Main facilitator of Pakistan varsity attack arrested

Islamabad, Feb 3 (IANS) The main facilitator of the terrorist attacck on Pakistan’s Bacha Khan University, a media report said on Wednesday.

Waheed Ali alias Arshad, categorised as “Terrorist A”, was arrested last week in Nowshera area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where the university is located, Dawn online reported.

“He had made arrangements to flee to Afghanistan and hired a taxi to take him to the Pak-Afghan border at Torkham. Had there been any further delay, the man would have slipped away,” a source said.

“He had shaved his beard and had packed up. His taxi was intercepted and he was picked up after positive identification,” said the anonymous source.

Waheed, who is in his early 30s, said the planning of the attack that left at least 20 people killed and many others injured had been going for six months in Achin district of Afghanistan, the base of the Tareek-e-Taliban Pakistan group’s militant commander Khalifa Omar Mansoor alias Omar Naray.

He said he had surreptitiously made videos of the Punjab Regiment Centre and a police station in Mardan area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as possible targets and taken the footages in a memory chip to Khalifa Mansoor but the plans were dropped because of heavy security in the two places.

The mastermind and planners, Waheed said, later opted for Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan and prepared a group of four militants to carry out the attack. Khalifa Mansoor provided him Rs.1 million to execute the plan and procure arms and ammunition for the attack.

The plan to attack the Abdul Wali Khan University was also cancelled because of better security arrangements and the mastermind was informed about the new target in Charsadda.

Waheed said he brought two attackers while the other two were already with another facilitator, Riaz, in Charsadda.

He identified the four attackers, including an Afridi, one from Orakzai, one from Swat and one from South Waziristan.

Waheed met the TTP leader Baitullah Mehsud in 2008 and has since been associated with the outlawed group.

Waheed had fled to Karachi where he was involved in extortion. He did his matriculation from there and had lived there in the past as well. He is fluent in Urdu.

According to the source, Waheed returned to his native town of Amankot in Nowshera about nine months ago and established contacts with Khalifa Mansoor.

He had been to Afghanistan a few times to coordinate attacks. Waheed also provided the names of people from whom he procured arms and ammunition.

With the arrest of the main facilitator, security agencies had completed the ring of all facilitators of the Charsadda attack.

Five other suspects identified as facilitators are already in the custody of the security agencies.

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