Last Sunday, Abdur Razzaq, a militant commander known to be a suicide bomber recruiter, was arrested in a predominantly Pashtun neighborhood in Karachi. Mr. Razzaq then helped police unearth an Islamic militant ring involved in the recruitment of teenage madrasa students, including Khan and a friend of his, to be trained as suicide bombers in North Waziristan.
Razzaq has worked closely with Wali Mehsud. Mr. Mehsud is deputy to one of the deadliest militant leaders, Qari Hussain, who was reportedly killed in a drone attack last year. Mr. Hussain was notorious for his Taliban leadership and for running suicide bomber training centers along the Afghanistan border.
“Abdur Razzaq was deputed by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan [TTP] to recruit young, innocent boys as suicide bombers and worked directly under high command of Taliban. He is a trained terrorist,” says senior police investigator Chaudhary Aslam of the police’s Crime Investigation Department. “He would lure the innocent madrasa boys with his jihadi brainwashing.” One such boy was Khan.
Khan, like many young boys, was attending the madrasa, or Islamic seminary school for boys of any age, to read the Koran and offer prayers at the mosque. In poor neighborhoods, such as the one he is from, parents send their children to madrasas just to read the Koran. Some spend years in madrasas to memorize the Koran.