Pakistan Security Brief
�Pakistani police began investigating a group of foreign nationals, including four Swedes, with alleged links to al Qaeda; Abu Faraj, a suicide-bombing mastermind affiliated with the Swat Taliban, was arrested on Monday; Pakistani police foiled an assassination attempt on the Northwest Frontier Province education minister; pro-government commander Turkistan Bhittani announced Saturday that he and his supporters would turn in their weapons.
- �Pakistani police announced Monday that they are investigating a group of foreign nationals arrested on suspicion of ties to al Qaeda. The foreigners include four Swedish citizens, seven Turks, one Russian, and one Iranian; they were first detained August 28 outside Dera Ghazi Khan town in Punjab. At least two of them have a history of terrorism-linked arrest; one of the Swedes was released from Guantanamo Bay prison in 2004.
- Mohammad Nasim Shah, alias Abu Faraj, was arrested by the Pakistani military following security operations on Monday in the northwest Swat Valley area. Firaj, a close aide of Swat Taliban commander Maulana Fazlulluah, was reportedly an expert in recruiting and training suicide bombers.
- Pakistani police reportedly foiled an assassination attempt on the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) education minister on Monday. The plotters--a group of as-of-yet unidentified militants--were arrested during a clandestine meeting in a high-school building following a tipoff from a local informant.
- Pro-government militant commander Turkistan Bhittani declared on Saturday that he and over four hundred of his supporters would turn their weapons in as a protest against the government for attempting to disarm his people despite their help in the fight against Taliban insurgents.� �