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Wednesday Sep 06 2017

Ansarul Shariah Pakistan chief arrested by security forces: sources

KARACHI: Security forces arrested Sheheryar, the head of Ansarul Shariah in Pakistan from Kaneez Fatima society on Monday night, sources told Geo News on Tuesday, in the latest breakthrough against the terrorist organisation linked to recent attacks in the city. 

Sources said the Ansar ul Shariah chief went by the alias Dr Abdullah Hashmi.

According to sources, Sheheryar aka Abdullah Hashmi, worked as an IT (Information technology) expert and was employed in computer department of NED University. He received his Master’s degree in Applied Physics from the University of Karachi.

A high-level security source confirmed the arrest, claiming that more than six suspected terrorists were arrested in an intelligence-based operation (IBO) conducted by security forces and intelligence agencies in Karachi on Monday night.

Sources added that the suspected terrorists used to communicate through a smartphone app and also had recorded all terrorist activities carried out in the metropolis. 

Those arrested are said to be previously affiliated with Daesh, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and al-Qaeda.

The law enforcers found important material from the house of Sarosh Siddiqui, the suspected mastermind of the attack on Khawaja Izhar, who escaped the police raid on Monday.

The laptops, mobile phones and USBs recovered from Siddiqui's house had key record of the organisation, which helped unearth the nexus.

Ansarul Shariah member, Sarosh Siddiqui, who escaped a police raid on Monday, is believed to be the mastermind of the attack on MQM-P leader Khwaja Izhar and was a student of Karachi University.

Sources further added that one of the arrested individual was a graduate of a British university and the group comprised of highly educated militants.

The organisation had between 10 to 12 militants within its ranks, sources further added. 

The latest act of terrorism claimed by the group was an attempt on the life of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan as he left after offering Eid-ul-Azha prayers.

Police are searching for the suspected mastermind of the Eid-day attack on Khawaja Izharul Hassan, the opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly.

Police said that banned outfit Ansarul Shariah's commander, Sarosh Siddiqui, who escaped a police raid on Monday, is the mastermind of the attack and a student of Karachi University.

Police are conducting raids across the city to nab Siddiqui, who is on the run. Sources said several persons have been arrested in the raids, including an MSc student. 

Ansarul Shariah

The group has been involved in multiple terrorism incidents in Karachi and Mastung, security sources have said.

The group first made headlines in Karachi in April this year in the targeted killing of a retired army colonel.

Police officials also believe the group is behind several attacks on police officials in Karachi in the past few months and an IED blast targeting security forces in Mastung.

The outfit was not inspired by Daesh's ideology, but instead, it was influenced by al Qaeda's Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Initially, it did operate under Daesh's umbrella, however, differences led to the parting of the ways later.

The group comprises of militants from Al Qaeda Subcontinent, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Daesh, sources said.


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