Police investigators claim to have traced in Karachi more than 50 militants ‘inspired’ by the self-styled ISIS (also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh) which wants a presence in the country.
However, law-enforcement authorities say they are not sure if the local IS operatives are directly linked to the globally declared terrorist outfit.
The investigation arm of police (east zone) came up on Tuesday with a list of 53 suspected militants who operate in a manner bearing the hallmark of Daesh. They belong to different parts of the country and are based in Karachi.
“The list prepared by the SSP investigation’s east office carries the names of the militants and their personal details,” said an official. “For instance, a militant named Abdullah Yousuf alias Abdul Aziz alias Saqin heads a militants’ group in Sindh which is inspired by the IS. His aides are Abdullah Mansoori and Misri Pathan of Dera Ismail Khan and Tayyab and Ali Rahman of Karachi who are engineers by profession.”
The findings emerged a day after the Senate Standing Committee on Interior was informed that 14 people had been identified and eight of them arrested, who were allegedly involved in Karachi’s Safoora carnage – the first case of its kind, warning of increased ISIS footprints in Pakistan.
Officials said that the investigation into the Safoora bus attack led to the findings about the depth of militancy in urban pockets of the country and growing influence of terrorist outfits, mainly among young and educated people.
“The list is actually an outcome of the findings emerged during the investigation into the Safoora carnage,” said SSP Amir Farooqi of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) tasked with intelligence and investigation into terrorism-related incidents.
“The list being mentioned by the media has not been prepared by the CTD, but it obviously has our input and intelligence. We have been actively pursuing terrorists and their networks in the city and other parts of the province [Sindh],” he said.
The list also points out other banned and terrorist outfits operating in the city with some half a dozen “commanders” and each of them enjoys the assistance of five to six hit-men.
But police authorities say that the 53 militants identified in the list are not necessarily directly linked to Daesh fighting mostly in Arab countries.
“They are actually inspired by ISIS’s ideology and thoughts,” said a senior police officer who did not want to be named.
“They operate on their own and we are not sure if they have any links with Daesh. We have identified them and assigned our specialised units the task to arrest them. There will be a major breakthrough on these lines soon,” the officer said.