– SCOTSMAN JAMES MCLINTOCK ARRESTED IN PAKISTAN
The 44-year-old father of four, originally from Dundee, converted to Islam in his 20s but came to international attention in 12/2001, during operation Absolute Justice, when he was arrested in Afghanistan on suspicion of being a foreign fighter (see – Londonstan).
James McLintock was released five weeks later after strenuous denials of links to terror organisations and sent back to the UK. There was no official confirmation of his latest arrest. The British High Commission in Islamabad did not return calls.
The police in Peshawar deny holding James McLintock, while Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry claimed no knowledge of his detention. But Pakistani government sources last night told The Scotsman James McLintock had, indeed, been detained.
Although supposedly held since February, the information about this latest arrest was only leaked by Pakistani government sources to the country’s media over the weekend, and it has been suggested that it could be the result of a tit-for-tat diplomatic spat between London and Islamabad.
Twelve men – 11 Pakistani nationals and a Briton – were arrested last week after police swooped on properties in Greater Manchester, Liverpool and Lancashire on Wednesday. One was released on Saturday while the rest are being held for questioning (see – Manchester 04.09.09).
One source in Islamabad said: “This news on James McLintock should make Britain realise that it’s not all one-way traffic. People (terror suspects] come from their side, too.”
James McLintock, who changed his name to Yaqub Mohammed, had previously been detained in Manchester in 2003, but he was again released without charge.
Mike Weir, the MP who represents the Angus constituency where Mr McLintock’s mother Margaret and father Iain live, had fought to have the worker released during his 2001 arrest (see – ).
By his own account, James McLintock was called to jihad in Afghanistan in 1988 and Bosnia in 1994. He married a Pakistani woman named Shaffia and started a family in 1995, later setting up a website called Media Watch to give the “true picture” of what is happening in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
A Foreign Office spokesman said last night: “We are investigating reports of a British man being arrested in Pakistan. We are unable to confirm his name at this stage.”
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