LONDON (Agencies) - Members of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) believe Dr Imran Farooq was targeted by extremists or government-linked forces, The Guardian reported on Friday. Detectives and colleagues of MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq, stabbed and beaten to death in a residential street in north London, said on Friday night they were working on the assumption it was a political assassination. Scotland Yard refused to comment on a possible motive, but a source said homicide detectives had passed the investigation to the forces counter-terrorism command, indicating a suspected political motive. The source added: The counter-terrorism command have much better knowledge about the factional fighting in Pakistan and the politics there. While the MQM leader was protected by private guards and rarely appears in public following death threats, colleagues said Dr Farooq never believed he was at risk and had played a smaller role in the party since the birth of his sons, now five and three. Farooq was attacked as he made his way home from his job at a local pharmacy, said Mohammad Anwar, a friend of 25 years who worked with Farooq on the MQMs central co-ordinating committee. If someone took the time to watch him they would know what time he came home every night. It would be very straightforward. He didnt take any precautions because he didnt believe he was in danger, Anwar said. We all thought that we wouldnt be under threat here. There is no reason to indicate that this was a robbery or mugging, he told the Guardian at the MQMs headquarters in an office block close to Farooqs home. It could be a signal to (Altaf) Hussain, to weaken resistance. Whoever did it could be telling him - and all of us - 'If we can reach him we can reach you. Other party members were reviewing their security, he added. The party had previously told police and the Foreign Office of threats to Altafs life, but these did not appear to be taken seriously, Anwar said. Analysts said they were keeping an open mind as to the identity of Farooqs killer. The MQM has long-standing rivalries with ethnic Pashtun and Sindhi parties in Karachi. The MQM has also been rocked by occasional internecine violence. A diplomatic source said the killing appeared particularly unusual because of Farooqs lack of recent political activity. He was lying low in the past two years. He had expressed no concern for his own safety.