Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Pakistan Foils Three Suspected Terror Plots in Two Days

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Pakistan Foils Three Suspected Terror Plots in Two Days

Article excerpt

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A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

Police in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city and financial capital, announced Monday the arrest of seven militants accused of planning suicide attacks. It was one of three suspected terror plots foiled throughout the country in the past two days. Together with a suicide bomb Sunday, the events underscored that Pakistan remains vulnerable to terrorist attacks even after the Aug. 7 death of Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud.

After receiving a tipoff, on Sunday night Karachi police arrested seven members of the banned militant organization Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). In the raid police recovered three suicide jackets, four Kalashnikovs, two gas masks, 15 kilograms of explosives, and two kilograms of heroin, reports The New York Times.

One of the men arrested was a close associate of Amjad Hussain Farooqi, who is accused of trying to assassinate former president Pervez Musharraf and of facilitating the 2002 beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

According to Agence France-Presse, the LeJ militants were planning to hit government and police establishments as well as Shiite mosques in Karachi.

LeJ was previously known as a Sunni sectarian group, but has recently developed ties with the Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda. A recent report by Jane's, an intelligence group, describes the outfit as "perhaps the country's most extreme and feared militant group."

According to the Associated Press, the Karachi arrests confirms the connection between the drug trade and militant financing.

[Police officer Fayyaz] Khan said finding drugs along with weapons was a first for Karachi police.

"It is often talked about that militants do drug business to finance their needs, but this is the first time we have arrested such a gang," Khan said, adding that the raid had yielded intelligence about where the drugs are sold and how the profits move back through Pakistan to the Afghan Taliban. …

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