LAHORE: The Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) busted a network of Afghanistan-based banned militant organisations in separate intelligence based operations (IOBs) carried out in Rawalpindi and Lahore.
According to sources, the CTD arrested four alleged militants in Rawalpindi, while two others were nabbed in Lahore.
A well-placed source said the banned militant organisations based in Afghanistan had changed their strategy to hit their targets in Pakistan. Instead of dispatching militants from the neighbouring country, they were hiring anti-social elements from northern areas and other parts of Pakistan to carry out terrorist activities here, he said.
The source said the CTD managed to trace the new network and made important arrests from the two main cities of Punjab.
A Punjab CTD spokesperson said in an IBO conducted in Rawalpindi, four suspects allegedly involved in a grenade blast and installing an improvised explosive device (IED) in Rawalpindi in 2020-21 were arrested. The arrested suspects had also carried out Gunjmandi grenade blast, he added.
He said the suspects were ready to conduct another bomb blast to target the law enforcement agency and army personnel.
On Tuesday morning, he said, a CTD team received information that four terrorists were present near Bhata Chowk, Rawalpindi. Based On the information and the evidence collected from Sadar IED blast crime scene, the CTD raided the militants’ hideout and arrested all of them (names are not disclosed).
He said during the raid explosives, detonators, cell phones and other articles to be used for militancy were recovered.
In the initial investigation, he said, the suspects disclosed that they had carried out a grenade blast in Rawalpindi in 2020, killing a citizen and injuring more than 15 others.
They disclosed that they had been radicalised and motivated by ideology of the proscribed militant organisation Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), but now they were working for the masterminds based in Afghanistan, he said.
“Now they were doing it [militancy] for money”, the CTD spokesperson said.
The suspects disclosed that their group leader was getting funds from Afghanistan for terrorist activities, he said, adding they had planned their next attack on the LEA’s/army personnel in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. He added that investigation had been launched to unearth the entire network. An FIR had been lodged with the police concerned, he added.
In another IBO conducted in Lahore region, the CTD arrested two suspected militants belonging to a banned organisation.
The spokesperson said a CTD team acting on credible information arrested two militants identified as Abdul Karim and Abdul Basit from Mehmood Booti, Lahore.
The militants were planning attack on law enforcement agencies in Lahore, he added.
The team recovered IED, a 30 bore pistol with ammunition, prima cord and a mobile phone from their custody.
He said investigation had been started after lodging an FIR with CTD Lahore police station.
Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2021
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