Published January 14, 2015
Two suspected foreign militants arrested after a shootout in northwestern Pakistan had links with Al Qaeda (search ), security officials said Friday.
Pakistan, a key U.S. ally in the war on terror, has stepped up its campaign against alleged terror suspects over the past month, arresting around 70 foreign and Pakistani militants accused of working for Al Qaeda. Among those captured were Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan (search), an alleged Al Qaeda computer expert and Ahmad Khalfan Ghailani (search ), a Tanzanian who had a $5 million bounty on his head for his suspected involvement in the 1998 bombings of American embassies in east Africa.
The latest arrests came Thursday after a shootout between the two men and intelligence agents in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province (search ), on Thursday.
The suspects had opened fire after being stopped at a checkpoint and threw a grenade at the agents, who returned fire.
A security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity Friday, identified one of the men as Abu Fauzi, an Algerian, and said the other was believed to be an Iraqi.
After their arrest, intelligence agents raided their hide-out in Peshawar, seizing computers, CDs and other materials, said the official.
He said the suspects had links with "some Al Qaeda men" but refused to give further details.
Pakistan's Interior Ministry on Friday confirmed the arrests but also gave no details.
On Wednesday, Pakistan published photos of six terror suspects, including Abu Faraj al-Libbi, a Libyan Al Qaeda operative accused of masterminding two attempts to assassinate the country's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf (search ) last year.