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June 13, 2011

The inside story of a teenage ‘suicide bomber’


June 13, 2011


Early in the morning of July 27, 2009, 15-year-old Arshad Khan was standing at a truck stand in Sohrab Goth waiting to be transported to Waziristan to be trained for Jihad.
He had been asked by his madressa teacher, Ameer Razzaq, to reach there and wait for him. He had been told not to even inform his parents about his plans. He called Razzaq from a Public Call Office. Razzaq reached there within two minutes and took him to an intercity bus terminal. When they boarded the bus, he met five other teenage boys who were also travelling to Waziristan for the same purpose. All the other five boys were later killed in a US drone strike in Saam in Waziristan.
Arshad Khan’s cousin, Hanan, who had already been trained in Waziristan, had also come to the bus terminal to see him off. They started their journey for Miranshah in Waziristan. Razzaq had told the boys that they would be provided with delicious food and fancy clothes in Waziristan.
On the very next day, they reached Miranshah at about 5pm and stayed at a hotel for a night. Next day, after having breakfast, they resumed their journey. Their bus was stopped at a check-post of the Frontier Constabulary (FC) and they were asked to travel on foot as there was a curfew in the area.
After walking through the hills for three hours, they came to know about the lifting of the curfew at another FC check-post. From there, they took a bus for Razmak, Waziristan.
At some unknown location, they stopped and waited at a mosque for someone. After sometime, Taliban leader Muslim Khan appeared and engaged in a conversation with Razzaq. After lunch, they were given Tasbeehs and a torch and were asked to wait for a vehicle. Soon, a Datsun jeep came there and they resumed their journey.
The vehicle dropped them at Saam (Waziristan) from where they walked for 10 minutes before entering a huge house which Razzaq said was the training centre for suicide bombers. They saw many other teenagers in that

building. Soon, TTP Commander Wali Mohammed Mehsud appeared and sat with them.
Wali Mehsud told them that they would be trained to fight security forces who were cooperating with the United States.
Next day, they were made to wake up early in the morning to offer Fajr prayers. Later, they were taken to the “training area” where their names were noted in a register and allotted code names. Arshad Khan’s code name was kept Dadullah.
During training, they were made to wear dummy suicide jackets that contained wire, fuse and switch buttons. He was trained as a bomber for six days and then he was imparted training for two days on using weapons.
After nine days, a drone attack was carried out at a hideout in Saam (Waziristan) in which 25 young boys were killed, while he and two others were injured. When he regained consciousness, he found himself at an isolated place. After being treated for 25 days, he was taken by some strangers back to Sohrab Goth. He was given some money and told to go to his home.
Arshad Khan was arrested by a team of the Anti-Extremism Cell (AEC) on Sunday. He gave these information to investigators, police claimed.
Born in Swat in 1992, his father divorced his mother before his birth. At the age of four, his maternal uncle, Habibullah, brought his family to Karachi and they settled in Frontier Colony of Rabbani Mohallah.
He was admitted to a local school in Mominabad area where he passed his matriculation. In 2009, he visited a mosque where Abdul Razzaq brainwashed him for Jihad.




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