Iqbal Baig, a member of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, was shot and killed by unknown assailants in Islamabad, Pakistan. Early Sunday morning, the gunmen broke into the U.S. embassy worker’s home and murdered him.
Pakistani police are still unsure of the motive behind the murder, although they speculate it may have been attempted robbery, sectarian violence, or extremism. They are pursuing no suspects at the time of writing. Initial investigations are still underway.
The attacker and Baig apparently got in a scuffle, and Baig drew blood. The attacker then fled into the nearby jungle, where a getaway car was hidden. Police have lost his trail after that.
At the moment, Pakistani police are investigating the blood samples and bullet casings they collected from the scene of the crime.
Baig was a part of a minority sect within Islam called the Ismaili. Earlier this year, dozens of Ismailis were the target of a brutal terror attack in Karachi, Pakistan. In that tragedy, gunmen killed 45.
The American government has yet to comment on the killing.
The DEA has employees in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates in order to curb the production and distribution of heroin.
“In Pakistan, DEA works closely with its counterparts to identify and target major international trafficking organization shipping heroin into and through Pakistan, with particular emphasis on those organizations with a nexus to the United States,” the DEA’s website explains.
Heroin is widely prevalent in Pakistan. Over one billion dollars worth of the drug is produced each year. In some parts of the country, locals report that the drug is cheaper than food.
According to Dr. Sanchita Bhattacharya, an expert on the Southwest Asian drug trade, Pakistan is a stop on what “Drug smugglers call… the golden route: from Afghanistan into Pakistan and then into eastern Iran, it’s the trail that takes Afghanistan’s abundant opium, and its derivative, heroin, to Western markets.”
Some Islamist organizations use drug trafficking to finance their terror operations.
“Drug trafficking is a highly lucrative enterprise generating billions of dollars in profit that terrorist organizations can easily tap into,” the assistant director of the FBI’s Office of Intelligence Steven C. McCraw said in a congressional hearing.