Four suspected Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists planning an attack on scheduled political rallies in Islamabad have been arrested, police have said.
One of the accomplices, however, evaded arrest.
Police also recovered from the terrorists a shopping bag filled with 500 grams of explosives, 450 grams of ball bearings and iron nails, and detonators, as reported in Dawn. Police registered a case against the suspects under the 7-Anti-Terrorrism Act (ATA) and sections 4 and 5 of the Explosives Act. The suspects remain in police custody on four-day physical remand.
According to the first information report (FIR), the station house officer (SHO) of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) police station received a tip about the presence of the alleged terrorists who were hoarding explosives in Shakarparian in preparation for an attack.
The five suspects were spotted at Srinagar Highway near Zero Point. Four were apprehended while one managed to escape. The suspects were identified as members of TTP, and reportedly each lived in different areas of the capital city.
The TTP has announced a Ramadan offensive under the name of ‘Al Badr’ against security forces and their collaborators in Pakistan, warning of ‘[suicide] operations, ambush attacks, mine operations, counter-attack, target attacks, laser and sniper operation.”
Political rallies from all quarters, including both supporters of Prime Minister Imran Khan, as well as backers of the opposition, are expected in Islamabad in the wake of the no-confidence vote in the National Assembly.
In January, the TTP claimed responsibility for an attack targeting two policemen in Islamabad. The banned terrorist outfit has reportedly remobilized in recent months. Journalists in Khyber Pakhtunkwa confirmed that TTP was raising funds from southern Afghanistan, after a leaflet asking people from Khost, Afghanistan for donations began circulating on social media.
“We’re doing what our brothers (Afghan Taliban) used to do (collect donations) in Pakistan”, one TTP source told journalists.