Pakistani police capture al Qaeda's Karachi commander
Pakistani police detained a senior leader af al Qaeda's network in Karachi during raids in the southern city as more information on al Qaeda's network inPakistan comes to light.
Police captured a senior terrorist leader named Rahimullah during a early morning raid in the port city. Rahimullah's capture led to a follow-on raid that targeted a suicide bombing cell.
Three terrorists were killed during the raid after throwing hand grenades at the police. A gun battle and an explosion was reported. Police indicated the bombers blew up their vests, but a doctor and other witnesses said the men were shot a point-blank range. Police later found C4 explosives, suicide vests, submachineguns, pistols, hand grenades, and jihadi literature at the scene of the attack.
Rahimullah, whose real name is Ali Hassan, was reported to have been appointed as the leader of the consolidated terror groups in Karachi by Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. Rahimullah "established contact with Baitullah Mehsud and many Karachi-based activists," earlier this year, Daily Times reported. He was "affiliated" with the Pakistan terror groups Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen.
Laskhar-e-Jhangvi, Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and several other Pakistani terror groups have merged with al Qaeda in Pakistan, and operate under the name of Brigade 313. This group is interlinked with Pakistan's Taliban and also recruits senior members of Pakistan's military and intelligence services, a senior US official told The Long War Journal. The unit has been many of the high-profile attacks and bombings inside Pakistan, including multiple assassination attempts against former President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Gilani.
Matiur Rehman, image from ABC News
Brigade 313 is led by Qari Saifullah Akhtar, the influential leader of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami. Akhtar has direct links with Mullah Omar, Osama bin Laden, and Ayman al Zawahiri. Akhtar has been implicated in the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Sept. 20.
Matiur Rehman, the man who is know as possessing al Qaeda's membership "rolodex," is also a senior leader in the group. Rehman was behind the foiled 2006 London airline attack and at the time was thought to be the chief of al Qaeda in Pakistan.