The official of Counter-Terrorism Department Raja Umer Khattab, in a press conference, said the militants who attacked Ismaili community bus near Safoora Chowk were inspired by self-styled Islamic State and wanted to create its link with the global terror outfit.
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He said the interrogation by a joint investigation team (JIT) of the five detained suspects had been completed. Besides Tahir, the other four suspects are Saad Aziz, Hafiz Nasir Ahmed, Mohammed Azhar Ishrat and Asad Rehman.
They were previously associated with Al-Qaeda but last year Tahir alias Minhas alias Sain, the key suspect in the Safoora bus attack case, developed some differences with another militant, Jalal, over provision of funds and other organisational matters, the officer said. Later, Tahir established his own group while Jalal remained associated with Al-Qaeda, he added.
Khattab said interrogation of the suspects revealed that they were involved in over two dozen attacks.
Safoora bus attack
He went on to describe that the militants had planned to target Ismaili community members two months ago. He said they had done a recce of the bus five times and prepared a map in which six points were shown. At least 10 militants actually took part in the terror act while their two accomplices were present in their cars at nearby places, he disclosed.
“At least six attackers barged into the bus. Some of them were wearing police uniform, others were clad in shalwar-qameez and trousers and shirts. Four of the attackers fired at the passengers, another drove the bus while one stood on the door so that no one could escape.
The attackers used foreign weapons, said the CTD officer, adding that they executed the plan within 10 to 12 minutes.
Sabeen Mahmud murder
Khattab said Saad Aziz was the main suspect in the murder of rights activist Sabeen Mahmud. Before killing her, he had attended two seminars at her social forum, The Second Floor. He also showed a picture in which he was seen sitting there.
“Saad Aziz hatched a plan to kill Sabeen Mahmud as he did not like her views about Lal Masjid cleric, Valentine’s Day and Burqa (veil),” said the CTD officer.
As Ms Mahmud left her office along with her mother and driver in a car, Saad Aziz and Mehmood chased them on their motorcycle and targeted her at the Defence traffic signal before fleeing, the officer added.