The News: Besides madrassas, varsities also on watch list

Zia Ur Rehman
Saturday, May 23, 2015 
From Print Edition

Intelligence agencies have started keeping a close eye on Karachi’s academic institutions too along with madrassas following the recent arrest of three university students in connection with high-profile terrorist attacks.
 
The alleged involvement of young men who had graduated from reputed universities in terrorist activities indicates that al Qaeda and Taliban groups are recruiting educated youth from the upper-middle class.
 
The three men were nabbed by the police’s counter-terrorism department, which described them as a local al Qaeda network comprising university graduates.
 
The police said the group was involved in an attack on a bus carrying members of the Ismaili community on May 13 near Safoora Chowrangi in Karachi in which at least 44 people were killed.
 
They also maintained that the arrested men were responsible for the murder of rights activist Sabeen Mahmud and attacks on the Bohra community, Rangers and police.
 
“Apparently, al Qaeda and the Taliban are penetrating academic institutions under a strategy,” said an intelligence official who has been monitoring extremist groups in the city.
 
“Al Qaeda-linked outfits have successfully gained sympathisers not only at the University of Karachi but also at the NED University of Engineering and Technology and other prestigious universities including private ones too.”