Malala was shot in the head in 2012, when a gang of militants boarded her schoolbus in order to punish her for her education activism. “The entire gang involved in the murder attempt…has been busted,” the Pakistani military said in a statement earlier today.
Malala was airlifted to the U.K. following the attack and barely survived. She continues to live in the United Kingdom as she and her family continue to receive death threats.
Statement from the army
The joint operation involving army, police and intelligence agencies, came as part of the Pakistani military’s ongoing offensive against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other extremist groups. One member of the group was arrested and apparently confessed and named the other nine that were involved in the attack.
The gang, which goes by the name of “Shura” and was led by a furniture store owner who also confessed to another 2012 murders. The army said today that the group had a list of another 22 local figures they had hoped to assassinate and now face terrorism charges.
“The group involved in the attack on Malala Yousufzai has been arrested,” Major General Asim Bajwa told a news conference.
Malala came to be known to the group in 2009, when at age 11 she began a blog for the BBC Urdu service in which she spoke of life in the Swat valley under Taliban rule.
Malala became a global sensation and last year received a standing ovation after addressing the United Nations general assembly last July when she vowed that she would never be silenced.
“They think that God is a tiny, little conservative being who would send girls to the hell just because of going to school. The terrorists are misusing the name of Islam and Pashtun society for their own personal benefits. Islam is a religion of peace, humanity and brotherhood. Islam says that it is not only each child’s right to get education, rather it is their duty and responsibility,” she defiantly said during the address.
Following her Malala Day speech she won the European Union’s human rights award and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013.