ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Britain has requested the extradition of a Briton of Pakistani descent who was arrested in Pakistan this month on suspicion of involvement in a plot to bomb airliners over the Atlantic, Pakistan said on Monday.
“Yes, they have sought his extradition and the matter is under consideration,” Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam told reporters, referring to the suspect, Rashid Rauf.
A British High Commission spokesman confirmed that a request for the extradition of Rauf, who is a dual Pakistani-British national, had been submitted, but said it was in connection with a murder inquiry.
The spokesman, Aiden Liddle, referred to news reports that Rauf had left Britain and traveled to Pakistan in 2002 after the murder in Britain of an uncle.
“We’ve requested his extradition in connection with that investigation,” Liddle said.
A spokesman for Britain’s Home Office (Interior Ministry) declined to comment on whether the extradition request had any link to the bomb plot inquiry.
British police said on August 10 they had foiled a major plot to carry out suicide bombings on aircraft bound for the United States and were questioning more than 20 suspects.
Pakistan later said it had arrested seven people, including two British Muslims of Pakistani descent, one identified as Rauf, in connection with the plot.
Pakistan said Rauf, who was arrested shortly before August 10, had contacts with an al Qaeda operative in Afghanistan and was central to the plot.
Rauf is the only suspect Pakistan has identified.
Aslam said Rauf had been arrested in the city of Rawalpindi.
Information obtained from him during his interrogation was being shared with Britain through proper channels, she said.
“We’re investigating his involvement in terrorist activities in three area: his links with al Qaeda, threat projected in the United Kingdom and threat projected in Pakistan,” Aslam said.