MASTERMIND ON SRI LANKA CRICKET TEAM ATTACK IN MARCH IS CAUGHT BEING THE SOLE TERRORIST SURVIVOR OF THE HOSTAGE DRAMA
Posted on October 11th, 2009

By Walter Jayawardhana

Pakistan sources said the sole survivor among terrorists who staged a hostage drama at the country’s military headquarters last Saturday (October 10) was also involved in the attack against the Sri Lanka cricket team in Lahore early this year.

Aqeel alias Dr. Usman , so nicknamed since he was a former army sepoy of the medical stores, was captured alive when military commandos stormed a building in the military base of the army in Rawalpindi where he and his colleagues were holding more than 40 soldiers and civilians as hostages.

An agency report quoted a Pakistani intelligence officer as saying : “He (Aqeel) is one of the most dangerous terrorists and has links with al-Qaeda. He was long wanted by law enforcement agencies for masterminding the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team early this year.”

 Seven Sri Lankan cricket players and their British coach-two by bullets and the others by glass shrapnel were injured when allegedly Aqeel and at least 11 gun men started shooting at their coach transporting them to the Al Gadaffi Stadium for a cricket match.

 According to the same sources the same man was involved in an assassination bid on the former Pakistan President Pervez Musharaff.

 Aqeel, a former soldier, put up tough resistance during the pre-dawn rescue operation at the military headquarters Sunday (October 11). The 22-hour onslaught by the commandos resulted in the death of eight soldiers, three hostages and nine militant friends of Aqeel.

 Geo TV said, “Coming from Tehsil Kahota of Rawalpindi, Muhammad Aqeel alias Dr. Usman is the former sepoy of Army Medical Store. He was the mastermind and leader of the gang of terrorists, who had attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team and, thereafter, Aqeel alias Usman along with the accomplices avoiding arrest had fled to Waziristan. Aqeel accused of planning attack on the former President Pervez Musharraf was also wanted in the case.

“Lahore police said that Aqeel alias Dr. Usman belonged to Punjabi Tahrik-e-Taliban, which was set up three/four years ago and it had close ties with Baitullah Mehsud. The police had arrested a member of Punjabi Tahrik-e-Taliban, Zubair alias Nek Muhammad involved in June 18 attack on Sri Lankan cricket team, who had made starling disclosures about Aqeel alias Dr. Usman.”

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