KARACHI: Police on Sunday claimed to have arrested four suspected militants, said to be associated with outlawed Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), who were allegedly planning major terrorism acts in the metropolis.

“The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) and a federal intelligence agency carried out a joint action in Gulistan-i-Jauhar and arrested four members of the AQIS network,” said SIU SSP Irfan Bahadur.

He said they were identified as Mohammed Omer, Mohammed Bilal, alias Fida, Mohammed Waseem and Mohammed Amir.

Arms and explosives were also seized from their custody, he said, adding that they had stockpiled the weapon cache to carry out terrorism attacks in the metropolis.

“The held suspects were important members of the AQIS who have got militancy training from Afghanistan,” he added.

Police say the suspects wanted to target Pakistan Stock Exchange, City Courts

The AQIS chief and the held suspects’ emir, identified as Mohammed Hanif, alias Zarar, lived in Afghanistan.

The militants had conducted recce to carry out terrorist acts at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi, City Courts, Police Training Centre and offices of law enforcement agencies.

The police also claimed to have seized 10 detonators, a remote and receiver, which were supposed to be used for preparing improvised explosives devices. Three grenades and two Kalashnikovs were also seized from them.

SSP Bahadur told Dawn that Hanif had become chief of the AQIS after the killing of former emir, Asim Omer, in Afghanistan last year.

Asim Omer was reportedly an Indian militant, who was the South Asia chief of the AQIS and killed in a joint US-Afghan military operation in Helmend province on Sept 23, 2019 in which 40 civilians were also killed.

The SSP revealed that Hanif originally hailed from Karachi’s Gulistan-i-Jauhar area. He had formed the AQIS network when he was in Karachi and used to help the militants in terms of provision of explosives, arms and recce for terrorist attacks.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2020

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