Crackdown on Shia militants nets accused Zainabiyoun Brigade member

By Zia Ur Rehman


The Zainabiyoun Brigade is comprised of Pakistani Shia fighting on behalf of Tehran in Syria's ongoing civil war. Pictured here is a poster posted on the group's Telegram account on February 19 of Pakistani fighter "Tajir Hussein" killed in action in Syria. [File]

KARACHI -- Pakistan's law enforcement agencies have intensified a crackdown on Shia militant groups that have been accused of both fueling sectarian violence in Pakistan and sending youth to fight abroad.

On February 11, Karachi Police's Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) arrested two suspects during an intelligence operation near Siemens Chowrangi.

One of the suspects -- Syed Kamran Haider Zaidi, alias Kami -- was associated with the Zainabiyoun Brigade, a militia made up of Pakistanis sent to fight in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Zaidi, a member of the group, had fought alongside al-Assad's forces before returning to Pakistan, said Israr Awan, a senior Karachi Police counter-terrorism official.


Karachi law enforcement personnel perform security duties on February 11. Karachi Police's Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) recently arrested a member of the Zainabiyoun Brigade, an Iran-backed militant group composed of Pakistani nationals. [Zia Ur Rehman]


Information on Saleem Haider Zaidi, who was arrested on February 10, can be seen in the Red Book, a list of most-wanted terrorists. [Zia Ur Rehman]

The other suspect -- Syed Ali Raza, alias Bobby -- was associated with Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistan (SMP), a proscribed Shia militant group, according to Awan.

Both suspects admitted receiving training in Parachinar, Kurram tribal district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, by militants and being involved in various sectarian killings in Karachi, he said.

Several of their comrades are still fighting in Syria, they told police.

Meanwhile, on February 10, the CTD arrested Saleem Haider Zaidi (aliases Saleem Bhai, Rehman and Rajab) in an intelligence-based raid conducted on University Road in Karachi.

Zaidi, another suspected SMP militant, was listed in the Red Book, which contains the names, photos and details of most-wanted militant suspects. He was allegedly involved in several high-profile murders, including the assassination of religious scholar Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai in Karachi in 2004, Awan said.

Security personnel recovered hand grenades and a ledger from his possession.

The Zainabiyoun Brigade

In the past, the Zainabiyoun Brigade has recruited hundreds of fighters from Pakistan.

Pakistan's intelligence agencies have raised concerns over Shia pilgrims falling victim to Iranian influence and recruitment into Tehran-backed mercenary groups fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Dozens of Shia youth have been arrested in connection with alleged involvement with the organisation, media reports suggest.

The primary recruiters, financers and handlers for the Pakistani fighters in Syria are Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its Quds Force.

To recruit Afghan Shia fighters for the Syrian war, Tehran has formed the Fatemiyoun Division, offering them salaries to join al-Assad's forces.

The US Treasury Department in January 2019 announced sanctions against the Zainabiyoun Brigade and Fatemiyoun Division as part of efforts to "shut down the illicit networks the [Iranian] regime uses to export terrorism and unrest across the globe".

Such Shia militant groups are backed by Tehran in a bid to extend its influence in the region, according to Pakistani law enforcement agencies.

With support and funding from Tehran, SMP first came to light in the early 1990s, when sectarian conflict was at its peak in Pakistan. Since then, SMP has been involved in sectarian attacks on religious scholars and professionals.

In December 2018, Pakistani authorities on an earlier request by Saudi Arabia reopened two cases involving attacks in 2011 on Saudi diplomats in Karachi linked to SMP.

Pakistani officials have linked SMP to the May 2011 killing of Hassan al-Qahtani, an employee at the Saudi consulate in Karachi, and a grenade attack on the consulate just days earlier. The group's objective was to stoke tensions between the nation's Sunni and Shia communities and between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, said the officials.

