Police in Pakistan said they have thwarted a terrorist attack by arresting a potential suicide bomber and two of his associates in the city of Karachi.

“We have arrested three militants, Alam Zaib, Hasandar Sheena and Inaamur Rehman from Orangi neighborhood on a tip-off today,” said Karachi police chief Saud Mirza at a press conference.

“They were members of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s [TTP] cell in Swat being run by Abu Mansoor.”

Mirza explained that the three detained militants moved to Karachi (a huge financial hub on the southern coast of the country) after a military operation cleared out militants in the Swat valley in the extreme north.

“They would conduct robberies and kill people whom they suspected to have links with security agencies in Karachi and transfer the booty to their comrades in the northwest,” Mirza said.

The suspects are believed to belong to the Badar Mansoor faction of the TTP. Police said they were planning to attack government installations and the offices of intelligence service.

“They had their would-be suicide bomber and were waiting for a go-ahead signal from their superiors in the terrorist outfit,” Mirza added.

Other reports claimed that police seized a cache of 20 kilograms of explosive material, two hand grenades and three pistols from the arrested men.

TTP is not directly affiliated with the Afghan Taliban, but rather comprise an umbrella of several Islamic militant groups. They are all united in their opposition to the Pakistani state and to the NATO-led foreign troops in Afghanistan; and dedicated to the establishment of a sharia law across Pakistan,