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April 20, 2019

‘Jundullah militant’ remanded for five days


April 20, 2019

The administrative judge of anti-terrorism courts (ATC) on Friday remanded a suspected terrorist in police custody for five more days in a case pertaining to possessing explosives, including suicide jackets.

The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) had disclosed the arrest of alleged Jundullah militant Ishaq, alias Gul, in a news conference on April 11. It said that the suspect was despatched by his organisation from Afghanistan so that he could help carry out a major terrorist attack in Karachi.

CTD officer Raja Omar Khattab said they also seized a suicide vest that was ready to be detonated, and two hand grenades from the suspect’s possession. “He [Ishaq] intended to carry out a major terrorist activity in Karachi as he had reached the city via other parts of Sindh and Balochistan from Afghanistan.”

Khattab said the suspect’s name was already in the CTD’s Red Book, adding that he had been a resident of PaposhNagar in Karachi and also a neighbour of the chief of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi’s Naeem Bukhari group, named Attaur Rehman, alias Naeem Bukhari.

Talking about the suspect’s background, the CTD officer said he had joined Jundullah in 2006 and received training in militancy from Afghanistan. Khattab added that Ishaq had also been involved in bank heists in the Saudabad and Rashid Minhas Road areas of Karachi in 2007 to generate funds for his organisation.

“That same year he kidnapped a trader from a Defence Housing Authority neighbourhood and a professor from the Green Town area near the Karachi airport for ransom. He was also involved in the murders of a policeman and a passerby during two bank robberies in Malir’s Saudabad area.”

In 2007, the suspect kidnapped a police informer from near Awami Markaz on Sharea Faisal, Khattab said, adding that the following year he was involved in a shoot-out with the police in the Shah Latif area in which some of his accomplices were killed and arrested, while two policemen, including a DSP, embraced martyrdom.

“The arrested suspect was with his accomplices when they were killed in a drone attack in Waziristan, but he survived and managed to escape. He is a hardcore terrorist and now he is being interrogated about his plan to carry out terrorist activities in Karachi for which he had arrived from Afghanistan,” the CTD officer said.

During the hearing, the investigation officer of the case told the judge that the police needed more time to interrogate the suspect and requested further remand of the suspect. Granting the request, the judge extended Ishaq’s remand and sought a progress report on the next hearing on April 23.

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