Despite Pakistan’s official moves against a host of jihadi groups, there are a host of others that are still at work: “Keen to stymie the negative impact of the two assassination attempts on President Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistan government is likely to ban more jihadi groups.” This from The Times of India, with thanks to Jean-Luc.
“Informed intelligence sources told the Daily Times that for a start a ban could be imposed on the Harkatul Jihad-e-Islami (HJI) and the Jamiatul Mujahideen (JM) on the basis of evidence that they were involved in the suicide attacks of December 14 and 25.
“According to the interior ministry sources, 60 suspects have been picked up in Punjab province so far for their involvement in the attacks or for having links with the attackers. Of them, 15 have been released after preliminary investigations.
“According to a law enforcement agency report, the suspects are from defunct groups like the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ), Tehrik-e-Khuddamul Islam (TKI), Jamiatul Ansar (JA), Jamiatul Furqan (JF), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Harkatul Mujahideen Alalmi (HMA), the HJI and JM.
“‘Law enforcement agencies were initially confused about how so many groups could be involved in the suicide attacks, but some of the suspects revealed that several Jihadi organisations, including some Kashmiri militant groups, have formed a joint working group to target American and Western interests,’ the sources said.
“In one instance, a Lashkar-e-Taiba jihadi was arrested in Gujranwala district’s Maneecher Chattha village after a telephone conversation was recorded in which he got instructions about a new plan to kill the president. In another instance, an Arab national, identified as Ghazanfar Ghazal, is also suspected of involvement in the suicide attack.
“Sources said 25 men had been arrested in Lahore since December 26. ‘Some arrested suspects have confessed to their relations with al-Qaeda,’ they added.
“One of the important arrests was of a former head of the HJI office in Chauburji. He reportedly had links with Arab militants and was under constant surveillance by the intelligence agencies after he was first arrested and released in June last year. Intelligence sources claim that this suspect remained in touch with the foreign militants. He was arrested on Saturday night.”