6 U.S MEN ARRESTED IN PAKISTAN
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.”
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).
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