Pakistani militants seen most likely behind attack
Dawn, March 7, 2009
ISLAMABAD: An investigation into the attack on Sri Lanka’s cricket team in Lahore has found signs that Pakistani militants with possible ties to al Qaeda were responsible, a senior government official said on Saturday.
‘The indications are that it was one of our own homegrown groups, with possible linkages abroad,’ said the government official with knowledge of the investigation.
Police have rounded up scores of suspects but have yet to announce a breakthrough in their investigation of Tuesday’s attack.
‘It’s a tough job. We’re connecting the dots. We’re making every effort to get to the bottom and hopefully we’ll do it,’ said Salahuddin Niazi, the policeman heading the investigation.
‘Any word before finalising the investigation will benefit the criminals. Let’s finalise it, then we’ll be able to point the finger at someone or a group or groups,’ he said.
A local newspaper, citing a former high-ranking intelligence official in Punjab, said al Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) militants were responsible for the attack.
Speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, the government official said groups such as the LeJ were highest on the list of suspects.
Some of the explosives carried by the assailants were not available in Pakistan, he said.
The official was dismissive of media speculation that India may have been behind the attack as payback for the assault by militants on Mumbai in November.