TWO South Africans who returned home after five months in a Pakistani jail were on a training mission for Al-Qaeda, according to a statement sent to the South African police by Pakistani authorities.
Dr Feroz Ganchi, a trauma surgeon from Johannesburg, and Pretoria Islamic student Zubair Ismail were arrested in the same house as the FBI’s then most-wanted man, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani.
Ghailani is the alleged mastermind of the US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998.
Ganchi and Ismail were released after being interrogated for two days by the South African Police Service on Friday.
Both were taken to their homes, where they were welcomed by members of their families, religious leaders, friends and supporters.
The statement sent by the Pakistani authorities says the two men had been in contact with one of Pakistan’s most senior Al-Qaeda members.
Ganchi allegedly treated Ghailani while in the house in Gujrat, where some of the occupants engaged in a 10-hour shoot-out with Pakistani police.
The statement also contains an admission that the two were recruited for Al-Qaeda in South Africa, and were taught how to use and formulate coded messages and carry out intelligence reconnaissance.