Saturday, June 27, 2009

FBI: Al-Kini Group Behind Bombing Incidents in Pakistan

Via (Pakistan) -

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has informed Pakistan that Al-Qaeda's network known as ‘Al-Kini group’ was behind a series of bombing incidents in the country, including last year's deadly suicide attack on Islamabad's Marriot hotel.

In its latest communication to Pakistan's Federal Investigating Agency (FIA), the FBI has described the Al-Kini Group to be not only involved in the Marriot bombing, but its various terror cells were also involved in a suicide attack that had killed an army surgeon general, Lt. Gen Mushtaq Baig, in Rawalpindi and the bomb attack on a police station in Sargodha.

Usama al-Kini, also known as Azmarai, was Al-Qaeda's Pakistan chief until he was killed in one of the drone attacks in North Waziristan last year.

Its not clear who heads the Al-Qaeda network in Pakistan, but FBI's correspondence suggest terror-cells of those loyal to Al-Kini were still operating as a separate group, and carrying out attacks within Pakistan.

Perhaps the deadliest of the known attacks by the group was a dumper-truck bomb that caused mass destruction at Islamabad's Marriot hotel in September last year, killing 53 people and injuring dozens of others.

According to the FBI three US nationals were among those killed in the attack.

A highly informed source said the FBI has asked the FIA and Islamabad Capital Territory police to share their investigations they had carried out so far which may help them in apprehending three people described as absconders, including a person identified as Ibrar-ud-Din Syed.

A joint investigation team (JIT) headed by former director general FIA Tariq Pervez had carried out an investigation into the Marriot Hotel bombing and compiled a report.

Dr Muhammad Usman, a resident of Hayat Abad Peshawar, Rana Illyas Ahmed a resident of Sumanderi Faisalabad and Muhammad Hameed Afzal a resident of Toba Tek Sing were arrested by Pakistani security agencies for involvement in the Marriot Hotel bombing and are being tried in the ATC.

The source said in line with the FBI's request, the director general FIA has sought permission from the federal government to share their investigation with the US agency for the apprehension of individual involved in the bombing as three Americans had been killing in the terrorist attack on the hotel.

The Pakistan's federal investigating agency have also been requested to allow the FBI to carry out some forensic tests in their laboratories on left over pieces of the explosive laden vehicle, frame parts, the engine and its shrapnel which were seized by the Pakistani agencies.

The FBI believes that the relevant forensic testing on residue samples, found from the scene of the terrorist attack, would help the Pakistani authorities in their investigation.

The source said information collected from one of the arrested members of al-Kini group, Omar Farouk, revealed that the group had financed two terrorist attacks in Pakistan in 2007, including the attack on Sarghoda police station in 2007.

The FBI has stepped up its efforts to collect further information in close liaison with the FIA and other security agencies in Pakistan to tighten the noose around the Al-Kini network, which many believe had remained the most effective al-Qaeda wing within Pakistan.

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