Pakistan security agencies identify key person behind blast outside Hafiz Saeed’s house, arrest three more persons

Three teams of the Counter Terrorism Department have been sent to Karachi, Peshawar and Sheikhupura for gleaning more information about those involved in the blast, an official said.

Pakistani security agencies have identified the key person behind the car bomb blast outside the house of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind and chief of the banned Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Hafiz Saeed in Lahore and arrested three more persons in connection with the case, officials said on Saturday.

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According to Punjab Law Minister Basharat Raja, so far eight suspects have been taken into custody in connection with Wednesday’s blast that left three people dead and 21 others injured.

“Three more suspects have been arrested from Lahore, Sheikhupura and Peshawar in connection with the Lahore blast on the information of the main suspect – Peter Paul David,” an official of the CTD told PTI.

He said the three suspects had remained in contact with David whose car was used in the blast. The investigators are trying to reach the ‘mastermind’ of the blast, he said.

Another official said the mastermind of the blast has been identified and his name is Samiullah of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province.

“Currently Samiullah is living in Dubai and his brother had planted the explosives in the car,” he said, adding that police are conducting raids to arrest Samiullah’s brother.

David was arrested on Thursday at the Lahore airport, a day after the blast. “Yesterday our team raided David’s residence in Mahmoodabad (Karachi south) and seized his travel and other important documents,” he said. David’s link with MQM-London is also being probed, he said.

Muhajir Qaumi Movement is a political party in Pakistan that was founded by Altaf Hussain in 1984. Currently, the party is split between two main factions. The MQM-London faction is controlled by Hussain, who has been living in self-exile in the U.K.

David is said to be a dual national. The authorities have not yet confirmed whether his other nationality is that of Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates.

According to the official, David’s wife and a son had left their Karachi residence before the police raid.

“David has two sons – Denzel and Cummings. Denzel had been arrested in the past for allegedly supplying drugs in dance parties. He is currently living in Dubai. Cummings is living with his mother in Karachi,” the official, adding that David has a scrap and hotel business in Bahrain.

He was a frequent traveller between Pakistan and Gulf countries, he said.

Another official in the Punjab police told PTI that David had provided his car to the suspect who parked at a police picket outside Saeed’s house at the Board of Revenue Society Johar Town and left 15 minutes before it exploded through a remote control device. Some 15kg of explosives were reportedly installed in the car.

An FIR has been registered under sections against unknown terrorists.

The 71-year-old Saeed has been serving a jail sentence at the high-security Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore for his conviction in terror financing cases. The blast sparked rumours that Saeed was present in the house.

Saeed, a UN-designated terrorist whom the U.S. has placed a $10 million bounty on, has been convicted for 36 years imprisonment in five terror-financing cases. His punishment is running concurrently.

Saeed-led JuD is the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. He was listed under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.

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