ISLAMABAD: Police seized a ‘huge cache of weapons’, including suicide jackets and missiles, and arrested two men from separate places a few kilometres away from the Red Zone in the federal capital on Saturday.
Police said a team headed by Sub-Inspector Mohammad Lateef signalled a car to stop at Taramri Chowk but the driver didn’t stop the vehicle. However, the police subsequently intercepted it after a brief chase. A mechanic was called to help search the vehicle and two missiles, two grenades and a suicide jacket were found hidden in different parts of the car.
The driver was arrested. During interrogation he told police about his accomplishes and their hideout in Chatta Bakhtawar. Police raided the place and found three suicide jackets, 12 grenades, over a dozen detonators, 16 rocket fuses, 14 missiles (106, 107-R) and other weapons along with 90 sedative injections. Police said suicide bombers were administered the injection. One man was arrested during the raid. Islamabad police chief Bani Amin Khan said a major attack in the city had been averted. He said police had received a tip about the transportation of explosives and weapons.
Answering a question, the police officer said the arrests and recovery of weapons had nothing to do with an announcement made by Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sept 25 that a plot by terrorists to carry out an attack with rockets, missiles and grenades along with suicide vests had been foiled. The minister had said the inspector general of police would share the details of that case with the media in two to three days. “We had information about the registration number of the car,” police officials said.
An official said the mechanic had been called after the car’s bonnet was found welded from the inside. According to sources, one suspect escaped after the car was intercepted. They said the detained driver of the car, Mohammad Mohsin, 20, a second-year student, had been expelled from the Punjab Commerce College some months ago due to short attendance. He had contacts with the former administration of Lal Masjid and had been active during and before the security forces’ operation carried out there, the sources said and added that his father was a school teacher in sector F-6.
The other arrested man was Bakht Amir of Tank, they said. A bomb disposal expert said the seized rockets could be fired by launchers or blown up using improvised explosive devices and had 15 to 17kg of high explosives — TNT, RDX and C4 — and a range of 5-7km. The distance of the Red Zone from the place where the weapons had been stashed was 4km. The seized injections were anti-allergy Amrovil, used as a sedative. The sources said the house had been rented about two months ago. Earlier, a doctor ran a private clinic there and its board had not been removed. According to the neighbours, two people were seen in front of the house twice during the period.