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Pakistani authorities reportedly raid al Qaeda communications center



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According to a report in Geo News today, officials from Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) raided a house in the Green Town area of Lahore where al Qaeda was operating a communications center.

Authorities arrested six alleged terrorists, including four females, and also seized weapons and ammunition. Pakistantv claimed that two terrorists were arrested. The areas of Green Town, Township, and Kot Lakhpat were sealed following the raid.

Dunya News said the suspects were allegedly involved in the kidnappings of former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani's son Ali Haider Gilani and of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer's son Shahbaz Taseer. It also reported that the group was planning other kidnappings of sons of prominent political figures.

The suspects were members of the Hasan Ghul and Daud Shah Group, two al Qaeda subgroups, Dunya claimed. Hassan Ghul is a senior al Qaeda operative and US-designated global terrorist said to be at large in Pakistan following his release from prison in 2007. [See LWJ report, US Treasury lists 3 senior al Qaeda leaders as terrorists.] Dunya noted that three suspects managed to flee during the raid.

According to Geo, the suspects were said to be operating "an illegal gateway exchange under the name of International Technical Hub," where, intelligence sources claimed, "ID and signals from Afghanistan and the tribal areas were received." The communications center was also involved in tracing victims via their mobile phones, as well as "serving communication needs of the extremists," Dunya reported.



READER COMMENTS: "Pakistani authorities reportedly raid al Qaeda communications center"

Posted by Jeff Edelman at August 20, 2013 8:06 PM ET:

Woooee! A veritable gold mine of information damaging to the terrorist? Too bad it's in the hands of the Pakistanis.

Posted by Charles Martel at August 20, 2013 9:55 PM ET:

I wonder if this is connected to all the recent blabbing about us listening in to a high-level AQ conference call. This seemingly great piece of police work by the Pakis might just be them trying to tie up loose ends before we dig further.

Posted by . at August 21, 2013 12:13 AM ET:

The security services in Pakistan are renowned for embellishing results and their relevance. The timing of the raid is interesting.

Posted by irebukeu at August 21, 2013 12:19 AM ET:

The communications center was also involved in tracing victims via their mobile phones, as well as "serving communication needs of the extremists," Dunya reported.~~~~~~
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Tracing victims via their mobile phones????

Is there any more information on this?
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I can imagine the first thing out of their mouths when raided was "hey, I thought we had a deal?"

Posted by Aadhar at August 21, 2013 3:16 AM ET:

Looks like they got better tools than govt.

But isn't all internet connections are monitored by govt?

Posted by blert at August 22, 2013 1:50 AM ET:

The ISI is cleaning up an exposed node in their jihadi network.

Once it became obvious (thanks to Barry) that the NSA was reading these fellows coms...

It became necessary to stage a raid, for image purposes, if nothing else.

Putting the onus on them for kidnappings, locally, is just good PR.

It would not do to be seen directly helping the frenemy.