A Pakistani government officer was on Thursday arrested in Lahore for allegedly sending 11 people mostly women to Syria to join Islamic State terror group.
A team comprising personnel of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and a premier intelligence agency raided the house of Federal Board of Revenue officer Mehr Hamid in Jauhar Town here and arrested him for his alleged links with IS, a senior police official said.
The agencies are investigating the suspect’s role in sending his and two other families, a total 11 people, to Syria to join the IS.
“During initial interrogation, Hamid said his wife Bushra Bibi, who runs a seminary, left for Syria along with their three daughters and a son last July and joined the IS. While leaving the country, she had told him that she and children were going to visit holy places in Syria. Recently, she informed him on WhatsApp that she had joined the IS along with the children as she was impressed by the teaching of its chief Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi,” the official said.
Police said Bushra, who had done her MPhil in Islamic Studies from the Punjab University, is also suspected of luring one of her girl students and a teacher who along with her five children also left for Syria.
The women reported to have first reached Balochistan province and then headed towards Syria to get jihadi training.
The police had registered abduction cases in different police stations in July on the complaints of some family members of the women.
The CTD this week had busted a cell of the IS group in Sialkot district of Punjab and arrested eight people who were earlier members of Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawh.
The investigators said the suspects had taken an oath to “overthrow democracy and introduce Caliphate” in Pakistan through armed struggle.
Originally the suspects belonged to Jamaat-ud-Dawh, but later joined hands with the IS.
They used to communicate with one another through social media and Skype to avoid arrests.
“The suspects were trying to extend their network to other parts of Punjab through recruitment. Initial investigations into the case revealed that the suspects were also involved in recruitment and collection of funds for the group,” the official said.
They joined IS in Daska tehsil of Sialkot district in June this year, he said.