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Britain asks Pakistan for airline bomb plot suspect

August 28, 2006

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Britain has requested the extradition
of a Briton of Pakistani descent who was arrested in Pakistan
this month on suspicion of involvement in a plot to bomb
airliners over the Atlantic, Pakistan said on Monday.

“Yes, they have sought his extradition and the matter is
under consideration,” Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
Tasnim Aslam told reporters, referring to the suspect, Rashid
Rauf.

A British High Commission spokesman confirmed that a
request for the extradition of Rauf, who is a dual
Pakistani-British national, had been submitted, but said it was
in connection with a murder inquiry.

The spokesman, Aiden Liddle, referred to news reports that
Rauf had left Britain and traveled to Pakistan in 2002 after
the murder in Britain of an uncle.

“We’ve requested his extradition in connection with that
investigation,” Liddle said.

A spokesman for Britain’s Home Office (Interior Ministry)
declined to comment on whether the extradition request had any
link to the bomb plot inquiry.

British police said on August 10 they had foiled a major
plot to carry out suicide bombings on aircraft bound for the
United States and were questioning more than 20 suspects.

Pakistan later said it had arrested seven people, including
two British Muslims of Pakistani descent, one identified as
Rauf, in connection with the plot.

Pakistan said Rauf, who was arrested shortly before August
10, had contacts with an al Qaeda operative in Afghanistan and
was central to the plot.

Rauf is the only suspect Pakistan has identified.

Aslam said Rauf had been arrested in the city of
Rawalpindi.

Information obtained from him during his interrogation was
being shared with Britain through proper channels, she said.

“We’re investigating his involvement in terrorist
activities in three area: his links with al Qaeda, threat
projected in the United Kingdom and threat projected in
Pakistan,” Aslam said.

(Additional reporting by Robert Birsel)


Source: reuters



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