Taleban Government Appoints Two New Ministers



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"They had planned to carry out bomb blasts and suicide attacks on mourning processions on 9th and 10th of Muharram, Army installations situated in Karachi, kill huge number of mourners by mixing poisonous cyanide in Sabeels along the routes, besides targeting various sensitive installations with suicide attacks in the city." Farooqi said.
He said four of them got training in a militant camp operating in Mir Ali tribal area last year. About the gang leader Aijaz alias Abdur Rehman, the Sindh Police chief said he had been imparting arms training at different militant training camps and was teacher of a training centre in South Waziristan since he returned from the Afghan Jihad. He is an expert in manufacturing home-made bombs and suicide bomb blast jackets and believed to be close aide of militant leader, Maulvi Sardar Haqqani, an active member of the Jalaluddin Haqqani group, he said.They are being interrogated and further disclosures are expected, he said.
Sources said no member of any militant outfit had been arrested for the last one year in Sindh. The three arrested in Hyderabad are also being questioned about the Oct 18 bomb blasts on the homecoming parade of Benazir Bhutto in Karachi.

[Description of Source: Islamabad The News (Internet Version-WWW) in English -- Internet version of the widely read, influential English daily, member of the Jang publishing group. Neutral editorial policy, good coverage of domestic and international issues. Hardcopy circulation estimated at 55,000; root URL as of filing date: http://www.thenews.com.pk]


