Karachi: Police in Pakistan's commercial capital Karachi have reportedly launched a hunt for at least 20 rich and bored wives accused of funding the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacks and arranging wives for its followers.
A report appearing in Al Jazeera quoted security officials, as saying that the search was launched after police arrested one suspect who they believed had financed a gun attack on a bus carrying Pakistani Shias that killed 44 people in May. It was the first attack claimed by ISIL inside Pakistan.
Al Jazeera quoted Raja Umar Khattab, the chief of the counter-terrorism unit in Pakistan's Sindh Province, as saying that the suspect had confessed that his wife had established a religious organisation called Al Zikra Academy in Karachi to fund ISIL activities.
Khattab further revealed that this dangerous group of 20 women from well-off families had also been distributing USBs containing ISIL videos, and also soliciting support for terror organizations.
The women include the wife and mother-in-law of Saad Aziz, the main suspect in the May killings, and a graduate of one of Pakistan's top business schools, who is currently in detention. Pakistan has been waging a war against several Taliban factions in its Northern Territories for more than a decade, but the attack claimed by ISIL supporters is a recent phenomenon.
The ISIL's main areas of operation are in Syria and Iraq, where it controls large portions of both countries, and in Libya where its fighters have established a foothold in the city of Sirte. The group is also active in Yemen. The Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria has also pledged its allegiance to ISIL's self-proclaimed "Caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.