Arrested marine commando had warned imminent attack in Pak

Last Updated: Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 14:13

Islamabad: A Pakistani marine commando from the Waziristan tribal region posted at the PNS Mehran naval airbase which was attacked by terrorists this week was arrested in January for his links with militants and had warned about an impending attack, said a media report on Thursday.

The commando, who belongs to South Waziristan Agency,
was arrested for his links with the Taliban and al Qaeda
affiliates, The News daily quoted its sources as saying.

He was posted at PNS Mehran, the naval air station in
Karachi that was stormed on Sunday by terrorists who killed 10
security personnel and destroyed two maritime surveillance
aircraft.

Four of the attackers were killed or blew themselves
up while two escaped.

Besides disclosing details about the impending attack
on the naval airbase, he had warned that oil depots and power
grid stations were on the hit list of militants.

The commando, who was picked up because of his
involvement in suspicious activities, had predicted attacks on
other naval installations, said an unnamed official privy to
the details.

No serious measures were taken to avert the attack
on the naval airbase, the report said.

The Pakistan Navy’s Directorate of Public Relations
offered no comment on the matter.

The arrested commando is a member of the Mehsud
tribe, which has produced Taliban leaders like Baitullah
Mehsud, Qari Hussain, and Hakimullah Mehsud who have carried
out a wave of bombings and suicide attacks across Pakistan.

The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed
responsibility for the attack on PNS Mehran, saying it was
carried out to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden in a US
raid on May 2.

Besides the attack on the PNS Mehran, credible
intelligence was available on the attack on the army?s General
Headquarters six months before it was carried out in October
2009 but the army "sat over the information", The News
reported.

The "negligence on the part of the intelligence
community and security czars has encouraged the militants who
have named the intelligence agencies as sheep?", the report
said.

Other personnel of the armed services are dubbed as
"goats" by the militants, according to communication records
obtained from a USB flash drive and deciphered by experts, the
report said.

The flash drive was found in the possession of the
driver of an explosives-laden truck intercepted in Dera Ghazi
Khan in April 2009, six months before the attack on the
General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

The flash drive contained instructions for Pakistani
Taliban affiliates in Punjab and elsewhere.

It advised the militants in southern Punjab to go
into hiding following reports of a possible crackdown. It also
contained a blueprint for the attack on the General
Headquarters.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 14:13

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