KARACHI - Director General Sindh Rangers Major General Muhammad Saeed said Saturday the recently discovered terrorist organisation Ansar-ul-Sharia in Karachi was created by a member of al-Qaeda.

“Security agencies have tightened the noose around the terrorist group Ansarul Shariah which was alleged to be involved in assassination bid of opposition leader in Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hassan in Karachi,” the DG Rangers Sindh said.

He said that the law enforcement agency will not spare the terror outfit which is only active in provincial capital.

He said eight terrorists of the Karachi-based group that consists of 10 members, were identified. “One of them was arrested and another was killed soon after the assassination bid on Izhar Hassan which claimed lives of a security guard and a passer-by.”

“It is an ongoing operation and a lot of information that we have obtained cannot be shared now as one of the terrorists had fled from his house in the vicinity of house of Abdul Kareem Saroush Siddiqui, the key suspect, when news of a raid at the latter’s house was run on electronic media,” he added.

DG Rangers said once the operation would be completed, all its investigation process, evidences and details of all the arrested culprits would be shared with public in a joint comprehensive press conference. He said since they had limited technical resources, therefore, they had to carry out joint investigation along other security and intelligence agencies.

“Ansarul Sharia launched killing in Karachi earlier this year and their first claim of a murder was of martyred colonel Nagi on Shahra-e-Faisal in Saddar. After that all their focus of killings was on police,” he said.

“They killed police officers in New Town, SITE area. They even killed two police officials in misunderstanding for another target on Superhighway and two security guards were martyred outside FBR office in Karachi.”

M Saeed said it was not Ansarul Shariah but another group that killed three police officials in Korangi and one traffic policeman on Abul Hassan Asfahani Road. He said Ansarul Shariah commanders had also claimed some crimes which they did not commit.

Giving credentials of the terrorists, he said six to eight people affiliated with the group had yet been identified. “The two commanders who laid foundation of the group belonged to Al Qaeda and after dissociating with Al Qaeda they formed this new group.

“Three of them have done Masters in Applied Physics, three have completed Engineering degree programmes, one has done Chartered Accountant and another one has done MBA,” he said. He said their information was obtained through interrogation from their relatives, friends and peers.

The DG Rangers Sindh said hunt for the other group members was underway. To a query, he said they did not belong to one institution in the first place. The DG Rangers also shunned the notion that the intelligence and security agencies have sought data or character certificate of the students of Karachi University or any other varsity. “I don’t think if varsities have any role in propagating terrorism. The most concerning thing is that parents of only two terrorists had some intuition what their children were doing while all the others were unaware,” he lamented.

He said parents should be watchful of activities of their children, while teachers of the educational institutions should keep an eye on the pupils and identify what was motivating them towards extremism.

Sources said the terror outfit also has female members. Four women, including a doctor, were arrested by the law enforcement agencies while other suspects have been taken into custody after recording statements of family members and neighbours.

It was revealed that two female students, amongst the arrested, attained education from a private university and were in contact with a suspected terrorist from Ansar-ul-Sharia. Sindh Rangers DG told that no active network of terrorists of Ansar-ul-Sharia was traced in any other city. He added that all suspects had attained education from universities.

LEAs are currently investigating the banned organisation and interrogating the arrested suspects.