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Two held in Lahore raid being quizzed

Updated August 22, 2013

LAHORE, Aug 21: Two people taken into custody by a team of an intelligence agency and the Federal Investigation Agency from a house in Baggrian locality of Green Town on Tuesday morning are suspected to have links with groups working under the umbrella of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban.

However, four women who had been taken into custody along with the two men were released a few hours after their arrest.

Three women were relatives of the house’s owner and the fourth was a tenant and they had nothing to do with the activities of the suspects, police sources said.

Intelligence sources identified one of the arrested suspects as Aleem Shah, an occupant of the house.

They said the suspects were being interrogated at an undisclosed place and revelations were expected.

Officials had seized an illegal gateway exchange comprising telephone lines, computers, LCDs, phone equipment and thousands of unregistered SIMs, the sources said.

During preliminary interrogation, the suspects disclosed that they used to make phone calls using internet software or linking unregistered SIMs with the exchange. Officials also found several PTCL broadband boxes from the place.

The house was locked by officials for an indefinite period.

The sources said it was strongly being believed that calls made by terrorist groups to demand ransom from the families of kidnapped high-profile people or coordinate attacks were diverted from the exchange.

They said there was a strong possibility that all communication relating to high-profile cases of US national Dr Warren Weinstein, Ali Haider Gilani, Shahbaz Taseer, a former military officer’s son-in-law Aamir Malik and some industrialists and businessmen had been made through the exchange which might have been working for a few years.

The sources said raids were being conducted to arrest the members of three terrorist groups on the basis of information provided by the detained men.

They said the suspects were likely to be handed over to police after some time for further action.