News

Police in Pakistan Link 5 US Nationals to al-Qaida

Detainees are said to be of Pakistani, Yemeni and Egyptian origin, but US and Pakistani officials refuse to discuss their identities.

Pakistan foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit during a press conference in Karachi (File)
Pakistan foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit during a press conference in Karachi (File)

Multimedia

Ayaz Gul

Police in Pakistan say five American nationals they arrested this week in an eastern town have told interrogators they arrived in the country to join "jihad" or a holy war.  

U.S and Pakistani officials are interrogating the detainees who are said to be in their 20s and come from northern Virginia.  Local police say they the men were arrested at a house in the city of Sargodah and that all of them have admitted they had come to Pakistan for "jihad" or holy war.

Speaking by telephone, district police chief Usman Anwar told VOA his men watched activities of the suspects for nearly two days before arresting them.

"We had suspicion that they were carrying out some nefarious activities while being in Sargodah," said Anwar.  "We watched them and we have interrogated them, we have looked at their computers and the electronic data and the maps that they had and the E-mails have been checked, the mobile details have been received and everything points out to that they were about to commit some serious crime."

A U.S Embassy spokesman says Pakistani and American officials are closely coordinating in gathering more information on the suspects.  But he would not comment on reports in local media that an FBI team is in the country in connection with the investigation.

The detainees are said to be of Pakistani, Yemeni and Egyptian origin.  But U.S and Pakistani officials have refused to discuss their identities. 

"I would not get into specifics, but what I understand is that people who have been arrested are U.S nationals, but some of them of Pakistan origin, some of them of other descent.  So let us not get into specifics at this stage," Abdul Basit, the spokesman for Pakistan's Foreign Ministry.

The five American suspects were said to be in contact with an outlawed Pakistani militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammad (Army of the Prophet Mohammad), that has links with al-Qaida and Taliban extremists. 

Pakistan is an ally in the U.S.-led war against terrorism and has been under pressure from Washington to intensify efforts to root out extremists blamed for launching attacks on coalition forces across the border in Afghanistan.  

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs