Blasts in Lahore, Peshawar; al Qaeda openly recruits in Pakistan
Pakistan has been hit by two bombing in the cities of Lahore and Peshawar. The attacks occurred within hours of each other, and the first strike occurred in Peshawar. A 20 year old suicide bomber named Nadeem hurled himself at a police van. “Nadeem’s neighbour Ahmad Khan said that Nadeem was a hafiz-e-Quran and an emotional person. ‘He (Nadeem) always talked about jihad,’ said Ahmad, adding that he did not know whether Nadeem was affiliated with any militant organisation,” report tshe Daily Times. Two police were wounded.
The Lahore bombing injured 15 people. The mode of attack was different than that in Peshawar. The bombers placed the device “in a garbage bin near a bus stop.” There is not indication the two bombings are linked at this time. The Peshawar suicide strike mirrors that of the attack on the Pakistani military base in nearby Dargai, where 45 recruits were killed and dozens wounded after a suicide bomber struck during morning drills. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are now actively targeting Pakistani security forces in the Northwest Frontier Province.
As the Taliban and al Qaeda grow bolder in their attacks on Pakistani security forces, they are openly recruiting inside Pakistan. Alexis Debat reports on how al Qaeda recruits at a yearly meeting of “more than a million religious, conservative Muslims who belong to a group that opposes violence.” This year’s meeting was held in Lahore, Pakistan.
“It’s where they, every year, they send operatives to recruit people, to raise funds and to plot attacks against the West,” said Alexis Debat… Pakistani officials say some of the al Qaeda meetings have taken place in a building compound on the grounds where access is closely guarded.
Pakistani officials did not disrupt al Qaeda’s recruiting. Curiously, the name of this global, million-man organization has not been released, nor are there press reports available on who held the gathering.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.