Growing threats in Northern Sindh away from Security radar

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By Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Though one of the most dangerous Zones, comprising Jacobabad – the city that was hit by violence this Moharam – , Shikarpur and Sukkar, it has always been put behind while doing planning for maintaining of peace in province, insiders in police force and Sindh homes office say.

Away from the capital, bordered by the troubled Baluchistan with growing evident presence of Indian spy agency, RAW and having unskilled law enforcing force, the cities of Northern Sindh, including Jacobabad, Sukkar and Shikarpur, are fast becoming safe heavens of terrorists, a senior police officer, better called whistleblower, told The Frontier Post on the condition not to be named.

On the contrary, the police official told, there was no planning rather willingness to plan anything for the troubled Zone, which is most likely to become another Waziristan in near future.

Currently, a police team is present in the Jacobabad city to probe the mourning blast this Moharam on 24 October, which left 20 people died besides hurting many others.

Earlier this year in January, a suicide blast in Shikarpur city, some 40 kilometers away from Jacobabad, had left 57 people died. One of the bloodiest terrorists, the blast, was later believed to the work of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the sectarian outfit killing people of the opposite Shia sect.

In January 2013 a blast near the shrine of Ghazi Shah, some ten kilometer away of Shikarpur city, had killed four, including a Gaddi Nasheen of the Dargah, police said. A large number of devotees from Baluchistan and Sindh visit this Dargah, which belonging to Shia school of thought.

A month later the car of Pir Saeen Hussain Shah, an elder of the Barelvi School of thought, was attacked with the bomb in Jacobabad area of the Sindh. Shah escaped assassination the bid, which took the life of his grandson.

In May 2013, reports state, a suicide bomber had attacked the convoy of politicians Ibrahim Jatoi, however, he remained unhurt in assassination bid due to his bulletproof car.

On 24 July 2013, the office of ISI was attacked in Sukkar. Two bombers were also killed in the attack. The proscribed Teheek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s Mehmand Chapter had claimed responsibility of the blast. On 17 December 2010, two police personal and the suicide bombers were killed when the later tried to enter the ‘mourning Majlis’ arranged by Jatoi family of the Shikarpur, a report stated.

If this turbulent past was not enough to alert the authorities, who focused their attention on big cities like Karachi and Hyderabad, there were clear information that the troubled region, comprising Shikarpur, Sukkar, and Jacobabad, will be attack.

None other than Director General Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar, while briefing the meeting, a day before the 9th Moharam, informed that in Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Sukkur and Khairpur 104 vulnerable points have been identified, a handout stated, which was also emailed to this scribe.

“Though senior investigators from Karachi are present in Jacobabad to investigate the suicide bomb, it’s hard that their efforts may yield any concert results”, said a source, adding the highly untrained police staff had already spoiled the evidences due to lack of experience.

The troubled region, police sources said, required immediate attention due to three important elements. The cities are near Balochistan border whereas no check post has been setup to filter the influx of terrorists from the south-western province, with huge presence of agents of Indian intelligence agency, RAW, sources said.

The authority has never paid attention to this point.

There is only one forensic lab in the province, in its capital Karachi, which takes hours to be reached from the troubled Zone. No training regarding how to collect forensic evidences, how to preserve them and how to transport them for 100 percent accurate results has been provided to any officials deputed in the region. “As a result the evidences are spoiled” a whistleblower said.

Most of the trained investigators are deployed in the Karachi, which is away from the northern part of the city, sources said.

Published in The Frontier Post

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Abandoned by families, youths become vulnerable to terrorist inclinations

Alienated Youths vulnerable to terrorist inclinations, say experts 

KARACHI: Although the youth’s growing inclination towards extremism and terrorism is widely believed to have a direct link with hate literature and poverty, at least three young men from Karachi have had other reasons, which pushed them towards radicalization.

“The letters written by Saad Aziz, a former IBA graduate and prime suspect in Safoora Goth massacre and Sabeen Mahmud murder case, reveal the fragile relationship he had with his family members, which led him, closer to the militants,” says Raja Umar Khattab, a senior counter-terrorism officer who unearthed a group of highly educated terrorists in the city.

As if Saad’s breakup with his girlfriend was not enough, his sister’s continuous squabbles, and apathetic behaviour of his mother further alienated him, thus becoming vulnerable for the terrorists to enfold him in their circle, adds Khattab.

According to Aziz’s writings, his father had no or little say during family fights, and he was getting disillusioned by the day. There was no one to listen to his point of view, he told investigators.

