Home Latest News Police Arrest Suspected Al Qaeda Militants

Police Arrest Suspected Al Qaeda Militants

by Aamir Iqbal
Asif Hassan—AFP

Asif Hassan—AFP

Five suspects, including the alleged head of extremist group’s operations in Pakistan, were detained in Karachi.

Police in Karachi have arrested at least five suspected terrorists, including the alleged head of the Karachi chapter of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, ahead of a planned attack on a naval dockyard.

“My team conducted a successful raid at the Old Haji Camp area of Karachi and arrested five Al Qaeda terrorists, including the chief of operations for Pakistan,” said Ali Raza, the head of the Central Investigation Department of Karachi police. “We were responding to intelligence reports that some dangerous terrorists were living in the area,” he added.

According to Raza, the raid yielded five suspected terrorists—Qari Shahid Usman, Shahid Ansari, Islam, Asad, and Fawad Khan. He said Usman had been leading the militant group and alleged that he was also the Pakistan-based head of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent. “During interrogation, we learnt that these men were affiliated with Al Qaeda’s newly established South Asian branch and were planning terrorist activities in Pakistan,” he said.

Raza said the police had also found some documents during the raid that focused on naval installations in Karachi. “It is still premature [to say if they were also involved in the attack on the naval dockyard in September],” he added.

Another police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the arrests and said that over 10kg of explosives and advanced weaponry had also been recovered. “Qari Usman, who was leading the group, works as a spare parts dealer and has a shop in Karachi,” he added.

Osama Mehmood, the official spokesman for Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, claimed responsibility for the September attack on a naval dockyard in Karachi, alleging that an ex-naval officer had helped the group. Two terrorists were killed, and four others arrested, following the attack, which also left one Pakistan Navy officer dead.

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