Pakistan: Arrested Terrorists Confess to Carrying Out Operations in Afghanistan
SAP20080124001001 Karachi Ummat in Urdu 22 Jan 08 pp 3, 5
[Report by Asif Saud: "Arrested Terrorists Have Carried Out Activities in Afghanistan as Well"]
The outlawed Harkatul Jihad-e Islami [HJI] terrorists arrested by the Crimes Investigation Department [CID] of the Sind police have also confessed to carrying out suicide attacks on the US positions and convoys in Afghanistan. Sources have told the Ummat that besides Pakistan these terrorists have been involved in organizing suicide attacks on Americans in Afghanistan. They have confessed to killing over 35 Americans in Afghanistan.
The sources said that the gang's ringleader, Mohammad Ejaz alias Abdul Rahman, is a resident of Rawalpindi. He got his early education in the same city. He stood first while studying electrical engineering. He is a bomb-making expert and has imparted training to many people. During investigations, Ejaz said that he has a command over Urdu, English, Arabic, and Pashto. First of all he joined the outlawed Jaish-e Muhammad [JM] and took part in jihad in Indian-administered Kashmir. During this period, he used to live in Bhimber, a town in Azad Kashmir. He also ran a JM camp where he used to train mujahidin in making and triggering bombs.
The accused further disclosed that he was adept at producing mines. He had produced antipersonnel and antivehicle mines at the training camp. He said that even a tank could be destroyed with an antivehicle mine. An antivehicle mine is buried in the ground 10-30-cm deep, and it explodes when anything weighing over 50 kg passes over it. He said that he had trained several mujahidin in producing these mines.
Ejaz said that he was also an expert in making explosive jackets and vehicles for launching suicide bombings. During interrogations, he said that he could prepare an explosive-laden vehicle to carry out a suicide attack within one and a half hours.
During interrogation, Ejaz further said that he then quit JM and joined HJI and then went to South Waziristan, where he established contacts with Taliban commanders. In South Waziristan too, he was made in charge of a militant camp where he imparted training to suicide bombers on how to carry out suicide attacks. The accused said that the people trained by him conducted suicide bombings in Afghanistan.
Ejaz said that in South Waziristan, he established links with different terrorist groups. During this period, he also trained Baitullah Mehsud's terrorists. He said that he had carried out a suicide attack on a US base in Afghanistan's Helamnd Province along with Commander Sangeen Khan Mahsud, a close aide of Baitullah. He revealed that a man, whose name was also Ejaz, was prepared for the bombing. He said that during the attack, the US forces retaliated, but he escaped. Ejaz further said that he then conducted another suicide attack in Urozgan Province along with a colleague. During interrogation, Ejaz said that he had killed over 35 US soldiers in Afghanistan.
According to the sources, Ejaz has disclosed that he had prepared three types of sophisticated bombs. One of them was named Dark Switch Device. This device is used to carry out explosion during the day. After attaching the device with explosives, it is kept in a bright place. As soon as there is darkness, the bomb goes off. The other device and explosives are planted at nighttime, which goes off with first ray of sun. The third one is called Water Switch Device. After attaching the device with explosives, it is kept at some place. When water fall on it, the bomb goes off. Ejaz said that he had produced these devices himself and also imparted training to terrorists at South Waziristan training camp on how to make and use these bombs. The accused said that he had successfully tested the Light Switch Device and the Dark Switch Device in Afghanistan. According to Ejaz, he established good relationship with some Taliban commanders in South Waziristan.
Ejaz said that after the Red Mosque tragedy, he formed a group in South Waziristan. He was the head of the group. One of his colleagues was Jamil Ahmad alias Wazir Akbar, whom he met in South Waziristan. Jamil, an HJI member, was a resident of southern Punjab. Jamil was an expert in motivating people to become suicide bombers and had brought dozens of young people.
According to the sources, Ejaz said that he then met with Aziz Ahmad alias Mohammad Khan, who was a JM member and belonged to Lodhran, Punjab. Jamil had motivated Aziz to carry out a suicide attack. According to Ejaz, Aziz was to be used in a suicide bombing to be carried out in Karachi. Ejaz said that he met with Mohammad Hamid alias Mohammad Qasim and Syed Wasim Ahmad alias Imran through Jamil. Hamid and Wasim were HJI members. Wasim was a resident of North Karachi Sector 11/E, where the gang had rented a house through Wasim.
The sources further quoted Ejaz as saying that in response to the Red Mosque tragedy, they had planned to carry out suicide attacks at three sensitive places in Karachi. One of the attacks was to be carried out in Askari-IV locality [an Army residential area]. The accused had also visited Askari-IV in connection with their plan. Police sources, however, said that information has been kept secret as to who facilitated their visit to Askari-IV. The bombers' second target was PNS Himalaya. The information extracted from the accused in this regard is also being kept top secret. Their third target was rangers' office at People's Ground in Karachi. The details in this regard are also being kept secret.
The accused further disclosed that they were also planning to hit a US vessel. They said they were captured, however, while they were collecting information in this regard.
A responsible police official says that the accused had also planned to mix cyanide in water tanks on the occasion of Muharramul Haram [the first month of Islamic lunar calendar when Shiites hold gatherings and processions]. They disclosed that cyanide was given to them by a mullah in a Taunsa Sharif mosque. The police official said that the name of the mullah was being kept secret. According to the accused, the poison was brought by Jamil.
Ejaz said that after getting cyanide, they tested it twice. They went to Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine in Clifton, Karachi, put some poison on a currency note, and gave it to a beggar. They waited for an hour to see if the beggar dies after touching the cyanide, but he remained alive. They conducted the second experiment after a week. They put some cyanide in a rosewater bottle and sprinkled it on flowers at the same shrine. The accused said they believed that anyone buying and touching those flowers would die, but it did not happen. Ejaz said they had planned to mix cyanide with water in tanks placed on the route of Shiites' procession to kill those drinking the contaminated water. The accused said that Ejaz Ahmad formulated the plan to mix cyanide with water during Shiites' procession.
Police sources said Ejaz was also in touch with his accomplices abroad through the e-mail. They said that Ejaz is also a computer expert. The police had found several e-mail messages in Ejaz's computer through which he was in touch with his accomplices. The sources further said that when Ejaz's e-mail messages were checked, the hard disk of the police's computer crashed, as Ejaz's accomplices had installed a virus in the e-mails ensuring that the message could not be read twice. In this way, they ensured that if an attempt was made to read the messages again, the computer's hard disk would crash. The police sources said that now services of information technology experts will be sought to get information about the e-mails received by Ejaz.
The sources further said that the accused also had contacts with their close accomplices, Zafar Bilal and Omar Farooq. The police are now looking out for them; however, they could not be traced so far. It is also could not be known whether they are still in Karachi.
The sources said that Jamil himself always remains ready to carry out suicide bombing, while his duty is to train the youth for these attacks. Jamil had trained his wife also to launch such an attack. If a woman is required to launch suicide attack, he can use his wife. It is also learned that Jamil used to impart training to suicide bombers at a terrorist training camp in Mirali, North Waziristan, and was in contact with Maulvi Sardar Haqqani, a Jalaluddin Haqqani Group's renowned commander.
Police sources said that after Red Mosque incident, several small groups have come into being and they were launching their activities quite independently. One group does not have information about the other. They said like-minded people form a group in South Waziristan and then launch their activities. The police said the accused are still being interrogated.

