Disastrous attack' on sensitive Pak buildings averted: Report

Disastrous attack' on sensitive Pak buildings averted: Report

A group of terrorists planned to target several buildings in Islamabad's heavily guarded Red Zone, including Parliament, Presidency, Prime Minister's Secretariat and the diplomatic enclave, as well as the ISI's headquarters.

Following simultaneous missile and rocket attacks on these buildings, the terrorists planned to use suicide bombers and snipers for a commando-style attack to storm Parliament and take lawmakers hostage, 'The News' daily quoted an investigation report as saying.

The terrorists had planned to fire a barrage of missiles, rockets and mortars from Bani Gala, a forested area located a few kilometres from the Red Zone.

The plot was uncovered after police raided a house in Chatta Bakhtawar on the outskirts of Islamabad last Saturday and seized a cache of rockets, artillery shells, grenades, assault rifles and ammunition. Five of the 14 terrorists involved in the plot have been arrested, the report said.

The investigation report prepared by Islamabad Police has been submitted to the President, Prime Minister and Interior Minister.

The newspaper report came a day after Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed authorities had foiled a major terrorist plot to target a high-security zone here, as police seized two vehicles carrying caches of arms and explosives.

Malik said the plot was uncovered after police seized a large quantity of weapons during a raid on a home in Chatta Bakhtawar suburb of Islamabad over the weekend.

Among the arrested terrorists, the newspaper said, was Mufti Imam Din, a resident of Bara Kahu area of Islamabad who was involved in kidnapping of the nephew of Supreme Court Bar Association President Asma Jehangir.

A member of the Ghazi Force terror group, he was trained in Afghanistan and is an expert in bomb making.

Another arrested terrorist, Qari Muhammad Kamran Ikram, was a resident of Gujar Khan in Rawalpindi district. He too is linked to the Ghazi Force, which was formed by followers of the clerics of the radical Lal Masjid in Islamabad.

The other arrested terrorists are Qari Arshad Ghaznavi, who was trained in Afghanistan and has fought against NATO forces, Mohsin Ali and Muhammad Afzal.

The terrorists told police during interrogation that they had worked out a plot to launch simultaneous attacks at different locations and create chaos so that suicide bombers and snipers could launch lethal strikes.

They claimed they had carried out the reconnaissance of their targets and finalised spots from where they intended to fire missiles and rockets.

Meetings were also held at a militant base at Miranshah in North Waziristan in July to chalk out the strategy for the attacks. Following these meetings, arms and ammunition needed for the attacks were shifted to Islamabad.

The terrorists revealed that a retired officer, who lives in Islamabad, helped them by providing technical details for the attacks, including the trajectory of missiles and rockets and other such matters.

The unnamed officer consulted Google Earth and made calculations to facilitate the rocket attacks.

Islamabad Police chief Bin Yamin confirmed the contents of the report and claimed that his force had averted a "disastrous attack" on sensitive buildings here.

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