By Ayaz Gul
Authorities in Pakistan said Monday they have arrested a university student in the southern port city of Karachi for allegedly collecting and sending funds to Islamic State militants fighting in Syria.
Separately, the Pakistani military said its forces raided a hideout near the country’s western border with Afghanistan and killed two senior “terrorists” in the ensuing firefight. It said that a third militant “got injured and apprehended.”
The counterterrorism department in Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital, identified the detained suspected IS operative as Umar Bin Khalid, a final year student at the city’s NED University of Engineering and Technology. He was trying to board a train before being taken into custody on Sunday.
The department noted that a “forensic examination” of Khalid’s two cellphones established his links to a group “raising funds in Pakistan for Daesh and sending them to Syria.” Daesh is the Arabic name for Islamic State.
The statement said the detainee was involved in the fundraising activity for the last two years, and he was in contact “directly with families of terrorists plotting terrorism in Pakistan and Syria.”
IS has taken credit for plotting deadly attacks in Pakistan in recent years. They include the kidnapping and slaughtering earlier this month of 10 coal miners in the southwestern Baluchistan province.
Raid near Afghan border
The Pakistani military, while sharing details of Monday’s raid in the South Waziristan border district, said the two slain militants were “active members” of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, commonly known as the Pakistani Taliban.
The statement said the men were “terrorist trainers,” experts in bomb-making, and plotted attacks against security forces in the region. One of the slain militants, it said, played a role in a bomb attack three months ago that killed six soldiers and injured several others.
South Waziristan and the adjoining North Waziristan districts had until a few years ago served as sanctuaries for local and foreign militants blamed for terrorist attacks on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
However, Pakistani officials say sustained security operations in recent years have killed thousands of militants and forced others to take refuge in volatile Afghan border areas.