US men held in Pak tried to join terror groups

US men held in Pak tried to join terror groups

US men held in Pak tried to join terror groups

Police officials said the five men were planning to strike ''sensitive installations'' in Pakistan. All the five were picked up with their laptops, maps and videos suggesting that they intended to join extremist terrorist groups to fight US forces in Afghanistan, media reports said.

The five men were arrested on Wednesday in Sargodha, about 180 kilometres south of Pakistan's capital Islamabad, and were all US citizens with origins in other countries, including two Pakistani-Americans, one Egyptian-American and two Ethiopian-Americans.

"They tried to contact jihadi groups in Pakistan through YouTube and other websites," Sargodha district police chief Usman Anwar was quoted by the media as saying.

"From the documents and maps that they were carrying, it appeared that their destination was Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal district. This indicates what they were up to."

North Waziristan is where Al-Qaeda, Taliban and other militant groups have carved out sanctuaries and training camps in the hostile region outside direct government control.

In an interview with CNN, the Pakistani official said: "They were there for jihad... They could have done anything. They had US passports. They would have access to many, many places."

Their arrests have raised fears that Muslim radicalisation is gaining momentum in the US, creating high-value recruits for Islamist groups.

As these reports came in, President Barack Obama vowed an investigation into how and why the five men left the US for Pakistan.

"There will undoubtedly be a series of investigations surrounding these events, so I'd prefer not to comment on them at this point," Obama said.

Mindful of how easily Muslim Americans can gain access to distorted and extremist teachings on the Web, Obama warned the Administration would have to ensure that Internet did not "affect our young people."