Pak Court Approves Arrest of Five American Terror Suspect

The arrest of the five young American men from Virginia, who were caught while trying to contact al-Qaida last week, has been formally approved by a Pakistan court.

Authorities said that the court allowed 10 more days for their questioning on suspicions that they had been seeking training to fight American troops in Afghanistan.

The five, who are all friends from the suburbs of Washington who had been reported missing, were detained on December 9 in a raid on a house belonging to an uncle of one of the five in the city of Sargodha, in the north of Punjab province.

The ruling was issued by a civil judge in Sargodha to which the five, who are being held in Punjabi capital Lahore, were briefly returned for the hearing for hearing under tight security.

According to the district police chief Dr Usman Anwar Saif, evidence was building that the five planned to take part in ‘jihad’.

Sargodha, home to the central command of Pakistan’s air force, is also known as a center for anti-India militant groups. It is a gateway to North Waziristan, a haven for al-Qaida in Pakistan.

A deputy police superintendent in Sargodha, Tahir Gujar, said that the police were set to charge the five under anti-terrorism laws with planning a criminal conspiracy.

The police said that there were strong indications that the five met with representatives of two banned militant groups: Jaish-e-Muhammad and Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

Pakistani officials have said that they arrived in Karachi, the nation’s largest city, on Dec 1.

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