“The case is one of the first in Pakistan to underline in court the links between splinter cells of Pakistani jihad groups and Qaeda operatives in Waziristan.”
“Blast That Killed U.S. Diplomat Tied to Qaeda,” by Carlotta Gall in the New York Times, :
KARACHI, Pakistan, Feb. 22 “” The suicide bombing that killed an American diplomat here last March, just before a visit by President Bush, was organized by a small cell of Pakistani militants and masterminded by an operative of Al Qaeda based in the Pakistan’s tribal areas, Pakistan says.
The charge is being made by Pakistani officials as they present evidence “” the result of months of investigations by the police, assisted by F.B.I. investigators “” at the trial of two men accused in the plot.
The men, Anwar ul-Haq, 27, and Usman Ghani, 26, both ethnic Pashtuns from Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province, grew up in the teeming working-class neighborhoods of Karachi and fought with the Taliban in Afghanistan, the investigators say. On Thursday, they sat behind bars, wearing long beards and knitted prayer caps, at the back of a courtroom in Karachi’s central jail, listening intently to an investigator outline the evidence against them.
The case is one of the first in Pakistan to underline in court the links between splinter cells of Pakistani jihad groups and Qaeda operatives in Waziristan, part of Pakistan’s tribal areas, which have come under increasing scrutiny as a staging area for suicide bombers and Taliban insurgents battling NATO and American forces in Afghanistan.