As Pakistani law enforcement officials began questioning the group from a multiethnic, working-class enclave in Virginia, investigators sought more information about a suspected Pakistani militant they knew only as Saifullah.
Investigators believe that Saifullah recruited the Americans, some of whom were college students, through an exchange of emails in late summer and the fall. Saifullah then tried to arrange for them to head to Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border, sanctuaries for the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaida.
Note: this summary was taken directly from the article (linked to above) in the Los Angeles Times.
Five US nationals from the Washington DC area were detained in Pakistan; officials believe the men had hoped to receive training at a jihadist camp and launch attacks against US forces. The men are in their early 20s and went missing in November.
The men told interrogators that they were “for jihad” and that they were planning to launch jihad “against infidel US forces, wherever they are.”
The FBI is working with Pakistani authorities to determine the activities of the men. Investigations are underway.
Following information given to them by the FBI, Pakistani authorities began tracking the men in November as they traveled in Pakistan. They allegedly went to Hyderabad and then to Sargodha, where they were apprehended.
The men have suspected ties to Jaish-e-Mohammed, an al-Qaida-funded group associated with the killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl and assasination attempts of Pervez Musharraf.
Police believe they made contact with Jaish-e-Mohammed via YouTube.