Al Qaeda-linked phone exchange busted in Lahore
KABUL (PAN): Intelligence operatives have busted an unlawful gateway exchange allegedly run by the Al Qaeda network, nabbing six suspects in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore, a media report said on Wednesday.
Officials suspect the telephone exchange might have been used for conversations in connection with the kidnapping of US national Dr Warren Weinstein, Shahbaz Taseer, Ali Musa Gilani and other important personalities, the Dawn newspaper reported.
Hundreds of thousands of cellphone SIMs, telephone lines, equipment, weapons and explosives were seized from the site, called International Technical Hub, which showed identities and signals from Afghanistan and Pakistan's tribal areas.
The detainees -- belonging to Dawood and Hassan Gul terrorist groups which had links with Al Qaeda -- include four women, who used the hub to trace phone numbers of influential and affluent people to make phone calls for extortion and kidnappings for ransom.
On Tuesday, the United States designated a Peshawar-based seminary as a terrorist organisation, alleging that it served as a training ground for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
In the garb of religious education, the Ganj Madrassa is allegedly training students to manufacture bombs and become suicide attackers. It is for the first time that a religious institution has been designated as a terrorist outfit.
The action is a vindication of allegations from Afghan President Hamid Karzai that religious schools in Pakistan's border region are serving as training grounds for terrorists, who conduct attacks in his country.
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