Pak arrests head of local Islamic State branch

Pakistani security forces on Wednesday claimed to have arrested the local chief of the dreaded Islamic State (IS) terror group with two his lieutenants.

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 21, 2015, 21:37 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistani security forces on Wednesday claimed to have arrested the local chief of the dreaded Islamic State (IS) terror group with two his lieutenants.

Yousaf al-Salafi, a Syrian, was arrested in Lahore and confessed during interrogation that he represented the IS in Pakistan.

Intelligence sources said that he arrived in Pakistan about five months ago with the mission to organise the group and recruit fighters to take part in the conflict in Iraq and Syria.

"He first entered Turkey from Syria and then entered Pakistan through Iran," the sources said. He was arrested in Turkey but escaped from custody.

One of his local links Hafiz Tayyab, who was a prayer leader in Lahore, was also arrested.

The sources said that Tayyab recruited Pakistanis and sent them to fight alongside Islamic State. He charged USD 600 per person from the cash-rich militant outfit.

The arrests came amid reports that IS was finding support in Pakistan. Already several key Taliban militants have joined the group.