'Tartan Taliban' arrested

Tuesday 15 April 2014 04:22

Pakistani authorities are questioning a British national about suspected links to terrorism after he was arrested in the northwestern city of Peshawar, writes Omar Waraich.

Pakistani officials claimed that James Alexander McLintock, 45, who was arrested some weeks ago, had been living in the country illegally since 2004. The man dubbed the "Tartan Taliban" by the Scottish press has been arrested twice previously on suspicion of being an international terrorist, but was released on both occasions. Mr McLintock, previously a Catholic, joined the US-backed jihad against the Soviets in 1988.

After coming under the influence of Saudis whom he met on a flight to Islamabad, he trained with Arab fighters, and fought against the Soviet army in Afghanistan. In 1994, he travelled to Bosnia to fight against Serbian forces. On Christmas Eve 2001, Mr McLintock was arrested close to the Pakistani border in Afghanistan on suspicion of being a foreign fighter. After being quizzed by British intelligence, he was released when it emerged that he was working for a charity. In 2003, while en route to Scotland for a visit home, he was arrested and released after a morning raid in Manchester. After converting to Islam, he took the name Yaqub and married a Pakistani.

Revelations regarding the arrest come as London and Islamabad are locked in a diplomatic row, with each government accusing the other of intelligence failures following the arrests of 11 Pakistani nationals suspected of involvement in an al-Qa'ida plot in the UK last week.

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