Aziz, during interrogation, confessed to have killed Mahmud – director of popular cafe – the Second Floor Café (T2f) – in city’s Defence area.

But Aziz is not the only case highlighting how important family bonds are to keep the youths away from extremist inclinations.

On October 11, Karachi police held two men – Bilal Rind and Zain Shahid after the latter’s failed attempt to fly to Turkey and then Syria to join the Islamic State – in their fight against Bashar Al Assad – the Syrian ruler.

Police say there is no local presence of IS, and both the men were recruited through Twitter. Both, recruited separately, were introduced to each other before they left for Iran with a human trafficker.

Shahid and Rind were arrested in a remote Iranian town along the Turkish border. They were later deported by Iran and handed over to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which handed over them in the detention of the Sindh police’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD).

However, since they had so far done no harm to anyone, and regretted their decision because of being fully ‘brainwashed’, were released on probation.

Bilal, who settled in Karachi in 2013, was born in Dubai in 1986 and had got his education the American University in Dubai in 2006. Zain was born in Saudi Arabia and upon his return to Pakistan got his bachelor degree from Iqra University.

With no Madrassah or Pakistani educational background the economically sound youths were living in families least concerned about their kids, investigators say. “During examination by forensic psychologists it emerged that lose family bonds and indifferent attitude of the family was a major cause of the drastic shift in their lives” the police officer said.

According to the police, Bilal Rind was a ‘party boy’ and had spent his life abroad. Even a young preacher can bring a  180 degree shift in their thoughts, says Khattab, adding as soon as Rind was contacted by IS men, he was abandoned by the family, and it took him no time to become a Mowlvi.

Shahid’s case is no different, adds the counter-terrorism officer.

“Broken families that are not with separated parents but still their mornings start with squabbling, affect the teens, pushing them towards destructive thoughts”, says Dr Fateh Muhammad Burfat – founding chairman of the department Criminology University of Karachi.

“An anti-crime society has to be developed to eliminate the menace of extremism for which proactive families – where the kids share every problem with their parents and elder brothers – and education based on societal ethics is to be ensured”.

Published in The Frontier Post 

He comes back: Eight eliminated

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Naimat Khan
KARACHI: Two days after he posted “hello, I am coming back\” SP Rao Anwer on Saturday claimed he has killed eight members of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
According to reports of the presence of target killers, SP Rao along his team raided Mangopir area of the city. Seeing the police coming the militants opened fire, to which the police party retaliated and killed eight militants.
SHO Mangopir Ghulam Rasool and a constable also injured in the encounter.

Talking to media SP Rao said those killed were militants of the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and were planning to attack the Moharam processions.

“Hello, I am coming back\” he posted on Thursday, October 13, 2015 at 10:18pm on his official Facebook account, which proved to be announcement.

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SP Rao – a close friend of former President Asif Ali Zardari who was seen offering prayers with him this Eid in Dubai – is being accused of staged encounters, most of those having parished turned out to be from Mehsud clan of Pashtuns. Several time he has issued assignment to TV reporters for the coverage of encounters as well.

He was removed of his post over his anti-MQM press conference. Prior to that Rao Anwar had killed at least 13 people in one encounter in the Sohrab Goth area of the city.
The militants, he claimed, were members of the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

Originally Published in The Frontier Post

No established ISIS network in Sindh, investigators

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: A senior Investigator, who is fighting different terror groups for more than a decade now, was surprised over the “startling revelations” by none other than his boss – Inspector General Sindh Police Ghulam Hyder Jamali, and subsequent reports regarding the presence of lethal terror outfit Islamic State in southern Pakistani province.

While briefing a meeting of the Standing Committee on Interior in Islamabad IGP Sindh Ghulam Hyder Jamali had claimed that the militants targeted a bus carrying Ismaili community members in Karachi earlier this year belonged to Daesh – Islamic State. He further divulged that the suspects of Safoora attack had been getting instructions from one Abdul Aziz in Syria.

Two days later a section of media claimed that the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of the Sindh police had prepared a list of 53 terrorists, who are affiliated Islamic State.

According to reports Abdullah Yousuf alias Abdul Aziz and also Saqib is the Ameer of Daesh – also known Islamic State – , while another suspected terrorist has been identified as Shahid Khokhar, who hails from Hyderabad.

Reports further said that the third terrorist is Bilal who is affiliated with Daesh and hails from Mirpurkhas.

However, on Wednesday a spokesman for the Sindh police said the news reports claiming that Sindh police had issued or prepared any list of 53 Islamic State (IS)-\’inspired\’ militants are incorrect.

