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6 U.S MEN ARRESTED IN PAKISTAN

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The FBI is investigating the arrest in Pakistan of five reported USA men on suspicion of extremist links, intelligence sources said, on Wednesday 12/09/2009. The men were arrested, on Monday 12/07/2009,  in a raid on a house in Sargodha in Eastern Punjab province, about 200 km south of Islamabad, Pakistan’s USA embassy told the BBC. Preliminary investigations suggest they had sought to link up with the Jaish-e-Mohammed and Jumaat-ud-Dawa militant organizations.

Pakistani oofficials said 3 Pakistanis had also been detained, one of whom was believed to have been linked to a 2007 suicide bomb attack on an air force bus outside an air base in Sargodha, in which eight people were killed.

Another detainee was identified, few hours later, as Khalid Farooq the father of one of the American detained students Umar Farooq, 25. Khalid Farooq probably has a dual American-Pakistani citizenship. His arrest raised the number of American citizens arrested in Pakistan for terror related suspicions to Six. Umar Farouk is a business student at George Mason University in suburban Washington.

The other  four detainees were identified as: Ramy Zamzam, 22, a dental student of Egyptian background at Howard University, who was described as a sort of “ringleader” (see – Zamzam and Farooq); Waqar Hassan Khan, of Pakistani background, who was reported to have family connections in Karachi; Ahmad Abdullah Mini, 20, born in Eritirea; and Aman Hassan Yemer, 18, a native Ethiopian (see – Waqar Yemer and Mimi).

 The FBI said they were trying to determine whether they are the same men who were reported missing from their homes in the USA state of Virginia since late 11/2009. They flew to Karachi, Pakistan, on 11/30/2009, then travelled to Lahore, on 12/05/2009, and then on to Sargodha. The US State Department said they were also seeking information on the men.

“If they are American citizens, we of course are going to be very interested in the charges that they’ve been detained on and in what sort of circumstances they’re being held,” said embassy spokesman Ian Kelly.

FBI spokeswoman Katherine Schweit said the agency was aware of the arrests and was in contact with the families of the missing students. “We are working with Pakistan authorities to determine their identities and the nature of their business there, if indeed these are the students who had gone missing,” she said. A USA law enforcement official said none of the five missing men had shown up on law enforcement’s radar before they were reported missing. “These guys never surfaced with us before.”

The Pakistani embassy in Washington said the men were arrested in a house belonging to an uncle of one of them. They said the house was already of interest to local police and that no charges had yet been filed against the arrested men. .

Usman Anwar, head of the district police of Sargodha, said the men initially made contact with Pakistani militants through YouTube in August while they were still in the United States. The men were watching videos of Americans being killed in Afghanistan and had posted comments, which caught the attention of the militants. After contact was made, a Yahoo e-mail account was set up so the men and militants could communicate, Anwar said.

Five students were reported missing from their homes in Northern Virginia by their families in late November. The families reportedly passed on a video to members of the US Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Nihad Awad, the leader of CAIR, said the video appeared to be “like a farewell”. “One person appeared in that video and they made references to the ongoing conflict in the world, and that young Muslims have to do something,” Mr Awad told Associated Press news agency. He said the video had made him “uncomfortable” and he advised the men’s families to contact the FBI.
There is a growing fear in USA from Islamic home grown terror as evidences show growing involvement of USA citizens in the Global Jihad (see also – Sargodha Indictment ). 
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* It is most likely that the initial investigation of the 6 suspects led to the UAV missile attack, on Wednesday 12/09/2009 night, in which an Al Qaeda operative Saleh al-Somali was killed.    

Five suspects were sentenced, on Thursday 06/24/2010, to 10 years imprisonment in Pakistan. .
* Related topics –  
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