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Extremist al-Qaeda-linked groups planned Benazirís murder: report

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Dec. 27 -- Pakistan's top intelligence agency had informed the Interior Ministry about the assassination plan of two times Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto 17days before she was killed in firing and suicide bomb attack in 2007, a report said Tuesday.

Benazir was killed on December 27 in the city of Rawalpindi and a letter of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) dated December 10 had revealed that the extremist groups related to al Qaeda have had their plan to assassinate Benazir Bhutto six days earlier than27th of December 2007, Dawn newspaper reported.

The five-line short letter with the subject of , “ al Qaeda Threat,” is addressed to Kamal Shah, the then Secretary of Interior Ministry by Brigadier Abdul Basit Rana.

The letter reads as, “It has reliably been reported that a few extremist groups related to al Qaeda have made some plans to assassinate Mrs.Benzir Bhutto and her adviser Mr Rehman Malik on 21 December 2007. The exact plan of execution is not known.”

The latter appeared at a time when the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) is observing her fourth death anniversary on Tuesday.

Benazir’s widower, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani are scheduled to address a gathering of party supporters on the occasion in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh in southern Sindh province, were Bebazir had been buried.

The ISI letter was delivered to the Secretary of Interior on December 10th, 2007, almost seventeen days before the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

The copy of the letter shows that Kamal Shah immediately wrote a short note on the letter saying, “this is a threat with specific date, we should sensitize them,” Kamal Shah has further directed Brigadier (retired) Javed Iqbal Cheema, the then Director General of Ministry’s National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) directing him to speak.

In this letter the specific Intelligence was provided by Brigadier Abdul Basit Rana of ISI, who has not yet appeared before any investigation committee including the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Joint Investigation Team (JIT) headed by a grade 20 police officer Khalid Qureshi and the UN Commission on Benazir Bhutto.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the Benazir murder and then government of President Pervez Musharraf had blamed Baitullah Mehsood, the former chief of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP. The TTP had denied any involvement.

Several people have been arrested in connection with the murder but all accused have denied any hand.

The Anti-Terrorism Court has issued arrest warrant for Pervez Musharraf and declared his absconder after his failure to appear in the court to answer to questions.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30734840

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