The spokesman in his statement issued to media categorically denied issuance of such a list by any department working under Sindh police.

When this scribe contacted a senior police officer, he on the condition of anonymity told IGP Sindh’s either wrongly reported or was misreported in media. He said that no link between the attackers of Safoora incident and IS could be proved.

“Instead, they were inspired of the style of IS” he told while talking to The Frontier Post. He said the persons who carried this savage attack and those planning and implementing the killings of Ismailis had proven association with Al Qaeda Indian Subsequent (AQIS).

“Had the Islamic State have any network in Karachi they would haven’t deluded Zain Shahid and Bilal Rind” the Karachi youths through twitter”, he said, adding direct contact through the existing network could be their preferable step. No local link between Zain and Bilal and the ISIS could be found either, the police officer opines.

According to their interrogation report, a copy of which is available with The Frontier Post, Zain Shahid and Bilal Rind told interrogators that they were deluded through twitter by the terrorists based in Syria but they failed to cross Iran into Iraq and Turkey in a bid to reach their final destination. Both misled youths were later released on probation and the police are now closely watching their activities, police official said.

Both the arrested persons did not know each other but they were brought in contact and first met at the mosque of Boat Basin, a report said. “They were told to reach Turkey from Iran and from there they were offered by Daesh members to be taken to Syria” they told investigators.

Originally Published in The Frontier Post

Social media forums endangering people’s lives

So here is the list, which I had at my disposal while filing this story ( Reblogged here blow) some nearly three months ago.

I didn’t mention the names but Yesterday DIG South Dr Jamil Ahmed leaked a threat alert to media, which soon spread on social media.  When got the story three months ago I had in mind as how did Saad Aziz compile the list? How did it come to his mind? Why the segment of society having least relevance with terrorists?

Now, I came to know that it’s the social media forums, which are endangering lives of people.

Almost all names in the lists have been discussed in the thread dated May 11th, 2009, 12:27 AM.

AF-KAR

saad aziz safoora incident

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Siding with government and military that supports American led invading forces and not airing or publishing the militant’s point of view has been the criteria for making it to the hit-lists of Taliban and other proscribed organizations but Al Qaeda’s militants – presently in custody of law enforcers – have disclosed they had some more reasons as well, we have reliably learnt.

“Deep neck, skirts, mini-skirts, sleeveless dresses are promoting obscenity in the country and fashion designers are setting up foundation for an obscene and vulgar Pakistan” this was one of the reasons, which Saad Aziz – the alleged killer of Sabeen Mahmud and Safoora bus victims – shared in response to a question posed by interrogators as Why fashion designers be attacked.

For TV artists they perceived were gay and spreading homosexuality in the country, which was curved out of the Indian sub-continent in the name…

View original post 466 more words

Pashtun Jirga Vs US justice system

Why did ANP leader prefer Jirga over going to US court against relative of PTI leader?

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File Photo of ANP Sindh Chief, Shahi Syed, who faced fraud at the hands of a man Furqan – cousin of PTI leader Asad Qaiser – but Syed is reluctant to move to US court due to fears of Money Laundering case

Jalil Afridi/Naimat Khan

WASHINGTON/KARACHI: A senior Pakistani politician belonging to Awami National Party is reluctant to take a fraudulent  person to American court due to ‘dubious transactions’ and ‘fears of money laundering case’, credible sources told The Frontier Post.

Furqan has minted $200,000 from Syed through fraudulent means, sources said.

Senator Shahi Syed, the ANP’s Sindh President and father-in-law of Aimal Wali Khan confessed to have lost $75000, which is equal to Rs7.82million in fraud by a person belonging to Swabi district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Sources said the person alleged of fraud is Furqan Khan, a cousin of the speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly, Asad Qaisar who is currently in Washington DC. Shahi Syed while talking to The Frontier Post said that Furqan was partner with his elder son in a business and now Furqan is refusing to return the $75,000 he had taken from his son.

According to sources Furqan has told Shahi Syed to go to American courts against him if his claim is correct but ‘dubious transaction of money’ is the main hurdle in Shahi Syed way to fight his case in the court. Shahi Syed is instead using his contacts for securing the money through Jirga.

When Shahi Syed was asked by The Frontier Post as to why he was not going to American courts despite a big fraud with him, he said he is persuading Furqan through Jirga. “He is one among us, he is from Swabi and it is better that we resolve the issue through Jirga amicably”, he told the FP on phone from Mardan. Source said Shahi Syed had gone to Mardan in order to hold a Jirga for securing his money.

