Pakistani police have arrested a former air force pilot who allegedly helped finance Al-Qaeda’s newly formed South Asian affiliate and high-profile terror attacks, officials said September 16.
Counter-terrorism official Naveed Khawaja announced the arrest of Syed Sheaba Ahmad in the southern port city of Karachi.
Khawaja described Ahmad as a businessman with two chemical companies in Karachi and Iran who financed militant groups “on a large scale.” He said the suspect made large donations to the Afghan Taliban before supporting Al-Qaeda’s South Asian affiliate.
He provided financial support to militants who killed 50 members of Pakistan’s Ismaili Shi’ite minority when gunmen stormed a bus in May.
“Ahmad not only financed the terrorist act, but motivated and brainwashed the key suspects of the Safoora Goth tragedy,” Khawaja said.
Police are investigating the suspect’s possible links to the Islamic State, which has recently made inroads in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Khawaja said authorities have found “Daesh messages” on his computer.
Ahmad served as a Pakistani air force pilot until 1998. At one time, he delivered sermons in an upscale mosque in Karachi.