[Description of Source: Karachi Ummat in Urdu -- Sensationalist, pro-Usama Bin Ladin Urdu daily. Harshly critical of the US, Israel, and India. Propagates Muslim unity to counter US/Western influence. Circulation 20,000. Editor-publisher Rafiq Afghan is an Afghan war veteran.]

Pakistan: 200 Suicide Bombers Reportedly Enter Cities, To Target US Restaurants
SAP20080126100007 Islamabad Khabrain in Urdu 25 Jan 08 pp 1, 6
[Report from monitoring desk: "Disclosure of presence of 300 terrorists across country made"]
Lahore/Islamabad/ Karachi -- Threat of terrorism has increased across the country. Security in all the cities has been put on high alert at the directives of the interior ministry. The terrorists arrested from Karachi on Muharram have disclosed that over 200 suicide bombers are present throughout the country. Jamil Ahmed alias Wazir Akbar and Mohammad Ijaz alias Abdur Rahman, dangerous criminals belonging to the Jalaluddin Haqqani group of Afghanistan, have revealed during investigation that over 200 suicide bombers are present in different cities of the country and the terror network has been expanded considerably.
Reliable sources of the agencies involved in investigation told ANN that 14 people were arrested from different areas of Karachi after pinpointed by the accused. They are being grilled from several angles. On the other hand, in their reports to the federal government, the intelligence agencies have hinted at the presence of 300 suicide bombers across the country. They said that over 150 of these suicide bombers are present in different areas of North West Frontier Province [NWFP] and tribal areas.
According to a private television channel, the Ministry of Interior has stated in a circular that 13 suicide bombers have entered into Islamabad, Quetta, and Lahore via NWFP and there is danger that they would be striking this month. The circular says that a new outfit of terrorists, Al-Quds Army, has been founded and it has dispatched 13 bombers to different areas of the country. The government has alerted all the law enforcement agencies. The intelligence agencies have informed the federal and Sind governments that there is danger of attacks on foreign restaurants in Karachi. According to the letter written by the special branch, there is a threat of terrorist attack on foreign restaurants and hotels including McDonalds', Pizza Hut, and KFC. Security has been beefed up after these reports.

[Description of Source: Islamabad Khabrain in Urdu -- Sensationalist daily, generally opposes Pakistan People's Party. Circulation of 30,000.]


