Well-educated militants behind high-profile terror attacks: CM

Updated May 21, 2015

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Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah speaking at a press conference at CM House on Wednesday.—APP
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah speaking at a press conference at CM House on Wednesday.—APP

KARACHI: Arrested in connection with the Safoora Goth carnage and killing of rights activist Sabeen Mahmud, the “well-educated” criminals also have confessed to grenade attacks on schools, bomb attacks on police vans, a naval officer and a Rangers brigadier, a gun attack on an American educationist and targeted killing of police officials.

This was disclosed by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah while addressing a crowded press conference at CM House on Wednesday evening. He was accompanied by Speaker of the Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani, Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro and the provincial police chief.

About the arms and ammunition recovered from the militants, the chief minister said that the police seized three Kalashnikov rifles, seven 9mm rifles, five grenades, seven laptops, explosive material and terrorism literature.

Without naming any political or banned organisation involved in the terrorism activities, the chief minister said it would be premature to identify the group involved in the heinous crimes until a joint interrogation team completed its investigation.

However, he said, in recognition of outstanding performance of the police in solving such high-profile cases, he announced a cash award of Rs50 million for the DIG of the recently set-up anti-terrorist department Arif Hanif Khan and another official Raja Omar Khattab.

He said the officials were praiseworthy in that they had also detected the criminals and their facilitators behind the Shikarpur Imambargah blast and the killing of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl leader Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro.

The chief minister said he would recommend their names for promotion in recognition of their performance.

Mr Shah said many more disclosures were expected as investigation was yet to be completed. He said he had asked to set up a JIT comprising the Sindh police and our other personnel who also had rendered valuable services and offered sacrifices, Rangers and other agencies officials who are member of the Sindh apex committee for verification of their offences.

He asked the police chief to file a report within a week after the formation of the JIT. Although the militants had already confessed to their involvement in terrorism activities, it would be appropriate that JIT be given the task to interrogate them as the cases were important and sensitive.

In reply to a question about involvement of the Indian intelligence agency RAW in the Safoora Goth bus tragedy, Mr Shah said RAW had been active right from Balochistan till Karachi, but at this stage he could not name the agency with confidence. It would only be determined after the JIT completed its work, he added.

In reply to a question, Mr Shah said that so far he had report about the four criminals but it could be possible that many others were also involved in the cases.

He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had congratulated him by phone over detection and arrest of the culprits and asked him to also appreciate the Sindh police.

Profiles

On the occasion, the chief minister read out the names of the militants, their profiles and the crimes they confessed to have committed.

Tahir Hussain Minhas alias Sain Nazir alias Zahid, alias Naveed alias Khalil, alias Shaukat and alias Mota-matriculate, who is the mastermind of the Safoora Goth carnage, has been involved in terror activities since 1998. A trained terrorist who has expertise in making bombs and using arms such as RPG-7 and Kalashnikov.

He had personally met Osama Bin Ladin and Aiman-uz-Zawahiri of Al Qaeda on several occasions.

Saad Aziz alias Tin Tin alias John, who is the mastermind of the attack on civil society representative Sabeen Mahmud, has done BBA from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi. Taking part in terrorist activities since 2009, Aziz is a trained militant with expertise in producing different types of literature. He provided funds for terror activities in the city.

Mohammad Azfar Ishrat alias Maajid is an engineer having passed out from the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology. Involved in terrorist activities since 2011, Ishrat is a trained terrorist who has expertise in making bombs and electronic circuits used as timers in such bombs.

Haafiz Nasir alias Yasir, who completed MA in Islamic Studies from Karachi University, has been involved in terrorist activities since 2013. A trained terrorist, Nasir has expertise in brainwashing and motivating people for ‘Jihadi’ activities.

The confessions made by these terrorists include the carnage of Safoora Goth, murder of Sabeen Mahmud in Defence, firing on American educationist Debra Lobo in the Ferozabad area, bomb attack on a naval officer and suicidal attack on Brig Basit of the Rangers, grenade attack on schools and throwing pamphlets in Nazimabad and North Nazimabad, bomb blast and targeted killings on the Bohri community in the area of Arambagh, North Nazimabad, Bahadurbad Karachi and Hyderabad, bomb attacks on police vans on M.A. Jinnah Road, Arambagh, Gulberg, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, NIPA Chowrangi, North Nazimabad and North Krachi and in the targeted killing of police officials in Gulistan-i-Jauhar, North Nazimabad, North Karachi, Shah Faisal Colony and Landhi.

Published in Dawn, May 21th, 2015

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