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2 foreigners held for links with Al Qaeda

October 24, 2001

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KARACHI, Oct 23: Two more foreigners have been arrested for their alleged links with Osama bin Ladin’s Al Qaeda organization.

According to well-placed intelligence sources, these foreign nationals, whose identity and nationality could not be immediately ascertained, were taken into custody at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in North West Frontier Province when they were crossing into Pakistan from Afghanistan on Monday.

The sources said the two were in the custody of Frontier Constabulary and a joint team of FBI and ISI was interrogating them and some sensational disclosures were expected.

The sources also said about 15 persons of various nationalities had been tracked to have crossed over to Afghanistan from Pakistan just before the Sept 11 attack on World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

They are of various nationalities, including German, French, Belgian and Afghans living abroad.

Some of them had some form of association with one of the alleged hijackers, Mohammad Ata, the sources authoritatively said.

A joint FBI-ISI team is on the lookout of these individuals and are hopeful of apprehending them shortly.

Since the beginning of the US operations in Afghanistan, the sources said four other foreigners —- three Germans and one Australian —- had been arrested for their alleged links with Al Qaeda. They were arrested at the Chaman point of Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

One of the Germans was extradited to Germany within 48 hours of his arrest.

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