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Karachi police disrupt Taliban’s weapons supply line
23 TTP militants arrested this year in Karachi, police say
By Javed Mahmood
KARACHI – The Crimes Investigation Department (CID) of the Karachi police has disrupted the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) weapons supply line in Karachi, a senior police official told Central Asia Online.
“We have arrested 23 activists of TTP in 2012 who were engaged in supplying weapons to their network in Karachi,” CID Chief Fayyaz Khan said. Two of the arrested suspects were accused of bringing in weapons from Waziristan and elsewhere; the other 21 allegedly distributed the weapons to the Taliban.
One man, identified only as Rehmanullah, is suspected of being a key weapons smuggler for at least two years.
The police recovered rocket launchers, hand grenades, suicide jackets, machine guns, pistols and bullets from the TTP’s weapons suppliers, he said.
“We have constituted different teams of CID officials who keep on monitoring the activities of Taliban and take action against them to foil their attempts of terrorism in the city,” Khan said.
The arrests and weapons confiscation have weakened the TTP network in Karachi and discouraged the militants from carrying out more attacks in the city, he said.
TTP’s small groups manage weapons supply
Khan said the Taliban formed small groups, usually of five to six activists, that manage the weapons supply in Karachi.
But when the CID arrests the members of one cell, he said, another group generally steps in to take over weapons distribution.
Khan, however, said the police have broken the TTP’s network of weapons supply in the city with so many arrests this year.
The Taliban’s weapon dealers were smuggling the weapons into the city by hiding them in secret compartments of buses and trucks, Khan said. The weapons are well-concealed, making it difficult for the police to discover them, unless they receive inside tips, he said.
The CID police have asked the government to provide sophisticated devices to detect hidden weapons, he added, but as yet no device has been supplied.
Anti-Extremist Cell of police
Six months ago, the Karachi CID established an Anti-Extremism Cell (AEC) to support the CID in its efforts to stop the Taliban from carrying out terrorism.
Chaudhry Aslam, a senior police officer who is on the hit list of Taliban, leads the AEC. On Sept 19, 2011, the Taliban attacked Aslam’s residence, killing eight people and injuring many others. Aslam and his family members were not injured.
Khan said the AEC has penetrated the Taliban’s network and is supporting police efforts to pre-empt any terror attacks.
Rehmanullah, the Taliban’s leading weapon supplier in Karachi, was arrested May 11, by the AEC from Mowach Goth, Aslam said.
Police made its largest recovery of weapons earmarked for the TTP in Karachi during Rehmanullah’s arrest.
Rehmanullah has confessed to having links with the TTP other militant groups, Aslam said, and he admitted to supplying weapons to them for the past two years.
Other than Rehmanullah, the leaders of 12 Taliban groups have been arrested since January 2012 in connection with weapons supply, Khan said. He identified the suspects as: Mohammad Hanif, Imtiaz Budha, Faisal Bhatti, Akhtar Zaman, Tasaddaq, Faisal Pahlawan, Shahnawaz Shani, Asadullah, Ataullah, Wahab Afghani, Dildar Dilawar and Mufti Shahid.
Based on interrogations of those 12, police have also rounded up 10 accomplices, he said.