Islamabad, Apr.18 (ANI): Evidence against the five US 'jihad seekers', who were arrested from Sargodha last year on charges of planning terror attacks across Pakistan, shows that the men tried to contact a top Al-Qaeda commander, Qari Saifullah Akhtar, a lawyer associated with the case has said.
It may be noted that Akhtar has been arrested twice before - in the United Arab Emirates in 2004 and by Pakistani authorities in 2008, but was released on both occasions for reasons unknown.
He was also accused of a failed attack on former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.
The Pakistan government has placed the evidence in the special court that has been set up in a high security prison in Sargodha due to security concerns.
According to Prosecutor Nadeem Akram, the evidence produced in court includes documents, phone call logs and e-mails sent by the men, who belong to north Virginia.
However, Defence lawyer Hasan Dastagir argued during the closed-door hearing that the men were being wrongly accused and the police has fabricated the evidence.
"We will prove that the police fabricated the case. All the accused were arrested on the night between December 8 and 9, while the police record shows they were arrested on December 14," another Defence lawyer Tariq Asad told a foreign news agency.
The five accused had pleaded innocence, and said that they were being 'set up' and tortured by the FBI and the Pakistani police.
Waqar Hussain Khan (22), Virginia, Ahmed Abdullah Mani (20), Virginia, Ramay S Zamzam (22), Iman Hasan Yamar (17), California and Omar Farouk (24), Virginia, were arrested in Sargodha on December 9, for plotting terror attacks in Pakistan and Afghansitan, and are locked in a Pakistani jail without being charged.
Pakistan has made it clear that the men, all in their late 20s, would not be deported to the US and that they would be prosecuted in the country itself. (ANI)