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Swedish woman freed in Pakistan terror probe

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 25 Sep 2009, 10:39

Published: 25 Sep 2009 10:39 GMT+02:00

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Benaouda, who is the daughter of Helena Benaouda, the head of the Muslim Council of Sweden, was released with her two and half year old son on Friday morning from the Islamabad prison in which they have been held for the past four weeks, according to local media sources.

"They have confirmed that a woman and a small child have been handed over to the Swedish embassy today and there are no suspicions held against them," the Pakistani journalist Naveed Siddiqui, working for GEO News, said after talking to the Pakistani interior ministry.

The Swedish foreign ministry was unable to confirm the release on Friday morning.

"We have not received any information about this from the Swedish embassy," Karin Nylund at the ministry told news agency TT.

Neither sources elsewhere within the ministry nor even the Benaouda's mother were able to confirm the reports, which by 1pm on Friday had received wide coverage in the Swedish media.

"I have received so many contradictory reports and am now waiting for confirmation from the foreign ministry," Helena Benaouda told TT.

Story continues below…

Naveed Siddiqui however was able to add that the authorities have confirmed that a further eleven prisoners are set to be released, implying that Swedish national Mehdi Ghezali and Benaouda's 28-year-old partner Munir Awad, could be among them.

He also claimed that the Pakistani authorities had detained a further Swede in connection to the terror probe, a 28-year-old man, but this has neither been confirmed by Swedish authorities.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:17 September 25, 2009 by mysticbumwipe
Great news.

I have always wondered, since this story first appeared, what exactly these people have allegedly done that is regarded as so 'dangerous' or so 'criminal'.

It always appeared to me that their arrest and imprisonment was based merely upon a 'suspicion' of an intent to meet someone who is regarded as an outlaw by western governments.

Well, OK, but excuse me for asking, since when has THAT been a crime?

"...where they were to meet an alleged Taliban leader named Zahir Noor..."

Well. What to say?

Is this what the ludicrous named 'war on terror' has come to?

Welcome to the 'free' world.
13:04 September 25, 2009 by DreEstwd
Yeah, seriously! I mean, people are going to the lawless, Taliban and Al-Qaeda stronghold, Waziristan on vacation all the time! Why else would anyone go there? Jeez, some governments are so suspicious. I wonder why...
14:11 September 25, 2009 by this_aint_sparta
Yeah I agree half of the 911 plot was executed/planned in Boston, Any muslim travelling to Boston is a %%%%orist.
15:36 September 25, 2009 by Hindustani786

They can't solve the issue of Zia, RajivGandhi Assasination after so many decades. now the latest is Benazir.

But they are the one who caught so called Terrorist( in few minutes_ to get praise from SO CALLED WAR ON TERROR leader USA(son of ISRAEL)

Hahaha, They are far superior than world best intelligence services MOSSAD, CIA.
15:53 September 25, 2009 by DreEstwd
Anyone notice how the guy that the US busted in Denver this week received his bomb-making training in the same area that Ghezali was arrested in? http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/25/tech/main5339112.shtml

Anyone notice that 3 plots to bomb different sites were foiled by the Americans this week (all by Muslims, but I guess that goes without saying at this point).
17:21 September 25, 2009 by here for the summer
@mysticbumwipe .. how appropriate ;)

It was not the US that arrested them but Pakistan .. they have a civil war going on or a internal terrorist group or both and the person they were going to see is the leader of the group.. this group also is suspected of killing the wife of the current president ... how unfair to arrest visitors like these "Swedes" who are there to support the insurgency ,,

Swedish government with with Swedish tax dollars is supporting a terrorist or at least a terrorist enabler ( she was used for cover ) by bailing her out ..
23:16 September 25, 2009 by wxman
When I comment on these articles, I feel like I'm in the movie Groundhog Day, but here goes anyway. SHE'S NOT SWEDISH!!
15:04 September 26, 2009 by Kaethar
@ wxman: Why not? Her mother is Finnish/Swedish and her dad is Algerian (?) but she was born and raised in Sweden.
17:28 September 26, 2009 by waajid
Well few very funny comments I read here pl note the following facts: -

1. They were arrested as they were with out any valid visa....any one visiting any country with out a valid visa would always be arrested.

2. Those so called innocent Swedes came to Pakistan by crossing over border from Iran. I am sure they must be looking for some holiday adventure.

3. Ghazali was in possesion of a sattelite phone, huge currency, fuses (that can be used in bomb making) maps and many others unwanted articles. Do u think he was going to use all this to baby sit the 2 yo kid they had with them.

Extremist are a problem, no matter what ever race or religion they belong to. We MUST condemn them.
18:34 September 26, 2009 by here for the summer
If what waajid says is true then ... Why is the Swedish government bailing her out? Why is she welcome back in Sweden? Given this case shouldn't Helena Benaouda and the Muslim Council of Sweden be investigated as a terrorist organization?
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