Americans detained in Pakistan, suspected of joining violent jihad

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.

UK lacks counter-terror policy, says Musharraf: Pakistani president hits back at British critics

Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharraf, claimed yesterday that Britain lacked a long-term counter-terrorist strategy and argued that Islamist extremism was a home-grown problem for Britain rather than his country’s responsibility. Speaking before meeting Gordon Brown in Downing Street, and in response to persistent British criticism of his record on counter-terrorism, Musharraf set out the shortcomings he sees in the UK’s efforts to deal with militant young Muslims, pointing out that all the July 7 2005 bombers were born in the UK. Julian Borger reports.

Cartoon Protestors Defy Rally Ban

Thousands of Muslims defied a ban on rallies Friday in Pakistan’s capital, joining protesters across the country in condemning the Prophet Muhammad cartoons printed by some Western newspapers. The demonstrations after midday prayers also gave angry clerics a platform to criticize President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and his government’s close relations with the United States.