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This analysis is partial and biased


Curse on elders


This writer and article totally piece of shit. Such writers paid by Zio-saudis monarchs who hates Iran and forces of resistance all over the world. Iran defended its homeland and holy sites in Iraq and sham against ISIS, al-nusra who have been funded and trained by Ziopuppets like CIA Saudis, Turkey and almost 80nl contries were involved in the support of Daish, but still IRGC and Hizbollah Lubanan under leadership of Wali muslimeen Imam khamenei fought those deadlyest terrorists and swiped the off from face of earth. These zio-sunni pro-Israeli pro-CIA so called muslim they hate those who fighting against their product and brand of Islam in shape in Daish, ISIS. Such writers are nasbi sunis, they hate ahlebayt. They dont want shrines of ahlebayt in Iraw and Sham to be secured and protected, thats the reason they call Iran and its allies terrorists.


Training taliban and al qaidah by Pak Army and sending them to fight USA war in Afghanistan (Accepted by Benazeer, Mushraf and now PM Imran Khan). While defending religious holy places is act of terrorism. Look at your double standards...


First of all, be very much clear that the people going Syria are not brainwashed but they go by their own will. Iran is just facilitating them to fulfil their wish of fighting against Saudi and USA backed ISIS. Secondly if the institutions and police know every thing then take these people to courts and proove these allegations rather then disappearing them for years. I don't think there is any problem if someone is getting out of the country if he never comes back. Instead of disappearing these people try to take care of your borders so that these people don't get out of the country.


I was amazed on the perception and mind set on writer. How you can blaming the whole sect on the basis of baseles allegations. It would be possible that some suspected are involved in this war but it doesn't mean that the Shia sect are involved. The writer is unable to shed main cause of the so called blaming war, that not terrorists sponsored group may also exist in the opposite sect.


Now everyone in Pakistan knows that how much terrorism and unrest Saudi backed malitia like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Sipah-e-Sahaba and Taliban had been spreading and after the stance regarding Kashmir, it became clear to the world that how much support Saudi Arabia and America extend to Pakistan; but still such baseless things are done to please these lords.


Though you have blamed Saudi Arabia, however in Pakistan’s 73 year history, there hasn’t been a single proof of Saudi backing of any terrorist organisation; while on the other side, such characters are very often brought to light who are backed by Iran and contributing in making Pakistan a target of unrest and terrorism, be them Uzair Baloch, kalbhoshan or Irani trained “Momineen” wo are directly involved in attacking Sunni scholars.


Brother, you have told 10001% truth. Iran is an enemy of Pakistan in disguise of a friend. Iran has always betrayed Pakistan and Pakistani shias work for Iran and they destroy peace in Pakistan by martyring scholars and Pak Army. Sulemani, who has been dispatched to hell had threatened Pakistan, upon which, the great knight, the Lion of Pakistan, the great leader, chief of army staff General Raheel Sharif reminded that coward of his place; but conduct of this hypocrite nation will always be hypocrisy and they will stab you in the back.


Awesome analysis


This article is based on a sectarian approach There couldn’t be a terrorist group worse than Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, who have triggered a fire in Pakistan. And all these are the consequences of Zia era. But the question is that they have detected these groups from among the Shia sect, but why haven’t they noticed Sipah-e-Sahaba, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, ISIL, Taliban and other such organizations?


Beacuse this post is completely on Anti Shia basis


Ita not anti shia , its about terrorist shias and iran .dont mix peaceloving shias with these enemies of islam .


The only place for training Iranian militia in Pakistan is Para Chinar, Kuram Agency, where training is held in Zeran area in the plane of Koh-e-Safaid. If the State of Pakistan and the agencies want to uproot these Zainabyun, they should conduct an operation like Rad-al-Fasaad in Para Chinar instead of Karachi; that’s the only way Pakistan can save itself from becoming an Iranian Colony.


Iran is directly or Indirectly involved in almost all acts of terrorism in Pakistan The same group is involved in killing of Scholars and Ehl-e-Sunnat public in Quetta.


It is a one-sided analysis


We go for security of shrine of Bibi Zainab, and as ISIL has been eliminated now, no one will go.