Ansarul Shariah is least dangerous group

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Though “accidently” busted, the newly formed Ansarul Shariah Pakistan (ASP) terror outfit can’t be equated with Islamic State-Inspired Youth Network of Karachi, disclosed a senior police official.

“Though several members of the group have obtained military training from Afghanistan they were never capable for carrying out any violent act, except target killing” told a security source, adding that the way Hasaan, one of the group members, failed to escape and got killed speaks volume of the group’s incapability.

Most of the claims by Ansarul Shariah Pakistan have also turned out to be fake, especially its claim of terrorist acts in Quetta, Hub, Chaghi and other parts of Balochistan.

According to official, the group is mostly comprised of youths from Karachi. When asked if those arrested from Quetta and Multan had started working in those areas, the official claimed they had gone there just to escape arrest.

Meantime, a suspected terrorist belonging to militant outfit Ansarul Shariah was taken into custody by intelligence agencies during a police raid in Multan early Thursday.

According to reports the detained suspect, identified as Abdul Rehman alias Talha Ansari, was hiding in Multan’s Delhi Gate area after fleeing from Karachi, where police have been actively conducting a crackdown against the group.

According to reports Ansari is the group’s specialist in target killings and was called in for special assignments. He is also said to be a close associate of Sarosh Siddiqui, a senior leader of the group presently on the run from authorities.

In separate raids carried out in Quetta and Pishin, two more suspected terrorists of Ansarul Shariah were arrested by law enforcement agencies. Ansarul Sharia targetted police to make mark for themselves: sources

One of the suspects, Mufti Habibullah, is a teacher at a Hyderabad seminary. Sources said authorities there have conducted a raid at his house and seized a laptop other materials. Habibullah was nabbed by the agencies from Pishin.

The other suspect, Mushtaq, was nabbed from Quetta. He is said to be a teacher at the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Science.

A day earlier, the police arrested son of the dean Islamic Learning faculty of the University of Karachi for his alleged association with Ansar ul-Sharia Pakistan (ASP), a newly emerged terror outfit responsible for killing policemen and attacking leader of opposition in Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hasan.

Son of Dr Abdul Rasheed, Danish Rasheed, has been arrested from his house in Staff town inside the premises of the University of Karachi, sources told The Frontier Post. Dr Rasheed, who hails from Hazara District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was earlier interrogated in connection with murder of Dr Shakeel Auj, a university professor who interrogators say was killed for his religious belief. Police also took in their custody laptop, mobile phone, USB and other belonging of Danish, who is a graduate from a London University.

Meanwhile, the detained leader of Ansar ul-Sharia Pakistan (ASP) Dr Abdullah Hashmi – who was arrested on Tuesday night – and detained parents of other terrorists have made startling disclosures. According to Intelligence sources the arrested chief of ASP has told interrogators that he formed ASP in 2015 and contracted Abdullah Baloch of Al Qaeda for annexing his outfit with international terror organization but Baloch advised him to continue working independently.

Abdullah Baloch remained in Karachi during 2012 before he escaped a raid and went to Afghanistan. According to Hashmi his group is comprised of around 12 highly qualified youths from Karachi University, NED University and Dawood University of Engineering and Technology. All members of the group, Hashmi reported told interrogators, had obtained military training from Afghanistan.