Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Pakistan police uncover Al-qaeda and women-led ISIS fundraising network.
Pakistan police uncover women-led ISIS fundraising network. (ST).
Police in Pakistan's port city of Karachi said Monday (Dec 21) they were hunting a network of women from well-off families acting as fundraisers for the Islamic State group, highlighting the outfit's growing appeal among the country's middle-classes.
Raja Umar Khattab, chief of the Counter Terrorism Department of Sindh province said the hunt was launched after police arrested the suspected financier of a gun attack on a bus that left 44 people dead in May.
Four well-educated people, including one who had studied at two American universities and was running his own educational institution, have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the Safoora carnage and other terrorist attacks, according to a senior police officer.
Adil Butt had studied in the US and had set up his own College of Accountancy and Management Sciences, which had three branches where around 2,000 students were enrolled.
Mr Khattab said a special team arrested Khalid Bari, an engineer who used to work for the Pakistan International Airlines, on the basis of findings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of the Safoora carnage case.
Bari’s ties with Al Qaeda member Dr Akmal Waheed were established in 1996, he said. Previously, he was associated with Tanzeem-i-Islami led by late Dr Israr Ahmed but later left it.
Bari had also developed ties with the Karachi chief of Al Qaeda, Umar alias Jalal Chandio, the mastermind of the Safoora attack, Abdullah Yusuf, and Saad Aziz, Mufti Tausif, Saleem Ahmed, Suleman Saad and Adil Butt.
“They all were associated with a network of terrorists and provided financial and other support to the militants,” said the CTD chief.
Khalid Bari was an electronics engineer who studied at the Dawood College of Engineering and Technology (now a university). During initial investigations, he made several important disclosures, said Mr Khattab.
For instance, he told the interrogators that his wife had established Al-Zikra Academy where at least 20 educated and rich women were allegedly involved in brainwashing women besides generating funds for terrorist groups.
On the basis of his disclosures, another three suspects — Saleem Ahmed, Mohammed Suleman Saeed and Adil Butt — were arrested, said the CTD chief.
Saleem Ahmed used to collect donations for a militant group in 1992-93. During this period he also gave sermons which were attended among others by Abdullah Yusuf, the mastermind of the Safoora bus attack.
“Abdullah Yusuf and his brother Farhan Yusuf were associated with Al Qaeda,” said Mr Khattab.
Saleem also had close ties with Moid Islam, a member of Al Qaeda who was killed in an encounter with Rangers in Gulistan-i-Johar.
Mohammad Suleman Saeed is brother-in-law of Abdullah Yusuf and used to collect donations outside mosques and was also involved in delivering sermons in mosques and homes. He was also associated with Dar-ul-Fanoon Trust and used to provide funds to it.
“Adil Masood Butt is a highly qualified and rich man who studied at St Patrick’s and St Paul’s schools in Karachi and proceeded to the US where he did BBA from Indiana University in 1987 and MBA from New York Fordham University in 1992,” Mr Khattab said.
Adil Butt along with his partners established the College of Accountancy and Management Sciences (CAMS).
“The arrest of the four suspects revealed that a strong network of women was being led by Mrs Khalid Yusuf Bari who also distributed USBs containing videos about IS,” Mr Khattab said.
The arrests showed clearly that militant and terrorist organisations had established strong networks in educational institutions, he said.
The CTD chief said police were closely monitoring all universities in Sindh, including in Karachi. He urged the people to exercise extreme caution while giving donations which might be used for carrying out terrorist attacks. Hmmm......So much for the 'Poor uneducated terrorist' theory.......And they all had jobs. Read the full story here.