British forces captured 2 UK nationals from Afghan war zone
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
London, July 21: British forces captured two UK nationals from a warzone in Afghanistan, raising fears that Taliban and al-Qaeda are still drawing foreign terror recruits.
The two British nationals were seized by British troops in a combat area in Afghanistan and were believed to be fighting with the Taliban, Sun newspaper reported.
Confirming the arrest, the British Defence Ministry in a statement said, "We can confirm that two individuals had been detained in Afghanistan."
Western intelligence agencies have long suspected that British nationals have travelled to Afghanistan and terror havens on the Af-Pak border for training, but this is the first time that anyone has been picked up in the warzone.
The suspects believed to be British Muslims with dual nationality were held in a military base in Afghanistan and later handed over to civilian authorities.
Sun quoting British officials said that a fair amount of British Muslims were radicalised and going up to Pakistan for training before heading to confront US and British forces in Afghanistan.
The tabloid said that the two were captured in Helmand Province in Afghan dress and were facing British patrols. The security personnel got onto their presence in the area by listening to the chatter on the air base.
A source told the paper that "Helmand is not a holiday destination. The authorities will be very concerned they were wandering about. The first thing they want to know is what they were doing there."
US and Western intelligence agencies have raised concerns over the presence of large number of their nationals in the terror training camps in Af-Pak border. Recently, most of UK and Western Europe raised their security alerts to the highest level after reports that groups like al-Qaeda were planning fresh strikes on the European mainland.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 21 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 21 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 22 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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