Swedes held in Pakistan over "terror" links
Islamabad, 13 September, (Asiantribune.com): A Swedish National Mehdi-Mohammed Ghezali a former Guantanamo Bay inmate is said to be among the 12 foreigners who were arrested last month in Pakistan on suspicion of having links with al-Qaeda.
Ghezali, along with two other Swedes and several other foreigners including seven Turks were arrested by police in Pakistan close to the country’s northwestern tribal regions, on suspicions the group had ties with the Al-Qaeda terrorist network.
The authorities here claimed to have confiscated a laptop and $10,000 from them.
The arrests took place at a checkpoint in Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab province, when the group was reportedly on its way to southern Waziristan, a stronghold for the Taliban in Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan.
The 12 foreigners were arrested Aug. 28 in the town of Dera Ghazi Khan. Police said at the time they had entered the country from Iran and were planning to travel to the tribal areas. It was not clear where they were being held.
At the time of the arrests, police did not say there were any Swedish nationals among the group.
The now 30-year-old Ghezali, a resident of Örebro in central Sweden, was arrested in December 2001 and put in custody of the US military shortly after the start of the campaign in Afghanistan. Ghezali reportedly was part of a group of 156 suspected Al-Qaeda fighters caught while fleeing Afghanistan’s Tora Bora Mountains.
He spent more than two years in a prison for terror suspects set up by the American military on its base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Ghezali denied any links to Al-Qaeda and was released by the US in 2004.
Ghezali, dubbed in the Swedish media as the "Guantánamo Swede", was never put on trial nor was he told why he had been detained. He was released from the prison in July 2004, whereupon he returned to Sweden.
- Asian Tribune -