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Four Swedes in Pakistan terror probe

Published: 14 Sep 2009 16:51 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Sep 2009 16:51 GMT+02:00

Sweden's foreign ministry confirmed on Monday that four Swedish citizens - three adults and a child - are being held in Islamabad, where Pakistani authorities are investigating whether the group has ties to terrorist network Al-Qaeda.

The ministry had previously received information from Pakistan that three Swedes were under arrest.

The group of four includes a woman and small child, arrested on suspicion of having ties with Al-Qaeda, Pakistani officials said on Monday.

Mehdi Ghezali -- a Swedish citizen who was arrested in Afghanistan after the 2001 US-led invasion and spent two years in Guantanamo Bay -- was among the 12 foreigners arrested last month in Pakistan, a security official said.

The group's members were detained at Dera Ghazi Khan, on the border between Pakistan's central Punjab and North West Frontier Province, where government troops have fought against encroaching Taliban militants.

"Authorities at the Punjab-NWFP border on August 28, arrested a group of 12 foreigners including Swedish, Turkish and Russian nationals," the official said. The group entered Pakistan from Iran, he added.

"The suspects are being questioned about their links with Al-Qaeda," the official said on condition of anonymity.

A Swedish woman with a two-and-half-year-old boy were among those arrested, who said they were Muslim preachers going to teach in South Waziristan, a known hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants in Pakistan's tribal belt.

"Police seized CDs, currency, maps, literature and other material from their possession," he said. A laptop and $10,000 were also seized from one of the suspects, the official said.

The suspects were taken to Islamabad for further investigation, the official said.

Asked whether Ghezali and other foreigners held at Dera Ghazi Khan had links with Al-Qaeda, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was quoted as saying by state news agency APP that they were "all under investigation."

Dera Ghazi Khan district's police chief told AFP the foreigners had valid travel documents, but were arrested because they had entered a prohibited zone where Pakistani nuclear facilities are located.

"There were three Swedes, seven Turkish and one Russian in the group," Rizwan Akhtar said. An Iranian man was also among those detained, police said.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:29 September 14, 2009 by Palestinian
Strange!

There is some thing written about Islam above!

Usually there are many losers who start directly to scream as a mad hungry homeless street dogs!

I wonder if they will start soon!!

Come on and ask Sweden to stop Muslims in streets and shoot them between eyes!
18:12 September 14, 2009 by antoniolgj
@Palestinian

I'm trying to understand what you are trying to say, so I can reply/comment, but unfortunately your English/grammar is quite bad, so your phrases are not making any sense. Do you have any friend with better English skills, so you could ask him/her to check your message before post it? That would be nice.

@Eurostan

There you are again trying to cross the line. For us, your culture is not better than Islam, mate. Don't forget the line...
20:08 September 14, 2009 by Tony Ryals
'here for the summer'stated on Guantanamo Swede arrested in Pakistan board that 'all terrorists are Islamic'.Here's my reply:

First note recent guilty or defensive response to Aftonbladet article and 9/11 by Israeli Ambassador to Sweden.Then story on Israelis who knew events of 9/11 ahead of time.Also 'here for summer' ignores it appears to be a European mafia who highjacked that boat off the Swedish coast that Israeli PM and the Russians have been so interested in NOT Islamic terrorists !And I'm not defending Islam. In truth I wish I never heard anymore about Judeo-christian-Ilamo religious bs in this lifetime.

http://www.doomdaily.com/2009/israel-and-us-jointly-target-sweden-in-propaganda-blitzkrieg/

Israel's ambassador in Stockholm, Benny Dagan, when asked by a Swedish

reporter why Israel did not investigate the Aftonbladet report on

organ harvesting, replied with an unusual answer: "Why don't we

investigate why the Mossad and the Jews were behind the bombing of the

twin towers?"....

A Mossad surveillance team made quite a public spectacle of themselves on 9-11.

The New York Times reported Thursday that a group of five men had set

up video cameras aimed at the Twin Towers prior to the attack on

Tuesday, and were seen congratulating one another afterwards.

