Islamabad, Nov 25 : Rashid Rauf, the British terror suspect who Pakistan intelligence sleuths claimed died in an air raid in Pakistan's tribal areas last week, was not killed in the attack, claims his family.
Their claim is based on the fact that his dead body has not been handed over to them yet, and that the concerned authorities were also not responding to their questions.
Speaking through Rauf's lawyer Hashmat Malik, the family of Rauf's wife (in Pakistan) said that he was not killed in the attack. "It's all a concocted story. We're sure that it is not Rashid Rauf," The Guardian quoted the lawyer as saying.
Rauf had escaped from Pakistani custody in December last year under mysterious circumstances, while on his way back from a court appearance in Rawalpindi. Amid rumours that he might have bribed the police to let him go, the family maintained that it was a ruse, so that he could be "disappeared" into the hands of Pakistani intelligence.
"There was no reason for him to be in North Waziristan, he has no link with al-Qaida or the Taliban. The entire family is hopeful that he is still alive. He might have met his death, but not through this strike," said Malik.
The lawyer said that the family believed that if Rauf was dead, the Pakistani security agencies had killed him after his "escape".
Although he was considered a main suspect in the plot to blow up transatlantic airliners in 2006, British police had sought Rauf's extradition over a separate case. He was accused of belonging to a banned militant organisation in Pakistan that has close links to al-Qaeda.