Pakistan: Taliban Refutes US Troops Claim About Killing of Commander Sedgai
SAP20080128099007 Islamabad The News (Internet Version-WWW) in English 28 Jan 08
[Report by Rahimullah Yusufzai: "US Claim About Death of Taliban Commander Disputed"]
[Text disseminated as received without OSC editorial intervention]
PESHAWAR: Members of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network have disputed the claim by the US military in Afghanistan that one of their commanders, Darim Sedgai, had died of his injuries sustained in an attack in Pakistan on January 16.
They insisted that Sedgai was alive and had more or less recovered from the injuries sustained by him in the attempt on his life in Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan. "Unknown gunmen fired at him about 10 days ago. Two bullets of Kalashnikov rifle hit him on the shoulder and the injuries weren't life-threatening," a member of the Haqqani network told The News. He spoke from an undisclosed location and requested anonymity.
In a statement issued in Kabul on Saturday, the US military claimed that Sedgai was a powerful commander linked to a top Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani. It said Sedgai died of wounds sustained by him when unknown gunmen ambushed him on January 16.
The US military had reportedly announced a $50,000 reward for informers who could provide information that could lead to Sedgai's capture. He was wanted to the US for his ties to Taliban and Al-Qaeda groups.
Sedgai originally belonged to Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal agency. He had joined former Afghan Mujahideen commander Jalaluddin Haqqani and fought under his command in Afghanistan. Presently, Sedgai was operating as commander of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the eldest son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, and the head of the so-called Haqqani network.
The US military has announced $200,000 on Sirajuddin Haqqani's head. However, the Afghan television station in Khost province has been repeatedly announcing a reward of 60 million Afghanis, or $1million, for his capture.
Sirajuddin Haqqani is Taliban commander for Paktia and Khost. Besides, he has links with Taliban fighters in Logar, Ghazni and Maidan-Wardak provinces. The US-led coalition forces and the Afghan government consider him a big threat because he is operating close to Kabul city and could eventually destabilise the Afghan capital. He was recently blamed for the suicide bombing at the Serena Hotel in Kabul in which at least eight persons, including a Norwegian journalist, a Frenchman and two Americans, were killed.
The US military statement in Kabul also claimed that two other commanders of the Haqqani network were also killed in the recent months. It named the two as Abdul Mannan and Mulla Sangeen.
Members of the Haqqani network conceded that Abdul Mannan was killed in Khost province some months ago. But they refuted the US military claim that commander Mulla Sangeen was also killed. They said Mulla Sangeen, a Taliban commander in Paktika province, wasn't even present when an attack clearly targeting him was launched in Khost. They said some other men were killed in the ambush. Mulla Sangeen reportedly made a phone call later to reporters in Afghanistan and Pakistan to deny the claims about his death. It was learnt that the Haqqani network members were trying to prepare videotapes of both Mulla Sangeen and Darim Sedgai to show that they were still alive.
[Description of Source: Islamabad The News (Internet Version-WWW) in English -- Internet version of the widely read, influential English daily, member of the Jang publishing group. Neutral editorial policy, good coverage of domestic and international issues. Hardcopy circulation estimated at 55,000; root URL as of filing date: http://www.thenews.com.pk]

Pakistan: Minister Says Govt To Form Jirga for Talks With S Waziristan Militants


SAP20080208099002 Islamabad The News (Internet Version-WWW) in English 08 Feb 08
[Unattributed report: "Govt to hold talks with militants: Hamid"]
[Text disseminated as received without OSC editorial intervention]
ISLAMABAD: The government is to hold talks with Taliban militants after a "de facto" ceasefire in a troubled tribal area between rebels and security forces, officials said on Thursday.
A Taliban spokesman in South Waziristan tribal district said a day earlier that Baitullah Mehsud had ordered an indefinite truce in the region. "There is no announced ceasefire, there is a de facto ceasefire between militants and government troops. Both sides are currently holding the fire," Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz said.
The minister said a Jirga "comprising representatives of the government and tribal elders will be formed to negotiate peace but I cannot give you any timeframe in this regard". He said however that negotiations were the only way to achieve peace in the troubled region. will have to involve tribal elders, influential people and government representatives in the process of forming the Jirga," Hamid said.
"There are so many things involved. If we look at the past, several peace agreements were signed with militants but they violated all of . "However, there is no doubt that negotiation is the only way to convince these people to give up arms."
"Talks between tribal elders and militants had been in progress for the past several days," a government official in the region told AFP on condition of anonymity. The peace effort was led Maulana Deendar, Malik Amir Mohammad from the Mehsud tribe of South Waziristan and Siraj Haqqani, son of Afghan militant commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, he said.
"Several rounds of talks were held in Razmak," he said. A senior NWFP official said the government always preferred talks over the use of force. "The government believes in negotiations and in the tribal areas it has always tried to resolve the disputes through dialogue. Military operations are used only as a last resort," he said.
"Directives have been issued to local authorities to keep the negotiations channel open through Jirgas and other informal contacts through tribal elders," he said. Word that the government was talking to the Taliban enraged the Pakistan People's Party. "The government is holding talks with the man blamed by it for the killing of Benazir Bhutto. We condemn it," PPP central information secretary Sherry Rehman said.
In Washington, the State Department signalled it would oppose any agreement that resembled the last truce. "I think everyone understands, including President Musharraf, that that agreement with tribal leaders did not in fact produce the results that everyone, including President Musharraf, had intended," deputy spokesman Tom Casey told reporters. "We want to see an agreement that is effective. The last agreement was not effective by President Musharraf's own admission."