Police received several calls..claiming "middle-eastern" men with a

white van were videotaping the disaster with shouts of joy and

mockery.

"They were like happy, you know … They didn't look shocked to me" ..

[T]hey were seen by New Jersey residents on Sept. 11 making fun of the

World Trade Center ruins..

Dispatcher: Jersey City police.

Caller: Yes, we have a white van, 2 or 3 guys in there, they look like Palestinians and going around a building.

Caller: There's a minivan heading toward the Holland tunnel, I see the guy by Newark Airport mixing some junk and he has those sheikh

uniform.

He has what?

He's dressed like an Arab.

....the suspicious "middle-easterners" were apprehended. Imagine the surprise of the police officers when these

terror suspects turned out to be Israelis!

According to ABC's 20/20..the driver of the van, Sivan Kurzberg, told the officers:

"We are Israelis...The Palestinians are your problem."

Why did he feel Palestinians were a problem for the NYPD?...

..the New York Post, and the New Jersey Bergen Record all clearly and

unambiguously reported that a white van with Israelis was intercepted

on a ramp near Route 3, which leads directly to the Lincoln Tunnel...

A few days after the attacks, Urban Moving System's Israeli owner,

Dominick Suter, dropped his business and fled the country for

Israel....

Several of the detainees discussed their experience in America on an

Israeli talk show after their return home. Said one of the men,..,

'Our purpose was to document the event."
23:06 September 14, 2009 by Palestinian
antoniolgj

This is typical you trying always to move the discussion from general to personal useless points.

I used English ( my fifth spoken language) all over the world and no one complained from misunderstanding!

May be all the people I met have higher IQ than you.

Language is a way of communication and not a grammar skills competition as I believe!
23:08 September 14, 2009 by wxman
You'd think four blonde, blue-eyed Swedes would have really stood out in a place like Pakistan! I wonder why it took so long to suspect them. These countries need to start profiling these Swedish terrorists more closely. Stop Swedish terrorism now, I say!
00:35 September 15, 2009 by Per Johansson52
Misguiding news!

It has just became a FASHION for news and Media to call a Child terrorist LOL.

Until it is proven by court nobody has right to publish their names and call them terrorist . it doesnt mean you if you travel to India or pakistan then you are terrorist.

most of us travel to thailand to have some nice massage :) they should call us sex pervert :=)

@Eurostan

it seems to me that you were raped by a Sheikh that you hate them so much right?
09:22 September 15, 2009 by alpha_bravo
@Eurostan .. quote

"radical islam is quite strong in swedish universities.

go and see in any swedish universities and observe closely. you can see many people with beards, veils, and doing prayers in the classrooms"

Education has done no good to you...living in sweden and among swedes has

once again not changed your pathetic thoughts and ideas (shame on you).

And if you are in so much pain and agony from muslims around you i would be

very disappointed if you are still living in sweden...

If we dont have any problems from them....whats your matter ? SHAME ON YOU
09:36 September 15, 2009 by asifbit
I believe that "Eurostan" is one of the terrorist. Terrorist is not only to kill people. Propaganda against other countries/religious is also a form of terror because with that you are enforcing people against some countries/religious and that is basically brain washing and a form of terror. I am pretty sure that he is an active member of anti Muslims/Pakistan agencies. I am also inspired by "Per Johansson52's" observation it might me correct that he has been raped by some Sheikh . The problem with these type of guys are that they actually don't know about anything at all. They only always blame others.
10:32 September 15, 2009 by benraph
@ Tony Ryalls, What an idiot you are. The ambassador answered the question like that because he was being cynical. The 3 people in NY were selling art, and yes they were Israeli, but definately not Mossad. And all the other things you have written have misrepresented reality with vile distortions which i notice you seem to put into alot of your posts. You must believe that if you keep repeating lies, people will believe them. This story had nothing to do with Israel or Israelis, I expect you have a hidden agenda.
12:08 September 15, 2009 by Eurostan
@per johansson52: a pakistani in disguise.

first change your name. guys got very angry.

go and see in any swedish universities and observe closely. you can see many people with beards, veils, and doing prayers in the classrooms"

is there any swedish university which is not applicable the above statement. instead of clarifying that you people are attacking me.

but it is 100% true. it is time to ban doing prayers in the university or in the middle of the exam or in the middle of the class .
12:52 September 15, 2009 by mehboob_umt
@Eurostan: What's wrong? If "many people with beards, veils, and doing prayers in the classrooms". I am sorry if you hurt.

