Arrested marine commando had warned imminent attack in Pak



Arrested marine commando had warned imminent attack in Pak 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