Detectives question the 'Tartan Taliban'

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The Independent Online

British anti-terrorist officers have flown to Pakistan to interview a Scottish charity worker arrested on suspicion of being a member of al-Qa'ida.

James McLintock, 37, from Dundee, was apprehended on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan before Christmas and is under house arrest at a government residence in Islamabad. He was released from a military prison in the garrison town of Bannu several days ago.

The aid worker, who has become known as the "Tartan Taliban", claims to be a volunteer with the charity Islamic Aid, and denies any involvement with the terrorist organisation led by Osama bin Laden.

Mr McLintock, who changed his name to Yaqub Mohammed after converting to Islam, was detained on 21 December at a military checkpoint in north-west Pakistan after he was found to have incorrect travel documents for the area. The location is close to a known terrorist training camp and only a short distance from the Taliban stronghold at Tora Bora.

Although the Pakistan authorities appear to have believed Mr McLintock's story, the arrival of officers from the Metropolitan Police's special operations squad casts doubt on whether the British intelligence services are convinced.

While CIA officials continue their investigation into possible links between al-Qa'ida and Islamic Aid, the authorities in Pakistan are believed to be preparing charges against Mr McLintock relating to a breach of the law which prohibits travel in sensitive areas. Mr McLintock claimed to be travelling on business for Islamic Aid.

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