Liberty attack terrorist arrested -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Liberty attack terrorist arrested

By: Asif Chaudhry

LAHORE – In a major breakthrough, City police have broken down the network of terrorist organisation ‘Punjabi Taliban Tehreek’ as it has arrested one of its members Zubair alias Naik Muhammad who was also involved in the attack on Sri Lankan Cricket team in March.

The actual plan of terrorists was to kidnap the Lankan team and make them hostage till the release of their some important leaders arrested by the law enforcement agencies. They, however, changed the plan after some policemen offered them resistance.

This was revealed by CCPO Lahore, Pervez Rathore, while addressing a press conference at Police Lines, Qilla Gujjar Singh on Wednesday. DIG Investigation Lahore, SSP Investigation Zulfiqar Hameed and SP CIA Umer Virk were also present on the occasion.

The CCPO said arrested terrorist, Zubair, was one of the seven terrorists who took part in the operation at Liberty Chowk and shot dead traffic warden Tanveer Iqbal.

While six other terrorists involved in the attack have also been identified. They are: Muhammad Aqeel alias Dr Usman of Tehsil Kahuta, Rawalpindi, ring leader of the terrorists who also masterminded the attack on Lankan team, Samiullah lias Ijaz of Safdar Abad, Nankana, Adnan alias Sajjad hailing from Dera Ghazi Khan, Qari Ihsan alias Qari Ajmal of Bahwalpur and Abdul Wahab alias Muhammad Umer. They have been escaped to Waziristan after attack on Lankan team to avoid arrests.

Terming it a major breakthrough, Rathore said police were able to trace terrorists’ network after they (police) taped their mobile conversations.

SSP Investigation Zulifqar Hameed said the PTT was formed three or four years ago and have strong links with Baitullah Mehsud.

He said instead of hiring vehicles terrorists purchased two auto rickshaws, three motorcycles and two cars, giving police little room to investigate.

Without naming anyone, SSP said foreign countries are funding the organisation.

Terrorists arrived Lahore a week before the attack and took houses on rent in different colonies. Ringleader Dr Usman got a room in Toheed Hostels in Wahdat Colony. After the attack, he went back to his room, changed his clothes and disappeared. Police later recovered his clothes from the said room.

Zubair alias Naik Muhammad took house on rent in Madina Colony near Walton Road. His sister was also living in the same area separately and he had met her several times before the attack. While the others were living in rented houses on Multan Road in front of Mansoora and some other areas of the City.

They submitted fake national identity cards while purchasing vehicles and getting houses on rent.

“The police had established identity of the main accused Aqeel alias Dr Usman within 48 hours of the terrorists attack on Lankan Team,” the SSP disclosed. The identity of two other terrorists Muhammad Umer and Zubair had also been established within one week of the incident.

Giving details, the SSP said Aqeel alias Dr Usman having offered his Fajr prayer reached near Jamia Ashrafia near Muslim Town Mor where his accomplices Samiullah alias Ijaz and Adnan alias Sajjad also joined him and they all reached Kalma Chowk on rickshaw where another terrorist Abid was already waiting for them in his rickshaw. They later reached Liberty Chowk.

Meanwhile, other terrorists also reached there on cars and motorcycles. They all wore suicide jackets and were fully alert at 7:00am near Liberty Chowk.

Dr Usman asked them when he would first fire a rocket on the bus of Lankan players it would be a signal to launch for massive attack.

The SSP said after attacking the bus, the accused tried to contact Dr Usman for further instructions but failed. They then all managed to escape from the site.

He said arrested terrorist Zubair alias Naik Muhammad also escaped from the site and threw suicide jacket and other weapons in front of a house in J Block of Gulberg.

He later went to his sister’s house where he stayed for a while before leaving for Multan then to his Dera Ismail Khan residence. Responding to a question, the SSP said Qari Ihsan-ul-Haq alias Qari Ajmal was the head of the training camp. He was identified through CCTV footage wearing shalwar qameez during attack.

Answering to another question, he said arrested terrorist Zubair after abandoning relations with his family had started working at a hotel in Rawalpindi where he met with Saifullah. It was Saifullah who made up him mind for Jihad and took him to Meeran Shah.

Meanwhile, unidentified men killed Saifullah and another terrorist Qari Aslam asked Zubair to join his camp in Meeran Shah.

The police also presented the arrested terrorist Zubair before the journalists with a covered face.

Talking to the newsmen, Zubair disclosed that Aqeel, mastermind of the armed attack, supervised all the arrangements.

He also confessed that he had opened fire and killed on duty traffic warden Tanvir Iqbal.

Earlier, the CCPO said that the video clips of the attack also confirmed it was Zubair who opened fire and killed traffic warden.

Source: The Nation

Date:6/18/2009