Fresh survey to neutralise TTP sleeper cells in Punjab launched

LAHORE- A leading state security service has launched a fresh survey across Punjab to neutralise suspected sleeper cells of the TTP, it is reliably learnt.
Informed sources close to the development on this count confided to The Nation on Wednesday that the fresh survey concerning the roots of terror in Punjab has been started after the formation of new terror syndicates comprising some on-the-run TTP leaders.
The key militant leaders belonging to the TTP had recently announced the formation of a new group named Jamaat-ul-Ahrar with Maulana Qasim Khurasani as its new amir along with other commanders.
TTP Jamaat-ul-Ahrar Shura also includes Umer Khalid Khurasani from Mohmand Agency who had claimed responsibility for the gruesome beheading of around two dozen FC soldiers in 2013.
Umer Khalid Khurasani group had also claimed responsibility for terror attacks on Samungali and Khalid airbases in Quetta on August 15, 2014.  Though other splinters of the TTP also exist, but the security services consider Umer Khalid Khurasani group as the deadliest.
The sources told The Nation that the security service has intelligence which suggests Khurasani conglomerate could carry out terror activities in Punjab, activating their sleeper cells.  According to them, the intelligence input suggests that terror network could stage a Quaid-e-Azam International Airport-like incident, besides targeting other important installations and personalities from various segments in Punjab.
When asked about the possible ‘hot towns or cities’ concerning the fresh operation, they declined to share information for security reasons and just said a major town of South Punjab, one important town of North Punjab and two main cities of Central Punjab were the main focus of the exercise.
They revealed security codes have also been changed from time to time by the security authorities concerned to avoid any untoward incident.
The sources said sleeper cells of the TTP after the effective Zarb-e-Azb operation keep on moving to all parts of the country, including Punjab, to avert arrest.
They added a special section in the internal security wing of the mentioned security service was carrying out the fresh surveys to identify the sleeper cells among the common populace.
A senior member of the security establishment, talking to this scribe, said that identifying the sleepers was a quite difficult task through human intelligence resources as secret services need huge informant networks to check round-the-clock movements even in a single area while huge funds are required to run massive intelligence-gathering operations in a high crisis situation which our country is facing at the moment.

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