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Seminaries playing courier for TTP in 'fund-raising drive'
[DAWN] ISLAMABAD: Seminaries operating inside the capital are reportedly assisting Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) with the collection of extortion and ransom money by arranging deals between Death Eaters and their victims, sources in civil and military intelligence agencies said. In addition, the seminaries are also providing courier services to the TTP by arranging for the money to be transported to pre-determined locations easily accessible for TTP personnel, sources said.

Intelligence officials said that an analysis of the calls made in cases of extortion and ransom demands revealed that most of them came from Miranshah
... headquarters of al-Qaeda in Pakistain and likely location of Ayman al-Zawahiri. The Haqqani network has established a ministate in centered on the town with courts, tax offices and lots of madrassas...
in North Wazoo.

Officials cited the case of retired Lt-Gen Dr Mehmoodul Hasan, who in 2013 received a call from a man named Latif, who introduced him as the second-in-command to Hakimullah Mehsud and demanded Rs50 million in extortion money.

Following the demand, an administrator from an Islamabad-based seminary acted as the mediator and finalised their deal at Rs10 million. The man also sent two persons to collect the money from Lt-Gen Hasan.

"Then, nearly a month ago, a man named Ashfaq called Lt-Gen Hasan again, demanding a further Rs50 million within 10 days," the officials said, adding that this was followed by another call from someone who identified himself as a leader of the Taliban and asked the general to ensure they got their money within 72 hours.

"The same man who brokered the first agreement was used to negotiate the price," the officials said.

Moreover, two industrialists from Faizabad and a politician have been receiving calls for extortion since a year, the officials said, adding that they refused to pay the amount and also denied meetings with those who approached them for finalising the deal. In response, the miscreants affiliated with Qari Sanaullah, allies of Qari Mansoor affiliated with TTP based in Miranshah, are planning to target them, they added.

The officials said that the role of the religious seminaries in collecting extortion for the TTP was established and action against them has been suggested.

"It was decided to mount intelligence and vigilance around the victims and the religious seminaries which would help trace and arrest those who are behind the extortions."

The vigilance will spot them whenever they contact the victims for finalising the deal, they added.

The officials further stated that the groups of TTP, involved in generating funds through extortion and kidnapping for ransom, also stay at the seminaries and get assistance from there.

The officials said that intelligence reports also revealed that the extortion and ransom money remained in the seminaries before being transported to other locations by the groups' members.

Moreover, some victims of kidnapping for ransom were also detained there before being taken to the tribal areas, they added.

Earlier, the role of religious seminaries to assist the TTP in conducting terrorism in the twin cities was unearthed last month. The report, prepared jointly by the special branches of Islamabad and Rawalpindi police, suggested that TTP got full support from religious seminaries and worship places of the likeminded Deobandi school of thought.

The report also identified 20 seminaries, all located in Rawalpindi, which were used by Taliban for terrorist attacks in the city.

They are located at Cantonment, Tench Bhatta, Girja Road, Westridge, Dhamyal Camp, Saddar, Ittehad Colony Khayaban-e-Sir Syed, Kashmire Bazaar, Pindora, Sadiqabad, Pirwadhai, Chaklala, and Dhoke Hassu.

Suicide attack case accused charge sheeted
The Royal Artillery Bazaar (RA Bazaar) police on Thursday submitted charge sheet against Qari Sanaullah in Pirwadhai Morr suicide attack case to Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) No II Judge Baqir Ali Rana.

The accused refused to accept the charge sheet. Upon this, the court adjourned the hearing till August 7 with the direction to the prosecution to present the witnesses.

According to details, an unidentified suicide bomber blew himself up at a bus station near Pirwadhai Morr on March 15. Six people were killed and dozens injured. The police in collaboration with other-law enforcement agencies arrested the suspects Qari Sanaullah of Islamabad and Rizwan Abdul Qadir of Chontra from the city last month and recovered a suicide jacket, a hand grenade, two pistols and 90 live rounds from them.

