If you look in the right place

Urban hideouts

Pakistani security forces have arrested an al Qaeda related gang of terrorists responsible for the attack on the Karachi corps commander. Their prompt success shows with the right motivation, the Pakistani authorities know where to look for al Qaeda terrorists. The wild goosehunt in Waziristan may succeed in catching extremist tribesmen who form al Qaeda’s operational ranks but it is in the big cities that almost all senior al Qaeda leaders have been arrested. That suggests that the hunt for bin Laden and al Zawahiri will be more successful if they look in the right place.

The men were arrested over the weekend in separate raids in Karachi, Faisal said. “They have confessed to a key role in the attack. They have a direct link to al-Qaeda.” Another suspect arrested in the past 24 hours was identified as the mastermind of two sectarian attacks in Quetta in the past few months that left scores dead. Faisal did not reveal his name.

The forces arrested an al-Qaeda operative who is the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, and had a $1 million reward on his head, Faisal said. The minister identified the man as Musabir Urumchi. “Our security forces have arrested an eight-member gang of foreign al-Qaeda operatives for their involvement in acts of terrorism in Pakistan, including Thursday’s attack on the corps commander’s convoy in Karachi,” Faisal said. “These militants are of Central Asian origin and their ring leader was Ataullah,” the Interior Minister said. The ringleader who goes by one name is an Uzbek national, he said. The group was trained in Shakai in the tribal region of South Waziristan, he said. “The arrest of the gang is a phenomenal breakthrough for us.”

Hayat did not disclose the circumstances under which the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was arrested nor did he specify the location. He said eight of the arrested called themselves the Jandalla group. “Our investigations have established that this eight-member gang was involved in most acts of terrorism in Karachi and Quetta,” he said. [Jang/The News]