Two Pakistani students arrested over an alleged terror plot have returned to Pakistan after deciding to leave the UK voluntarily, the Home Office has said. Abdul Khan, 26, and Shoaib Khan, 27, were among 12 people held by police after raids in north-west England in April, but the pair were never charged.
It is understood the men decided to leave after being denied bail while appealing against deportation. Abdul Khan said his detention had been “like a hell” and his treatment showed the British authorities “do not know what justice means”. The men’s solicitor, Amjad Malik, said his clients should have been freed instead of being held for months. Mr Malik claimed both men had been frequently strip-searched, subjected to “searches by dogs” and served tainted food. The British High Commission in Pakistan has rejected the allegations as “unfounded”.
Pakistani authorities have detained a Scottish charity worker once called the “Tartan Taliban”, who converted to Islam more than two decades ago. Dundee-born James McLintock, who goes by his Muslim name, Yakoob, in Pakistan, was picked up in Peshawar over the past month, several sources say. News of his detention filtered out at the weekend amid a public spat between the British and Pakistani governments after last week’s arrest of 11 Pakistani students in northwest England.
McLintock said he fought jihad alongside mujahideen fighters battling Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and in Bosnia in 1994. On Christmas Eve 2001 he was arrested while crossing from Afghanistan as US forces were hunting Osama bin Laden. Initial reports suggested he was a radical Islamist, but after interrogation by British intelligence it emerged he was working for a charity, and he was freed. In 2003, he was detained by British police in Manchester but released shortly afterwards. The Pakistani police have not yet clarified the charges of which McLintock is accused now.