Pakistani judge extends detention of U.S. man

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – A Pakistani judge has extended the detention of a young American man of Pakistani descent for two weeks after he was caught trying to enter a known al Qaeda and Taliban militant sanctuary on the Afghan border.

The man, identified by police as Judi Kenan, was arrested on October 13 while trying to enter the Mohmand region from the North West Frontier Province.

His lawyer, Khan Ghawas, told Reuters Sunday police had charged Kenan for trying to enter the region illegally. Police also said Kenan was found with a knife at the time of his arrest, Ghawas said.

“Police have completed their interrogation and the court has sent him to a judicial lock-up for 14 days. In the meantime, police will make a case on the basis of the charges and present it before the court,” Ghawas said.

Police said earlier Kenan had told them he wanted to visit a friend in Mohmand. He had a valid visa for Pakistan but he did not have permission to enter the region.

The next hearing would be held after the end of the 14-day period of detention.

Mohmand is one of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous ethnic Pashtun tribal regions that have long been off-limits for foreigners without special permission and which in recent years have become plagued by Islamist militant violence.

Western nations are worried that some of their citizens, in particular young men of Pakistani descent, who support the militant cause might travel to Pakistan for training and to plot violence.

At least two young British men of Pakistani descent traveled to Pakistan before carrying out suicide bomb attacks on London’s transport system in 2005.

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