Pakistani court rejects Americans' bail request

ISLAMABAD Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:38am EST

1 of 4. A man identified as Umar Farooq (2nd L), who police say is one of five Americans accused of planning terrorist attacks inside Pakistan, hugs his father Khalid Farooq (C) as fellow American detainee Waqar Hussain Khan (2nd R) talks with his lawyer Khalid Khawaja before a court appearance in Sargodha, Punjab province, 190 km (118 miles) southeast of Islamabad, February 16, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Faisal Mahmood

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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A Pakistani court dismissed on Wednesday a request for the release on bail of five Americans accused of contacting militants over the Internet and plotting terrorist attacks.

The students, in their 20s and from the U.S. state of Virginia, were detained in December in the central Pakistani town of Sargodha, 190 km (120 miles) southeast of the capital.

They have not been formally charged but could face lengthy prison terms if found guilty.

The case of the Americans, who were arrested days after arriving in Pakistan, has raised alarm over the danger posed by militants using the Internet to evade tighter international security measures and plan attacks.

A defense lawyer for the five men, Hassan Katchela, told Reuters by telephone that an anti-terrorist judge in Sargodha turned down the plea for their release on bail.

"We were not expecting the dismissal, as despite our repeated demands for evidence and charges, the prosecutors failed to provide anything substantial against them," he said. "Now we will approach a higher court."

A panel of defense lawyers for the men said the charges brought against their clients were "vague" and requested an anti-terrorist court on Tuesday to order their release on bail.

Police have said emails showed they contacted Pakistani militants who had planned to use them for attacks in Pakistan, a front-line state in the U.S.-led war against militancy.

The men -- two of them of Pakistani origin, one of Egyptian, one of Yemeni and one of Eritrean origin -- told the court earlier they only wanted to provide fellow Muslims in Afghanistan with medical and financial help.

They have accused the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pakistani police of torturing them and trying to frame them. Pakistani authorities have denied the accusations of mistreatment.

Pakistan is fighting al Qaeda-linked militants and under pressure from Washington to help stabilize neighboring Afghanistan by cracking down harder on militants' cross-border attacks on U.S.-led troops.

(Reporting by Kamran Haider; Editing by Chris Allbritton and Sanjeev Miglani)

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Comments (2)
jerrygottago wrote:
These poor, poor Boys they only wanted to go kill people now they are being mistreated such a shame. When you play with fire you might get burned and so it goes.

Feb 17, 2010 8:05am EST  --  Report as abuse
wrongatlarge wrote:
the UN should charge muslims with inciting hatred and discrimination against non-muslims,,, and crimes against humanity,,,

islamic apartheid,,,

The Evils of Islamic Political Ideology: Oppression of non-Muslims


Ali Sina, an ex-Muslim from Iran. He is the creator of
Yet I know that by eradicating Islam we can save the world from the dangers of a catastrophe that otherwise is looming over our heads and could cause more disaster than the 1st and 2nd World Wars combined. Eradication of Islam means restoring peace among humanity and civility, democracy and prosperity in the Muslim world.

Feb 17, 2010 9:20am EST  --  Report as abuse
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