Police arrest 43 'terrorists'
Police claim to have arrested at least 43 suspected terrorists from various parts of the province as part of a countrywide crackdown against militants. On Wednesday, officials revealed they had arrested 25 suspected Taliban from Islamabad, some of who were plotting attacks on foreign targets.

Most wanted: "We have arrested 25 Taliban and recovered suicide jackets from them. Six of the men arrested had been on the most wanted list," Islamabad police chief Kaleem Imam said. "These terrorists, who hailed from Swat and Waziristan, were planning sabotage activities in Karachi, Lahore and other big cities," he added. "Their targets mostly were law enforcement agencies, vital installations and foreign dignitaries," the police chief said.

Confirming the threat, the Swedish Foreign Ministry has claimed that one of the men arrested had told investigators he had been preparing for attacks on embassies, including the Swedish mission.

Also on Wednesday, Punjab Inspector General Tariq Saleem Dogar told a top-level meeting in Lahore that the 18 terrorists had been arrested in from Punjab and suicide jackets recovered over the past month and a half.

The meeting discussed means to improve counter terrorism measures being taken in Punjab. It was told of the integrated and intensive strategy being implemented to combat terrorism, which had led to the arrest of 18 terrorists and suicide bombers over the last month-and-a-half. The meeting was told that Shahbaz Ali Khalid alias Abdullah, Shujat Ali alias Tikka, Muhammad Akhtar Naeem alias Shah Jee, Said Ahmad alias Mujahid and Qari Muhammad Arshad were planning to commit terrorist acts, while Qari Asim, Muhammad Zubair, Rizwan Mehmood, Rizwan Abdul Qadir, Qari Sanaullah, Hijratullah alias Shakirullah alias Pattanga alias Sher Khan, Muhammad Zubair alias Naik Muhamad, Malik Naeem Haider alias Waqas alias Vikki alias Haji, Ghulam Mustafa Qaisrani, Qari Muhammad Ismaeel, Saleem Zaman, Abdul Hayee, Abdullah alias Ghazali were wanted by the Punjab Police for their involvement in the Rawalpindi Peer Wadhai bombing; the Police Training School attack in Manawan, the attack on Mianwali Checkpost, Sri Lankan Cricket Team attack and the suicide attack on a mourners' procession in DG Khan.
Alias Vikki? Good Gawd. I hope it's not Vicky, possessor of the Bosom of Desire. I don't think I could take that. But it's probably not. That was a long time ago, in a convertible far away...

Afghanistan/South Asia
Farooqi planted
Hundreds of people gathered at a village in central Pakistan on Wednesday for the funeral of Amjad Hussain Farooqi, a militant described as a key link between al Qaeda and local militant groups. Farooqi's village, known not by a name, but a number -- 682/27-GB -- is located in Toba Tek Singh district of Pakistan's Punjab province. News of his funeral attracted hundreds of people from nearby villages and towns. His brother, Javed Farooqi, told Reuters police had informed him Amjad's body would be released to the family for the funeral later in the day. "I informed all our relatives and friends," he said. "But I don't know at what time his body will be handed over to us."

As family members prepared for the burial and ordered a grave to be dug, people began arriving from the nearby towns, and the numbers had swollen to more than a 1,000 people by nightfall. They included both sympathisers and the curious. "It was a cruelty to kill Amjad," said one of his relatives, Qari Sanaullah, who said he last met Farooqi 18 month ago. "He was a loyal Pakistani and committed Muslim."
" mean, there's lotsa people who're bloody-handed serial murderers! Why pick on him?"
Sanaullah said Farooqi had told him in that meeting that he had been a personal security guard of Osama bin Laden before September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, and had committed his life and death to Islam and jihad, or Holy war. Farooqi was known to have been close to the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, who was arrested in Pakistan last year. Sanaullah said Farooqi, in his 30s, had recruited three to four hundred men from Toba Tek Singh to fight a jihad, or holy war, against enemies of Islam, and used to condemn Muslims leaders for siding with the United States. Farooqi's supporters had daubed slogans of support on some walls in the village, including "Long Live Jaish-e-Mohammad", referring to the banned Islamic party to which he belonged.

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