File photo shows Pakistani security personnel in Karachi. (AFP photo)
Pakistani security officials have arrested a senior al-Qaeda member who has been on the United Nations
Security Council sanctions list since 2012.
A senior police officer said on Friday that Abdur Rehman alias Abdul Rehman Sindhi was arrested in Karachi a day earlier.
Muqaddas Haider said Rehman’s arrest came in a congested residential quarter after an extensive joint operation by police and intelligence agencies.
“Abdul Rehman Sindhi is an old veteran of al-Qaeda,” Haider said.
Officials said Rehman was a member of various Pakistan
-based militant organizations before joining al-Qaeda, a group in which he played a key role. The UN
listed him as terrorist for providing financial services to al-Qaeda four years ago, imposing asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo on him.
The Qaeda operative is believed to have met the group’s founder Osama bin Laden and his successor Ayman al-Zawahiri for at least several times. Officials said Rehman was also connected to Saud Memon, a key suspect in the kidnap and murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.
Among the internationally-outlawed groups he joined were Al-Akhtar Trust, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami, Haider said.
The high-profile arrest comes as Pakistan has been facing growing pressure to crack down on militant groups operating across the country. Massive operations were carried out in 2014 when Zawahri announced the formation of a new wing, al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent. The region, which stretches across several countries including Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, is home to more than 400 million Muslims.