PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Additional Inspector General of Police Shaukat Abbas has revealed that the mastermind behind the police lines mosque suicide bomb attack has been traced and confirmed that a faction of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was behind it.
Addressing a press conference, Additional Inspector General of Counter Terrorism Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shaukat Abbas revealed that the department has traced both the mastermind Ghaffar alias Salman and the handler of the suicide bomber that attacked the mosque in Police Lines Peshawar on 30 January 2023.
According to him, the attack was planned in Afghanistan by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s Jamaat Ul Ahrar group. “The bomber who carried out the attack is known as ‘Qari’ in the TTP circles,” the official added.
He further said that the suspect detained by law enforcement officials was a “backup suicide bomber” who would have been used as a secondary option during the attack in case the first bomber failed to detonate his vest. The suspect was identified as Imtiaz Khan and was arrested by the CTD with the help of law enforcement agencies, according to the additional IG.
The senior official declined to identify the place from where the suspect was arrested. However, he reiterated that the alleged bomber got training in the Kunduz area of Afghanistan.
Furthermore, he mentioned that law enforcement had identified a “mastermind” and a “handler” associated with the bombers and they were currently making efforts to apprehend them.
The mastermind was identified as Ghaffar alias Salman. “We have found that Ghaffar was in contact with the suicide bomber on the day of the incident. We are trying to apprehend the handler and mastermind of the attack.”
Pakistan has witnessed a surge in TTP violence since peace talks between the militant group and the government broke down in the latter half of last year.