Terrorists made call to commander from Lahore jail

The terrorists are being held in a Lahore jail on charges of involvement in a plot against ex-president Pervez Musharraf.

Islamabad: Two terrorists lodged in a Lahore jail on charges of involvement in a plot against ex-president Pervez Musharraf made a call to a militant commander in Pakistan`s lawless Khyber tribal region which was intercepted by an intelligence agency, sending authorities in a tizzy.

The terrorists were identified in a report prepared by the intelligence agency as Ibrahim Ilyas and Qari Waqas, the media here reported today.

They are being held in the Kot Lakhpat jail for allegedly being part of a terrorist plot that targeted Musharraf in 2008.

The men were shifted to the Lahore prison from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi two months ago for security concerns.

The intercepted call has raised concerns among authorities because four circulars were sent to jail officials by the federal Interior Ministry and Punjab`s Home Department this year to stop clandestine communications from prisons, The Express Tribune reported.

The Interior Ministry and Home Department had asked jail authorities to make sure that jammers were installed in all prisons, particularly in areas where high-profile terrorists are held so that they could communicate with anyone outside.

According to the intelligence agency`s report, Waqas and Ilyas made a call to a man identified as Babar on October 21. Babar reportedly told them that suicide bombers had entered Lahore and "soon you will get good news".

Following the call, security was put on high alert across Punjab.

Kot Lakhpat`s superintendent Mustaq Awan said he was not aware of any such incident. He ruled out the possibility that the terrorists could have made a call.

He said Ilyas and Waqas were being held at a separate compound for high-profile terrorists.

There are two mobile jammers installed in the area and a Home Department team regularly visited the jail to ensure that the equipment was working, Awan said.

A copy of the intelligence agency`s report was sent to the Punjab Police chief.

Kokab Nadeem Warraich, the Inspector General of Prisons, confirmed that the call had been made.

"The matter is being investigated and strict action will be taken against those who are found guilty," he said. Warraich said investigators were trying to determine if a technical fault in the jammers had allowed the terrorists to make the call.

There have been numerous reports of terrorists, including Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, engaging in clandestine communications from within prison using mobile phones.

Lakhvi, the main accused in the 2008 Mumbai attacks case, is being held at the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.


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