KARACHI: The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of police on Thursday claimed to have arrested a suspected militant linked with the banned Jundullah outfit and allegedly involved in bank robberies, kidnappings and killings in the city.

Law enforcers claimed that the banned outfit had been involved in major acts of terrorism in the metropolis after the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

Acting on a tip-off, the CTD detained Mohammed Ishaq, alias Gul, at the Cantt Station as he arrived there by a train from Sukkur, said CTD officer in-charge of the Transnational Terrorism Intelligence Group (TTIG), Raja Umar Khattab. He termed the held suspect an “extremely wanted” militant of Jundullah.

The banned outfit was involved in major acts of terrorism in city after 9/11

The police claimed to have seized a suicide jacket and two hand grenades from his custody.

The held militant had gone to Afghanistan in 2008. He has recently returned from Afghanistan to Balochistan and then to Sindh.

Mr Khattab said he had come to the city to carry out major terror acts when he was arrested near a hotel at the Cantt Station. He originally hailed from Lower Dir and here he lived in the Paposh Nagar area of Nazimabad, where he had remained neighbour of banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi chief Atta Rehman, alias Naeem Bukhari. He joined Jundullah in 2006 and got training in Afghanistan.

Mr Khattab said the held militant was involved in four bank robberies in 2007 and during looting of two banks in Saudabad, Malir, he had gunned down a police constable and a passerby the same year.

Besides, he was involved in the kidnapping of a businessman in Defence Housing Authority, a professor in Green Town near the airport and a police informer near Awami Markaz on Sharea Faisal.

Jundullah background

CTD official Khattab recalled that Jundullah was formed by Al Qaeda commander Hamza Jofi, alias Haji Mumtaz, in Waziristan in 2003-4. Jofi was killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan in 2012.

Jundullah had been involved in major acts of terror in Karachi.

According to the TTIG official, the outfit was involved in twin bomb blasts outside the Avari Hotel, attacks on police and other law enforcers, twin bomb blasts outside the Pak-American Culture Centre, an armed attack on the Gulistan-i-Jauhar police station, an attack on a Rangers’ mobile, an attack on the then corps commander of Karachi and a bomb attack on the Ashura procession in 2009.

Raja Umar Khattab said he believed that the outfit’s militants committed bank robberies and kidnappings for ransom to generate funds for militancy.

The held suspect, Mohammed Ishaq, had fled to Waziristan after an encounter with the Shah Latif Town police in 2008. Subsequently, he shifted to Afghanistan.

Mr Khattab said some of the members of the outfit were in jail, some had been killed in police encounters while some others had fled to Afghanistan.

Some of the outfit’s arrested members involved in the Ashura blast had escaped from the City Courts in 2011 while their accomplice Murad Shah was killed by the police at that time.

Two absconding accused of the Ashura blast case — Wazir Shah and Shakeebul Hasan — were later killed in a drone attack in Waziristan.

“The held suspect was with the said killed militants during the drone strike but he survived and fled,” said the CTD official.

The investigators are inquiring about his intended targets in the city.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2019

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