Al-Qaeda’s media cell busted in Gujranwala

GUJRANWALA- Five terrorists running Al-Qaeda’s media cell have been arrested from Gujranwala in a joint operation conducted by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and an intelligence agency on Friday.

According to CTD officials, intelligence agencies had been keeping a track of the terrorists for several months and collecting information about them. The arrested men have been identified as Asim Akbar, Abdullah, Umair, Ahmed alias Qasim, Muhammad Yousuf and Muhammad Yaqoob.

CTD officials said the “suspected terrorists were planning to carry out an attack in Gujranwala and that they recovered improvised explosive devices (IED), suicide jackets and weapons from them”.

Officials further said the suspected terrorists were “running an Al-Qaeda media cell” and were also “sending funds to the leadership based in Afghanistan”. They added the suspected terrorists had recently shifted the network from Karachi to Gujranwala.

All the arrested accused have been shifted to an unknown place.

Laptops with encrypted data, cell phones, a printing press, explosives, five Kalashnikov rifles, ammunition and cash were found. “They were planning attack on law enforcement officials in Gujranwala,” the CTD statement added, without giving more details on the plot.

According to CTD official, Muhammad Imran, the raid was carried out in collaboration with the country’s top intelligence agency, the Inter Services Intelligence.

The suspects arrested late Thursday belong to the al-Qaida branch active in the region and known as Al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent, he said, adding that the men ran a media cell for the terror network and coordinated its militant operations in the region. One of the arrested men was an expert in forged documents, while another specialised in digital media and publications, the official also said.

Imran said electronic equipment, weapons and explosive vests were seized in the raid. He said the suspects were also involved in raising funds for Al-Qaeda.

The Nation