Pakistan police are a soft target for the ISI’s strategic assets, i.e., jihadi and sectarian terrorists of the Taliban and Sipah-e-Sahaba. Recently CID section of the Karachi police had been warned by the ISI to stop arresting their jihadi assets.
The ISI-Taliban alliance at work
Apparently the attack was aimed at freeing or killing a number of extremist Deobandi footsoldiers of the ISI which were only yesterday arrested by the Karachi police. A similar attack was previously successfully carried out in Karachi by the ISI in June 2010 in which General Zia-ul-Haq group of the ISI was able to secure freedom of 4 most dangerous terrorists of Jundullah (one of many aliases of Siaph-e-Shaba)
According to the Long War Journal:
While the [exact] reason for today’s attack in Karachi attack is not known, the Taliban may have been trying to free a senior commander, a local Taliban leader, and several allied Lashkar-e-Jhangvi fighters who are thought to have been in custody at the CID building. On Nov. 3, police arrested a Taliban commander named Yousuf, who is also known as Qari. Yousuf was described as “a senior member of the TTP [Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan] and was in contact with the top leadership of the banned outfit.” He is said to have planned a suicide attack on a police training center in Mingora earlier this year, and is thought to have been plotting to carry out attacks in karachi.
Also, yesterday, police arrested six Lashkar-e-Jhangvi fighters from the Asif Ramzi group and a Taliban commander known as Iqbal. The Taliban leader is said to be a “a close aide” to Faqir Mohammad, the Taliban’s leader in the tribal agency of Bajuar. All seven terrorists were being interrogated by the CID in Karachi.Source
Taliban claim responsibility
At least 22 people died and more than 100 were injured in a suicide car bomb attack on a police facility in the Pakistani city of Karachi, police said Thursday.
Pakistani Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq told CNN that the Taliban carried out the attack, which police say targeted building that housed a Crime Investigation Department facility.
“We will continue such attacks as long as military operations continue against us,” Tariq said.
The blast occurred in a high-security area, near government buildings and major hotels, such as the Pearl Continental and the Sheraton.
A Pakistani government official told CNN that about five gunmen on foot cleared the way for the suicide car bomber by firing on security personnel manning a security check post. The official said that once the vehicle cleared the check post it raced toward the police facility and rammed into the building. The official, who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media, doesn’t know the whereabouts of the gunmen.
Local TV showed footage of a three- or four-story building with significant damage and ambulances rushing the injured from the scene. (Source)
Extremist Deobandis of Sipah-e-Sahaba involved
High profile militants were among at least 115 people injured in the blast and were arrested and transferred to an undisclosed location, acccording to unnamed police sources.
According to the Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre’s Seemi Jamali, 90 injured people were brought to the hospital so far in the critical condition.
The powerful blast destroyed the part of the CID building housing its counterterrorism wing, reducing it and the adjacent police station to rubble. The explosion left a major crater so deep that water gushed out from the ground.
Recently arrested Pakistani Taliban commander Iqbal Bajauri, from the Bajaur tribal area, who is alleged to have been involved in several attacks against security personnel, was also present in the CID building at the time of the bombing.
Gun shots were reportedly fired just before the blast. According to one eye-witness account, an explosives-laden van rammed to the CID building.
The audacious attack showed the militants’ ability to break security lines and enter the Red Zone, which contains three five star hotels, the Sindh governor’s house, the US consulate, and the offices of senior government officials, as well as the CID and the chief minister’s house.
A day earlier, CID counterterrorism officers presented six members of the anti-Shia militant group Laskhar-e-Jhangvi (an alias of Sipah-e-Sahaba) to journalists in Karachi. The arrested militants boasted that they were not alone and have at least 200 more members active in the city.
Earlier on Thursday, the six militants appeared in court and were remanded to police custody at the CID.
Under the command of young police superintendent Omar Shahid, the CID has been making almost daily arrests of high profile militants who include Bajauri.
Shahid was uninjured in Thursday’s attack, his mother told Adnkronos International.
According to the Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre’s Seemi Jamali, 90 injured people were brought to the hospital so far in the critical condition. (Source)