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Arrested marine commando had warned Pak of imminent attack

Last updated on: May 26, 2011 13:29 IST

A Pakistani marine commando posted at the PNS Mehran naval airbase, which was attacked by terrorists on Sunday, had been arrested in January for his links with Taliban and Al Qaeda affiliates. The marine commando had warned authorities about an impending attack in Pakistan.

The commando belongs to south Waziristan agency, The News daily quoted its sources as saying. Besides disclosing details about the impending attack on the naval airbase, the marine commando had warned that oil depots and power grid stations were on the hit list of terrorists.

The commando had warned the authorities of attacks on naval installations, said an unnamed official privy to the details. However, no measures were taken to avert the attacks, the report said. The Pakistan Navy's directorate of public relations offered no comment on the matter.

The arrested commando is a member of the Mehsud tribe, which has produced Taliban leaders like Baitullah Mehsud, Qari Hussain and Hakimullah Mehsud, who have carried out a wave of bombings and suicide attacks across Pakistan.

The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack on PNS Mehran, saying it was carried out to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden in a United States raid on May 2. Besides the attack on PNS Mehran, credible intelligence was available of an attack on the army's general headquarters, six months before it was carried out in October 2009, but the army "sat over the information", The News reported.

The "negligence on the part of the intelligence community and security czars has encouraged militants who have named the intelligence agencies as sheep", the report said. Other personnel of the armed services are dubbed as "goats" by the militants, according to communication records obtained from a flash drive, the report said.

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