@All: Please stop to passing comments on religion just focus on topic.
14:53 September 15, 2009 by Eurostan
@ mehboob_umt

i never be hurt in the discussion. it is good to have a debate. i dont know which country you came from. but in some countries there is a school uniform. all the children having same colour dress. the purpose of that is to prevent social break up of class on rich and poor , religion,region etc.

i am quite sure that there is break up of class on religiou lines if there are people with veils and beards and often they are doing prayer together.

again you people complain that muslims are discriminated and oppressed.

first dont discriminate yourself from other people, then other people dont discriminate you .

dont expose what you are actually to all people, that is not good for any kind of people.(not only muslims)
15:08 September 15, 2009 by DreEstwd
If someone started doing prayers in the middle of any class or exam that I was doing, I would slap them all the way back to the Middle East. This is the Western world where religion is exercised at home in private or in a place of worship. Not in public.
16:10 September 15, 2009 by unresolved_mystery
@Eurostan

First thing, your comment is quite out of context here, its a different thing if you want to drag everything to suit your agenda

Second thing, if someone goes out, takes a break and says prayers, its his/her personal choice, ..., Why should it bother any person if someone wants to leave in the middle of class.

By saying prayers nobody is forcing anything on any person. Did you hear complains from Swedish fellas that they were repeatedly asked to embrace Islam?

Do you think by saying prayer, one is transforming into some extermist type. Your arguments are totally without substance,

On a different note, I find it quite quite ironic, that nobody can see the suffering that Muslims at large went through, when they were tortured, devasted, bombarded on the premise that terror plots were carried out on their lands. And, even so, Muslims are terrorists. Each forum is nothing but a hatred chapter against Muslims.

In the end Eurostan, I would say that you like discussion, but each of your argument is mere re-arrangement of your prejudices.

Peace
16:57 September 15, 2009 by benraph
Eurostan has made some fair points, allthough not PC. I am from the UK and there was just a far right protest against Islamic extremists(reminicent of the 30's), and Islamic extremists were egging them on. Both sides attacked the police and many were arrested. The truth is that in England, muslims are not standing up to islamic extremism. Think about it, Their parents came from Pakistan or Somalia or wherever else to escape political problems and financial ones, They should at least be grateful to the hosting country and try and learn about its customs and way of life. And the worst thing is how they are turning on the same countries that gave them shelter and a better life. Not all of them are like this, but those that arent have a resposibility to speak out against Islamic fundementalism. I fear that Sweden is only a few years behind the UK. I hope none of your citizens dont start planning to bomb planes out of the Sky.
22:42 September 15, 2009 by waspy
They've revealed the identities of the other so-called Swede's who were arrested:

"The other Swedes arrested were identified as Munir Awad and Safia Benaouda and a young boy who was apparently their son, according to a police report obtained by the AP through the Interior Ministry.

Benaouda and Awad are the same names of two people who also have been in the news before.

A Swede named Safia Benaouda, then 17 years old, was held by Ethiopian authorities after being taken into custody along the Somali-Kenyan border in 2007. She told a Swedish newspaper that she was interrogated for weeks by white foreigners and asked about extremism in Sweden. A man named Munir Awad was identified as her fiance.

The Benaouda who was held in Ethiopia is the daughter of Helena Benaouda, chairwoman of the Swedish Muslim Council."

http://www.examiner.com/a-2216168~Police__Pakistan_suspect_is_Swede_once_at_Gitmo.html
02:27 September 16, 2009 by DreEstwd
Surprise surprise...
12:19 September 16, 2009 by flintis
Leave them there & stop wasting taxpayers money that could be better spent on health care etc:
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