The death squad of militant outfit Ansarul Sharia Pakistan (ASP), which targeted policemen in different parts of Karachi recently, comprised four members, The News has learnt.
“Those who were part of the death squad were Danish Rasheed, Sarosh Siddiqui, Muzammil Ali Junaidi and Hassan Nazeer. Two of them were assigned to shoot, one was tasked with making a video of the attack and the last one was responsible for providing backup to the rest of them,” a security official who is involved in the ongoing investigation claimed.
The forensic examination of Dr Abdullah Hashmi’s laptop, the head of the ASP, provided an important lead that connected him to the members of proscribed organisation responsible to carry out a major attack in the country.
Another security official requesting not to be named because of the sensitivity of the subject claimed, “A major attack was carried out in Karachi during 2014 and the head of the Ansarul Sharia Pakistan was in contact with some of the team members who were part of the plan. During the attack, three terrorists were killed and some of their associates were arrested from different parts of Sindh and Balochistan. Now the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are reinvestigating the major assault in the metropolis and some important development has already taken place.”
The official said the LEAs confiscated some laptops during a raid on Sarosh Siddiqui’s house, and their forensic examination suggested he had developed software (AM) to change IP addresses and tamper with IMEI -- international mobile equipment identity. The upper portion of Siddiqui’s house was said to be the ASP’s headquarters.
An officer whose team participated in the raid told The News, “His [Siddiqui’s] father misled security officials by saying that he had gone to offer the Fajr prayer in a nearby mosque, but Siddiqui was present upstairs. When a police team moved to the upper portion of the house for searching, Siddiqui opened fire with his two pistols where a policeman was martyred and another sustained injuries. A member of a security force also suffered bullet wounds. Siddiqui also attacked a bullet-proof vehicle of the force and took away an AK-47 rifle.”
The security official, who is part of the ongoing investigation into the ASP attacks, said: “The selection of the target was the job of Dr Hashmi but he never participated in any assault. The real name of Dr Abdullah Hashmi is Sheharyaruddin Warsi”.
A security official, who was present during the raid on Hashmi’s house, disclosed, “He [Hashmi] didn’t resist at all and was ready to cooperate after getting the assurance that he would be not be killed.”
It was further learnt that as members of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Siddiqui, Sheharyaruddin Warsi, Muzammil Ali Junaidi and Osama went to Afghanistan in 2015 and received militant training in the Baramcha area but joined al-Qaeda there. On their return to Karachi, a clash erupted with JeM activists in Orangi Town, where Siddiqui reportedly suffered injuries.