[Description of Source: Islamabad The News (Internet Version-WWW) in English -- Internet version of the widely read, influential English daily, member of the Jang publishing group. Neutral editorial policy, good coverage of domestic and international issues. Hardcopy circulation estimated at 55,000; root URL as of filing date: http://www.thenews.com.pk]

Haqqani sons operating in Afghanistan's Khost Province, governor tells paper
IAP20080325950071 Kabul Anis (Companion) in Dari 23 Mar 08

Haqqani sons operating in Afghanistan's Khost Province, governor tells paper


Text of report, "Khost Governor Arsala Jamal: The terrorists do not have a base in Khost nor control even a village", by state-owned Afghan newspaper Anis on 23 March
Continuing our interviews of political, cultural and national personalities and government officials, our reporter has this time conducted an exclusive interview with Khost Governor Arsala Jamal on issues relating to security, reconstruction, health, education and conditions for women in Khost Province. The following is the text of the interview:
[Q] Mr Arsala Jamal, how do you assess the situation in Khost?
[A] The people of Khost have always had good relations with the government throughout history. The people of Khost have always cooperated with the government and defended it.
Khost Province has a 184-kilometre border with Waziristan and a 30- to 32-kilometre border with Miramshah [of Pakistan], centres for international terrorists. Most of the terrorists enter Afghanistan on foot and resort to suicide attacks and mine explosions. Despite the fact that suicide attacks and mine explosions occur in the province sometimes, I assess the security situation in Khost as positive.
[Q] Do the enemies have a base in Khost?
[A] If the enemies and the terrorists want to get control of a village, a valley or a district, or intend to set up a court in Khost Province, they could only be dreaming. They do not have any base in Khost, nor control even a village. I am not making a political remark, I am explicitly saying that there is no place for the terrorists in Khost. The people of Khost defend the rule of the government and their territory, and without their cooperation, not even 10,000 police could defend the province because of its location.
Haqqani
[Q] Please give information about the network of Jalaloddin Haqqani [jihad- and Taleban-era commander, who re-emerged, reportedly after seven years in hiding, on 22 March 2008, vowing in a statement to continue fighting foreign forces in Afghanistan]
[A] Jalaloddin Haqqani is sick and old, but his sons, Serajoddin Haqqani and Badrudin Haqqani, are operating in the area. As far as they are from Khost and Zadran areas, they are operating in Set-e Kandow and Khost.
[Q] Please give information about the reconstruction and renovation process in Khost Province?
[A] Nine roads were resurfaced in Khost Province in 1386 [solar year ending 21 March 2008]. All the district headquarters of Khost Province have buildings and 35 water dams were built there last year. In the past six years, 8m dollars were spent on Khost, but projects worth 46m dollars were implemented last year in the province. Another 62m dollars has been requested for the implementation of reconstruction projects in Khost Province in 1387. If 75 per cent of the requested money is given, the shape of the province will change and, based on the request of the people, a big hospital and religious school will be constructed in the province. The hospital will cost 9m dollars and the religious school 1.8m dollars.
Eighty-three new schools have been built there. Except in two districts, roads in all districts of Khost Province have been asphalted. We have three asphalted roads connecting Afghanistan with Pakistan in Gholam Khan, Babrak Tana and Haji Maidan areas. The asphalting process of one of these roads has been completed, and 75 per cent of the work on the two other roads has also been completed.
Talking about the condition of healthcare in the province, the governor said: The healthcare condition is satisfactory in the province. We have some problems in the remote areas, but the health clinics are operational in other parts of the province and the healthcare condition is better compared with other provinces. More than 60 per cent of our people have access to drinking water. Khost is among three leading provinces in this sector in Afghanistan.
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