Five US Men Convicted Of Pakistan 'Terror Plot'

Five Americans have each been sentenced to 10 years in jail by a court in Pakistan after being found guilty of terrorism charges, prosecutors say.

Five Americans have each been sentenced to 10 years in jail by a court in Pakistan after The students were arrested days after arriving in Pakistan last year being found guilty of terrorism charges, prosecutors say.

The five men - aged between 19 and 25 - were convicted of conspiring to commit terrorist attacks on Pakistani soil and of funding banned jihadist groups.

They were arrested in the north-eastern city of Sargodha in December.

The case is one of several involving alleged "home-grown" American Muslim militants linked to Pakistan.

Two of them are Pakistani-Americans, while the remaining three are said to be of Eritrean, Ethiopian and Egyptian origin.

They disappeared from the US state of Virginia in November, after which their families found a farewell video message, which is said to have shown scenes of war and calls for Muslims to be defended.

The Americans were arrested in December in Sargodha on charges of plotting a terror attack

Investigators said the men were planning to travel to Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taliban. But they denied any links to al-Qaeda and insisted they wanted to go to Afghanistan for charity work.

They also accused the US FBI and Pakistani police of torturing them and trying to frame them. Officials have denied the accusations.

The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Karachi says the convictions are by no means the final word.

Pakistani anti-terrorism courts often have their convictions overturned by higher courts, often because of a lack of conclusive evidence, our correspondent says.

Umar Farooq is hugged by his father

Dozens of suspected militants have been released over the last six months, including some implicated in high profile cases such as the attack on the Marriot hotel in Islamabad in September 2008, he adds.

 

source: bbc