Peshawar            -         A threat alert by an intelligence agency about a possible attack on KP police chief Sanaullah Abbasi as well as attacks and arrests of several militants in southern KP have raised apprehensions that the sleeper cells of the militant networks seem to be raising their heads.

The recent threat alert states: “A reliable source has revealed that terrorists belonging to TTP/Jamaat-ul-Ahrar have planned to attack the IG KP in the Central Police Office; vigilance is indicated.”

When contacted, a security official confirmed the development and said the threat alert had been issued and security tightened. However, he claimed the militants’ network had been dismantled through intelligence-based operations.

“Most of the arrests of militants take place when they try to move from one place to another. Recently we arrested several militants of the banned outfits while they were collecting donations or moving from one place to another,” he added.

Though various militant outfits had been chased out of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the wake of military operations and targeted operations by Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), sleeper cells still existed in various parts of KP and being monitored by the security authorities, said an official of the CTD while speaking to The Nation.

The official said that while Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) network had been dismantled, there were still some pockets where TTP militants were believed to be hiding such as the Elum mountains, a boundary area between Swat and Buner districts in KP.

Similarly, the official said, the militants were also believed to be present in southern areas of KP such as North Waziristan and DI Khan districts. Recently, a surge in attacks had been witnessed in North Waziristan where even security personnel were martyred, besides civilians, in a number attacks.

“When it comes to areas like Waziristan and DI Khan, there exist militants from all different groups, such as TTP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Afghan Taliban and others. This is why, the situation is bad in those areas and many of the recent arrests have been made from the same areas,” the official said.

Another security official based in Khyber tribal district said the militant outfits had been chased out of the country and they were now mostly taking refuge in border areas of Afghanistan close to Pakistan, where they at times clashed with one another.

He claimed that clashes among various banned militant outfits had resulted in the killing of several militants during last two weeks in Afghan border areas.

He claimed that Lashkar-e-Islam, led by Mangal Bagh, and Daesh militants clashed from time to time in Pak-Afghan border areas. “Six gunmen of Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) died in a clash with Daesh militants a week ago while a Daesh commander named Kamdar Hafeez also died in the fighting,” he claimed.

The security forces chased the Lashkar-e-Islam militants out of Khyber district through Operation Khyber in 2014. In 2015, the Lashkar announced joining the Tekreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. Currently, its headquarters is located in Achin district of Afghanistan.