A new al-Qaida-inspired militant group, the Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan, whose members have grown disaffected with the Islamic State group in the country, has recently emerged in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi claims to act as a platform for militants who breaking away from the IS.
The group, Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan, was reportedly formed by two former al-Qaida members who had severed ties with the organization in early 2017. Since then, the group has been involved in several attacks in Karachi, according to Pakistani counterterrorism authorities.
“The Ansar al-Sharia group started killings in Karachi since the beginning of this year and claimed responsibility for killing an army officer on Faisal Highway [in Karachi],” Major General Mohammad Saeed, the head of Rangers paramilitary security force in Karachi, told local media. He added the group has been focusing attacks on “the police only.”
The group was allegedly created to operate as a platform for militants who have parted ways with IS in the country, it said in an online statement. It claimed to be active in several parts of the country.
While the group is said to be breaking away from the IS, they use much the same language in their posts on Twitter, calling for attacks through “jihad against infidels and apostates.”
Though having no official affiliation with al-Qaida, the group pledges loyalty to and gets its ideology from Osama bin Laden. Pakistani police have identified some members of the group and said that three men from their “killer teams” have degrees in applied physics. They also claim to have arrested at least four women members.
The al-Qaida branch in South Asia, known as al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), has been active in the region especially in the Karachi region. The Pakistani police have vowed to root them out, even in Karachi.
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