and that these attacks were likely in retaliation to operations by security forces against the TTP. The letter claims that militants are planning to attack the headquarters of a security force establishment with a VBIED, after which a group of five to six suicide bombers would try to storm the headquarters.
The letter also states that militants are also planning to use a VBIED to target Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Mohammad Aslam Khan of the Crime Investigation Department of Sindh. “Reconnaissance of Khan’s convoy has been carried out and a vehicle bearing government registration number has been identified by the militants. It has also been learnt that two VBIEDs, followed by small arms would be used against SSP Khan’s convoy,” the letter states.
It was also learnt that six to eight militants from the TTP and Sipah–i-Shahaba Pakistan (SSP) militants would participate in the attack on Khan’s convoy. Militants have also been trying to bribe Khan’s servants to divulge information on his movements.
The letter also states that TTP terrorists had tried to kill SSP Malir Rao Anwar in the same manner, and that they had already ascertained his route to office. In this regard, the police had already increased the security of SSP Anwar, and on April 5 Anwar escaped unhurt when TTP terrorists orchestrated a suicide attack on his convoy in the Malir Halt area.
The letter says that TTP militants, including Karachi–based TTP commander Jehanzeb Mehsud, have planned to kidnap a known social worker as a bargaining chip for the release of
TTP militants that have been arrested by law enforcement agencies (LEAs) in the recent past. A police officer said that a VBIED, commonly known as a car bomb, is an improvised explosive device placed inside a car or other vehicle and then detonated. Giving an in-depth description of the weapon, he explained: “VBIEDs are commonly used in assassinations, terrorism or guerrilla warfare. They are either used to kill the occupants of the vehicle, people near the blast site, or to damage buildings or other property. Car bombs act as their own delivery mechanisms and can carry a relatively large amount of explosives without attracting suspicion; in larger vehicles and trucks, weights of up to 1,000 pounds (450kg) of explosives can be used.”
He added that car bombs can be triggered in a number of ways; the explosion can be triggered by opening the vehicle’s doors, starting the engine, pressing the accelerator or brake pedal or even by lighting a fuse or setting a timing device. He said suicide bombers, explosives and suicide jackets have already reached Karachi and militants are waiting for an opportunity.