When asked as through which channel he had sent such a huge amount of money to Washington, he said it was his son’s money, and he prior moving to the US had been running his own showroom in Dubai since 2007.

Shahi Syed refuted that his sons had acquired US residency, which requires of an applicant to submit five million U.S. Dollars with the US immigration department. Credible sources told this scribe that both sons of Shahi Syed have obtained residency against the payment of $1million, equal to RS100.43millions. The ANP Sindh chief refuted and said one of his sons was studying in the Washington University on a student visa whereas the elder one had obtained a two-year Visa and was doing his own business there.

Sources, however, said Yaseen, the older son of Shahi Syed, had applied for the residency whereas the process was also started for the youngest one. The ANP leader has four sons; two of them – one a Doctor and another Lawyer – are resided in the United Kingdom. Shahi Syed has confined himself to Islamabad.

Shahi Syed, who was born and raised in Babuzai village of Mardan district of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa moved to Karachi where he started driving a Rikshaw on lease. But he soon become a rich man and then attracted the attention of ANP’s central leadership. Almost all old stalwarts, including Ameen Khattak, were sidelined and his residence, Mardan House, situated in the affluent DHA neighborhood became the party’s center in Sindh.

Shahid Syed further came closer to Asfandiyar’s family after giving the hands of his daughter to son of ANP Chief.

It’s likely that the authorities in National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which has become ultra active these days, will kick off probing the case because some people close to Asad Qaiser’s cousin have shared information with the corruption watchdog.

Insiders in ANP say the ANP Chief Asfandyar Ali Khan has also setup several businesses in Malaysia, Dubai and other gulf states with the help of Shahi Syed.

Disgruntled leaders, including the late Azam Hoti, had been accusing ANP leadership of huge corruption. Asfandyar’s step mother and president ANP-Wali has also alleged the ANP leadership of massive corruption.

It’s also pertinent to mention that many second and third tier leaders have also applied for asylums in USA and

European countries under the guise of Taliban threat after transferring huge amounts from Pakistan to their respective countries.

The Story was published in The Frontier Post

Brother of senior police officer involved in Safoora carnage

Logo: This is the second high profile involvement by people related to Sindh Police in any act of terrorism
File Logo: This is the second high profile involvement by a person related to Sindh Police in any act of terrorism

Naimat Khan
KARACHI: Brother of a senior officer of the Sindh police has been involved in the Safoora Bus attack that had left 45, including women, dead, it was reliably learnt on Monday.

According to sources the name of Zaheer Shaikh, who is the elder brother of a senior superintendent level officer of the Sindh police, was disclosed by Sheeba Ahmed, the alleged financier of Al- Qaeda Indian Sub-Continent arrested last month.

Sheeba Ahmed had disclosed the name of Hafiz Nasir, Hafiz Umar, Azhar , Ali Rehman and Zaheer Shaikh, a senior official associated with high profile case told this scribe on the condition of anonymity. Two of them, he said, have already been arrested by Sindh Police.

According to sources the brother of Zaheer Shaikh, who is still at large, was previously posted in Karachi.

Also read: Officials in LEAs have sectarian affiliations, report reveals

This is the second high level involvement of a family member of a senior police officer in any case of high profile terrorism. Previously, the Son of SSP Ali Sher Jhakrani, Awais Jhakrani, was found involved in the Navy Dockyard attack.

According to sources the disclosures have been made by Sheeba Ahmed, the financier of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Sub-Continent, who had also confessed to his association with Tanzeem-e-Islami, a party founded by Dr Israr Ahmed.
Addressing news conference SSP Naveed Khawaja had said last month that the suspect was resident of an affluent neighborhood and was running business of chemical in Pakistan and the neighbor Islamic countries.
He said that Sheeba is financing the terrorists with the money he earn from his business abroad. “Sheeba Ahmed not only prepared Safoora attackers mentally but also extended complete financial support to them to execute the Ismaili community carnage”, CTD official claimed.

A suspect, namely Hasan Zaheer, arrested from Lahore had also disclosed that Sheeba Ahmed had treated the terrorists injured in Lahore in a local hospital of the city there Khawaja informed.

The case of Safoora has brought to fore the involvement of affluent segments of the society in acts of terrorism and the involvement of Zaheer Shaikh is one of the startling ones. By now a businessman, IBA graduate and family member of senior police officials have been alleged to be involved in one of the worst terrorism against Ismaili religious minority.

Previously, Colonel level officer of Pakistan Army – Ali Khan – was court martial for his association with Hizb-ut-Tehreer, which has been enlisted as outlawed by the Government of Pakistan.

An edited version of this story was published in The Frontier Post