Police in the Pakistani capital on Friday claimed to have foiled a possible terrorist attack by arresting two men with suicide jackets, grenades and pistols, hours after a series of audacious assaults in the eastern city of Lahore.
The two suspected terrorists were arrested on the outskirts of Islamabad at 9.15 pm on Thursday night while they were trying to sneak into the city on motorcycles to hit their targets, police said.
Another terrorist managed to escape with explosives. A contingent of police and paramilitary troops cordoned off the area and launched a search for him.
Besides the suicide jackets and grenades, police also seized detonators and pellets from the arrested men. The men — identified as Zain alias Mubashar Mehboob, 18, and Abdullah alias Abdul Hafiz, 35 — are now being interrogated by the Criminal Investigation Department. Zain was wearing a suicide jacket when he was caught.
Inspector General of Police Syed Kaleem Imam said there were reports that terrorists were trying to enter Islamabad to hit targets. “We are alert and prepared to counter acts of terrorism,” he said.
Police stepped up checking of vehicles and people at dozens of check posts set up across Islamabad. The men were arrested after three groups of terrorists attacked law enforcement facilities in Lahore, killing 18 people. Ten attackers were also killed. Another 12 people died in bombings in Kohat and Peshawar in northwest Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation Department in Islamabad has drawn up a list of 27 “highly dangerous” and “most wanted” terrorists who have facilitated or carried out several high-profile attacks in the federal capital.
Among them are members of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Harkat-ul-Islami, Qari Hussain group of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and the “Ghazi Force”, named after Lal Masjid deputy prayer leader Ghazi Abdul Rashid, who was killed in July 2007 during a military operation against extremists holed up in the radical mosque.
The list names Syed Ibraruddin of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Rana Mohammad Ishfaq and Mohammad Imran as the terrorists who facilitated last year’s suicide car bomb attack on the Marriott Hotel that killed nearly 60 people.
The list also includes names of militant commanders who are close associates of slain Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud and members of banned Shia and Sunni extremist groups, Dawn News channel reported.
Keywords: Terror attack bid, Islamabad police, suicide jackets, grenades, pistols, Criminal Investigation Department, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Harkat-ul-Islami, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Ghazi Force, Lal Masjid, Ghazi Abdul Rashid