Radio New Zealand : British terrorist suspect escapes in Pakistan

Sunday, December 16, 2007

British terrorist suspect escapes in Pakistan

December 16, 2007

A British man suspected of plotting to blow up trans-atlantic flights has escaped from police custody in Pakistan.

Rashid Rauf, 25, was arrested in central Pakistan in August 2006 at the same time as a series of arrests in the United Kingdom concerning an alleged plot to blow up airliners.

A day after his arrest, a major security alert in Britain led to the mass cancellation of flights and the introduction of security restrictions in airports worldwide.

The BBC says reports at the time linked Mr Rauf to the alleged plot and he was held for more than a year in Pakistan on terrorism charges.

These charges were dropped by one court last month, but he was immediately detained again.

He appeared before a judge at a court in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad at an extradition hearing on Saturday, shortly before he escaped.

The British government wants to extradite him to the United Kingdom where he is wanted by police in connection with his uncle's murder in 2002.

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