Newly emerged terror outfit warns media against ‘hostile reporting’

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Jamaatul Ansar al Sharia – the newly emerged terror outfit –, on Tuesday threatened media, especially a news channel and a right-winger Urdu daily published from Karachi.

“We sincerely advise the anti-Christianly [Dajjali] media especially Samaa news channel and Daily Ummat to refrain from publishing misleading news otherwise they will have to regret,” reads the statement issued by Dr Abdullah Hashmi, spokesman of Jamaat al Ansar Sharia Pakistan. In a two-page statement, the terror outfit has claimed responsibility of two incidents, claiming that those killed at Super Highway were not from Razakar force but they were policemen.

Jamaatul Ansar al Sharia, the group which has claimed several attacks on police is considered a lethal group.

According to police the Jamaat comprised battle-hardened members who have returned home from Syria and are likely to be more experienced than the home-grown militants.

Hours after the suicide attack in Lahore, a traffic policeman was killed and another wounded in firing incident on Abdul Hasan Isphani road of the city. According to reports, the two traffic police wardens were controlling the traffic near Disco Bakery when armed motorcyclists opened fire at them.

The deceased warden was later identified as Muhammad Khan and the wounded as Kamran.

A week earlier, three policemen were martyred when assailants targeted a police mobile van of Awami Colony police station in the Korangi area of the city. On June 23, four policemen were martyred in the SITE area when they were breaking their fast.

A pamphlet bearing a message from a militant group Ansar al Sharia Pakistan was found from the crime scene. And this is from where the law enforcers assumed that the new series of attacks on policemen is being carried out by the ‘new’ terror outfit. However, TTP on Monday claimed that all claims were wrong as they had snatched a gun, photos of which have been released to media.

Recently, a report published in a section of media claimed that security officials are apprehensive about reports that the TTP was attempting to re-establish its financial network in the city in a bid to increase its capability to launch terrorist attacks.

According to the report, the security officials assessed that the recent emergence of Ansarul Sharia Pakistan in Karachi — the outfit which was involved in a number of attacks targeting a former army official and several policemen — posed a serious threats to law enforcers.

Meantime, in a recent analysis of threat perceptions in Sindh, the Counter-Terrorism Department assessed that the TTP has largely been eradicated from the localities that were formerly under their control, such as Kunwari Colony and parts of Sohrab Goth.

But the CTD apprehended that by appointing Dawood Khan, a former police constable from the Quaidabad police station as their emir, or local chief, they indicated that Karachi remained a key battleground for them.

“The TTP was most likely to focus on re-establishing their financial support networks in Karachi and rebuilding the capability to launch large-scale attacks on public places or security forces,” feared the CTD.