An investment in training Pakistani federal immigration authorities by the Regional Security Office (RSO) at the U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar, Pakistan, paid off just weeks after completion.
In late April, the RSO concluded the fourth installment of training for some 80 officers from the Pakistani Federal Investigative Agency (FIA), a border control, counterterrorism, and security agency. The FIA investigates terrorism, espionage, smuggling, and other crimes.
The training program was designed to educate immigration officials at the Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar on how to detect fraudulent travel documents and recognize individuals traveling under false identities.
On June 17, 2018, FIA officers at the airport arrested Molvi Bahadur Jan, a commander of the terrorist organization Tehrik e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as he tried to depart Pakistan for Dubai.
Bahadur Jan is on the FIA’s Most Wanted Terrorists list (http://www.fia.gov.pk/en/terrorist.pdf)
and was wanted by Pakistani police in connection with several terrorist attacks. The FIA officials who arrested Bahadur Jan had attended the RSO-sponsored training. The officers informed the Consulate General’s RSO that they employed their training in detecting the suspected extremist.
According to police, Bahadur Jan was wearing a disguise, and acted nervous and suspiciously when he presented his fraudulent travel documents to FIA authorities at the airport. FIA officers detected inconsistencies in his statements and conducted an enhanced inspection of the individual.
“This is exactly how the training was designed to work: the person, story, and document did not make sense and a suspected terrorist was apprehended upon his attempted departure from Peshawar,” says Matthew, an assistant regional security officer in Peshawar.
“We train students to consider these three areas; if one doesn’t fit, you likely have a problem, and this was the case with the suspected TTP Commander,” he says.
This training and the subsequent arrest of a suspected TTP terrorist, are examples of effective partnerships between the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security and Pakistan’s civilian law enforcement agencies.