Islamabad: A fortnight before Thursday’s terrorist assault on a key airbase, Pakistani security agencies had issued two specific warnings about possible attacks on Air Force installations following the escape from prison of dreaded terrorist Adnan Rasheed.
The National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) of the Interior Ministry issued an alert to officials in all four provinces which specifically warned that terrorists could target military installations, especially Pakistan Air Force facilities, using information provided by Rasheed, a former junior technician of the PAF.
Geo News reported that the alert issued by the NCMC had said: "Adnan Rasheed is a deadly terrorist for (whom) recently Taliban undertook a major operation to get him released from Bannu jail. He being from the Air Force, is privy to various sensitive locations/installations/airports etc."
"It is expected that with his release terrorist action against military installations, especially PAF, would increase. It is therefore suggested that all possible protective measures must be initiated to ensure necessary security of installations and VVIPs."
Rasheed escaped during a jailbreak engineered by the Taliban at Bannu Central Jail in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on April 15.
He had been sentenced to death for involvement in an assassination attempt on former president Pervez Musharraf.
Over 380 prisoners, including hardened jihadis, escaped during the jailbreak and Rasheed surfaced in the lawless tribal belt several weeks later.
Another alert issued by the NCMC to authorities in Punjab province had warned that "Punjabi terrorists (Qari Yasin group) present at Miranshah is planning to attack PAF base /installations at Lahore... On 27 or 28 Ramzan".
The alert advised authorities to put in place "extreme vigilance, heightened security and preventive measures" to avert any untoward incident.
Security experts noted that this alert had warned of a terror attack on a PAF facility on the 27th or 28th of Ramzan or August 16 or 17 well before heavily armed Taliban fighters stormed the Kamra airbase in Punjab today.
Nine terrorists and a soldier were killed during the attack.
However, the experts pointed out that the alert had warned of an attack on a PAF facility in Lahore and not Kamra.