Five American nationals arrested recently on suspicion of plotting terror attacks had got it touch with someone associated with al-Qaida and were captured just before a scheduled meeting, said police.
The FBI and Pakistani officials have interrogated the men, who are accused of seeking to engage in militant activities and trying travel to the northwest Taliban heartland.
Police said that the men arrested on Wednesday in Sargodha, about 180 kilometres (110 miles) south of Islamabad, are US citizens with origins in other countries, including two Pakistani-Americans.
“They had contacted one Saifullah, who has links with al-Qaida, and they were set to go to Mianwali town on the day they were arrested to see him,” an official close to the investigations was quoted as saying by AFP on condition of anonymity.
“Saifullah had asked them to come to Mianwali where one of his men would contact them and arrange a meeting at some unknown place,” the official said.
“According to our investigations the group wanted to go to Waziristan via Mianwali to get terrorist training,” he added.
Another investigation official confirmed the account.
Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Friday that the men would not be deported back to the United States unless they are cleared of any crimes by Pakistani police first.