LAHORE - During the raid by intelligence operatives at terrorists compound in Araiyan village, near Raiwind, in the pursuit of a radical preacher, they found forged passports, laminating equipment, and bundles of foreign currency.

The haul, details of which are yet to be made public, speaks volume of a remarkable evolution in the funding of terrorism. What, was once a global network financed by elusive donors and administered by Al-Qaeda and TTP fund managers, has now fragmented into a constellation of franchises.

Earlier, the intelligence officials said that one of the terrorists was captured alive with multiple wounds during the operation at the compound in Araiyan village near the prime minister’s residence in Raiwind. An intelligence official died during the battle, while two others wounded seriously. The elite police commandoes also assisted the intelligence personnel in the overt and covert operation against terrorists.

The investigation shows how terrorists are still collecting funds from foreign and local sources on various pretexts like establishment of seminaries for jihad.

Following the raid in Raiwind, intelligence and law enforcing agencies have arrested more than a dozen supporters of the terrorists from different parts of the province. They are being grilled in connection with the funding and other stuff seized from the compound, sources added.

Security officials have broadened the investigations into Raiwind incident after revelations that the Al-Qaeda terrorists had been living in the compound for the last six months and they were enjoying local support as well. The interrogation of the arrested terrorists is also helping intelligence operatives nab more accomplices of the militants.

Citing sensitivity, the security officials are reluctant to share complete details of the operation with the media. A day earlier, they clarified that the terrorist killed during the operation was Zulfiqar Nazeer and not Ahsan Mahboob. They said that Zulfiqar, said to a resident of Pakpattan district, was identified by his brother Iftikhar. The whereabouts of the only dead body, recovered from the compound, are still not clear as the police did not remove it to the morgue for autopsy so far.

Cutting the lifeline of the terrorists, security experts say, is partly a result of the vigorous efforts since the Pak Army launched counter-terrorism operations to eliminate militants and break up their network.

In addition, monetary and material funds in the form of charity are also collected from financially well-off members affiliated with the banned outfits. Several militant groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi or SSP, SMP, Punjabi Taliban, and TTP including their splinter groups accumulate large amounts through criminal activities which includes selling of weapons, smuggling of narcotics, bank robberies, abductions and extortion.

The counter terrorist financing institutions have already recommended to the federal government to evolve a comprehensive policy to check the “sources and methods” of terrorists funding by involving different state institutions.

Like international community, Pakistan has put in place a comprehensive legal and administrative framework in order to check money laundering and terrorist financing by enacting Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Act 2010. However, there is a considerable lack of eagerness within Pakistan’s Counter Terrorist Financing (CTF) institutions for practically and meticulously implementing these laws.

The incumbent government should pay due attention to cut the financial network of the terrorists through concerned institutions like FIA, FBR, State Bank of Pakistan and above all ministry of interior and ministry of finance. Close coordination with regional and international Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing Terrorism regimes would bring better results in severing flow of funds to militants and their associates.