Ansar-ul-Sharia
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News Analysis |

Ansar-ul-Sharia, the latest name to enter the club of the banned outfits, is a militant group that made a failed assassination attempt on MQM’s provincial legislature and the opposition leader of Sindh Assembly, Khwaja Izhar-ul-Hassan. Izhar, narrowly escaped the assassination attempt which was made on him in the early hours of Saturday, 2nd September, the day which also coincided with Eid-ul-Adha, the religious festival in the country.

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The name of the militant organization became public in the aftermath of the thorough investigations and search operations that were undertaken by the law enforcement agencies after the attack. In the wake of these inquiries, that are still underway, startling revelations have surfaced.

Ansar-ul-Sharia profile

The Sep 2nd  attack was not the first one by this organization, rather the group has been involved in various terrorist attacks in Karachi and Quetta region in the past few months.

The terrorist organization is composed of 10 to 12 highly qualified young members, who are well-known in the world of terrorism. While operating from their homes with their extreme reliance upon communication technologies, metropolitan city of Karachi has been the base for this militant outfit.

Moreover, the nectar of the investigations has so far concluded that the group is purely Karachi based. While adopting the principles of Al-Qaeda theology and specifically inspired by the ideas of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman-al- Zawahiri, the group was formed by the two former Al-Qaeda members, who were said to be previously working for other terrorist organizations including Daesh and Jaiesh Muhammad.

The terrorist organization is composed of 10 to 12 highly qualified young members, who are well-known in the world of terrorism. While operating from their homes with their extreme reliance upon communication technologies, metropolitan city of Karachi has been the base for this militant outfit.

They first surfaced in February 2017, when they killed a retired Brigadier in the Baloch Colony area of Shahrah-e-Faisal. Since then, this organization has conducted a total of seven terrorist attacks. They were involved in the killings of police officers in New Town, SITE area, and Super Highway.

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Educational background of these terrorists

The attacker, Hassan who was immediately killed in the crossfire on that day, was an engineer with a Ph.D. degree and was employed as the lab technician at one of the private university in the city. While law enforcement agencies have been aggressively chasing the groups’ members, they conducted a search operation in Gulzar-e-Hijri area of Karachi, that is one of the adjoining areas of the Karachi University. Most of the members of this group are or were students of this institute.

Besides male members, it is also speculated that female members too have been facilitating the groups. Sources said the terror outfit also has female members. Four women, including a doctor, were arrested by the law enforcement agencies.

Categorised as most dangerous commander in this group, 29-year-old Abdul Karim Sarosh Siddiqui, who escaped from the scene, was enrolled in the BS program of Applied Physics department at Karachi University. He killed a policeman during the raid.

According to the recent briefing by DG Ranger Sindh, among the eight identified members of the groups, three of them have done Masters in Applied Physics, three have completed Engineering degree programs, one has done Chartered Accountancy and another one has done MBA. He said their information was obtained through interrogation from their relatives, friends, and peers.

However, the news of highly educated terrorists and their smart utilization of technology to weave terrorist plan are no longer unfamiliar to the people,

Besides male members, it is also speculated that female members too have been facilitating this group. Four women, including a doctor, were arrested by the law enforcement agencies.

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T for Technology, T for Terrorism

The members had a profound knowledge of technology and had developed communication applications, with a complex system of security codes that made the devices used by militants difficult to access, and hence making the decomposition of the stored information a nerve wrecking task.

Since it is worthy to note that, all the search operations that were carried out were purely based on human intelligence and little role has been played by technology in nabbing of these terrorists.

However, the news of highly educated terrorists and their smart utilization of technology to conduct terrorist attacks are no longer unfamiliar to the people but their success in creating a software to beat the only latest technology of Geofencing available to our LEAs to detect and trace the footprints of terrorist is perhaps the most overwhelming and unexpected revelation so far.

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This has laid bare the claims of LEAs in terms of technological advancements and their capability to stay two steps beyond terrorists.

Since it is worthy to note that, all the search operations that were carried out were purely based on human intelligence and little role has been played by technology in nabbing of these terrorists.

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