Qaeda's gateway in Lahore busted in covert operation
21 August, 2013
LAHORE: Law enforcement agencies on Tuesday busted al Qaeda's international technical hub/communication centre in the Green Town area of the city. The group was reportedly running the gateway in a rented house in Bagrian Chowk, Green Town.
The agencies also arrested two terrorists linked with the group for their alleged involvement in the kidnapping of former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani's son, Ali Haider Gilani. Sources said that the arrested men, identified as Hassan Gul and Dawood, belong to two different wings of the group, and that three of their accomplices managed to escape before the raid. Law enforces shifted the arrested to an undisclosed location for interrogation.
Sources said that at least two women were also arrested from the house, and that the agencies had recovered latest sophisticated weapons and explosives from those arrested.
Security officials said the same group was involved in the kidnapping of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer's son, Shahbaz Taseer, with the communication assistance of the network. The gateway was being used to gather and disseminate information about 'high-value targets' to other affiliated groups of terrorists.
According to sources, the centre also maintained data of influential persons, and monitored the activities of police and other law enforcers through latest communication system.
According to reports, the raid came following intelligence agencies' reports regarding the operation of a communication gateway in the area a few days ago. Afterwards, the law enforced started monitoring the activities of the residents and raided the facility after gathering necessary information.
"The culprits had been engaged in mobile phone tracing of their victims," a source said. The network is reported to have an organised set up throughout the province.
"The culprits have been planning to kidnap the son of a key political figure," the source said, and added that the group also tried to get some more rented houses in different area of the city. They said that the members of this group had also finalised the attack on Kot Lakhpat jail and other important area of the city.
On the issue, a Lahore police spokesman said that the operation had solely been conducted by intelligence agencies, without the involvement of the local police.
He also said that the police did not receive any information regarding arrests made during the operation.