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Karachi

January 30, 2016
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‘Safoora financier’ gets bail for lack of evidence

Karachi

January 30, 2016

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Karachi

Initially said to be a member of al Qaeda and one of the key financiers of the Safoora bus attackers, Sheeba Ahmed, was on Friday granted bail against a sum of Rs200,000, by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) over a lack of evidence linking him to the attack.

Previously being presented in another ATC, the accused moved a bail application soon after his case was transferred to ATC (I), headed by judge Bashir Ahmed Khoso.

His counsel argued that the police had failed to provide any evidence regarding his client’s connections with the banned militant organisation and neither was his association with al-Qaeda or with the prime suspects of the Safoora attack mentioned in the charge-sheet.

Arrested from his bungalow located in DHA, Karachi, by officials of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), four months ago, the accused was said to finance terrorist activities locally as well as in neighbouring countries through his chemical-manufacturing business. Following his arrest CTD SSP Naveed Nisar Khwaja in a press conference had stated that Ahmed was arrested on the basis of information disclosed during interrogation by Saad Aziz and Azhar Ishrat - two of the six suspects said to have attacked the bus. 

They had told interrogators that Ahmed was not only their preacher, but had also financially assisted them in carrying out the attack. 

The official had said that Ahmed had connections in neighbouring countries and financed terrorists using the money he earned through his export business.  He added that Ahmed was a hate preacher and had incited the men involved in Safoora Goth bus firing to attack the Ismaili community. 

Besides, a terrorist named Hassan Zaheer, arrested in Lahore before Ahmed’s arrest, had also disclosed that he (Ahmed) was providing financial support to terrorists being treated at hospitals in Punjab’s capital city.

The accused was suggested by the police’s law officer to be kept under observation according to the anti-terrorism act’s (ATA), 1997.

Saad Aziz alias Tin Tin, Tahir Hussain Minhas alias Sain, Asad-ur-Rehman alias Malik, Hafiz Nasir alias Yasir and Mohammad Azhar Ishrat alias Majid had been charge-sheeted for the attack that claimed the lives of over 45 members of the Ismaili community.

Onboard a community bus, they were passing through the Safoora Chowrangi on the morning of May 13, 2015 when they were attacked by gunmen.

Fishermen Cooperative Society vice chairman Sultan Qamar Siddiqui, his brother Hussain Qamar Siddiqui and another associate Sajid Naeem alias Pino were also among over 10 people arrested on charges of financing the attackers.

Sultan Qamar Siddiqui was picked up by Rangers in July and detained for a 90-day period under the Pakistan Protection Act. He was later remanded to the police along with his accomplices on September 15.

The weapons used in the attack were said to have been purchased in the name of Hussan Qamar Siddiqui, while Sajid Pino and another accused Zahid Motiwala were said to have provided licenses for them.

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