The News, October 30, 2008
By Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: The authorities have identified the mastermind of the Marriott terrorist attack and have arrested some of his key accomplices, who have confirmed that the target of the deadly assault was the foreigners staying at the hotel.
The attackers reportedly belonged to Al-Badar, Harkat-e-Jihad-e-Islami and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi while the mastermind is a resident of Peshawar. So far the authorities do not have evidence of the involvement of al-Qaeda or Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in the attack that killed more than 70, including four foreigners.
When approached, the DG Federal Investigations Agency Tariq Pervaiz, who is also the head of the joint investigation team probing the Marriott attack, confirmed to The News that the case had been solved.
He also admitted that it was also established that the target of the attack was foreigners staying at the Marriott. A senior Interior Ministry source also confided to this correspondent that the government had already been conveyed that the Marriott was chosen as the target for the worst ever suicide attack in the federal capital because of the presence of foreigners.
The investigations have rejected all the claims made by different government high-ups that the target of the attack was the political leadership of the country, the Parliament House or the Prime Minister House.
It was found in the probe that the mastermind of the terrorist attack, still at large, was a chemical engineer and resident of Peshawar. He belongs to Al-Badar group and executed his deadly plan with the participation of activists of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
The DG FIA when asked also confirmed these facts, adding that the arrest of the mastermind and one of his key facilitators from Faisalabad would possibly reveal more facts. Tariq Pervaiz was hesitant to disclose the names of the mastermind and his key facilitator for the reason that it might delay their arrest. He, however, hinted that in the near future the government might announce head money to apprehend them.
Amongst those already arrested include a medical doctor, Usman, from a leading private hospital of Islamabad who was privy to the whole terrorist plot. The probe revealed that the deadly truck carrying explosive and driven by the suicide bomber, used the Margalla Road to reach the Constitution Avenue from where it took a right turn to hit the Marriott Hotel. The mastermind, riding in a red Toyota Vitz, piloted the suicide truck till the fatal vehicle took the right turn.
It was also learnt that the mastermind and some of his key facilitators were regular visitors to the Marriott Hotel where they had occasionally observed the presence of foreigners. A source said that even on the day of the attack, one of the collaborators visited the Marriott and reconfirmed the presence of foreigners. The authorities have established that the cause of the attack was the presence of foreign nationals.