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Jan 4

Written by: Diana West
Monday, January 04, 2010 6:20 AM 


Interpol has issued Red Corner notices for five American Muslim youths arrested in Pakistan last month for alleged terror links but authorities plan to put them on trial under local anti-terrorism laws, a senior police official said today.

"Interpol has issued the red warrants for them but we will first try them under our own laws before entertaining any such request," said Usman Anwar, the police chief of Sargodha district, where the youths were arrested.

"They will be indicted in the Sargodha district and sessions' court on January 4 under the Anti-Terrorism Act and Pakistan Penal Code for criminal conspiracy against the state and plotting terror attacks in Pakistan and a foreign land," Anwar told PTI.

The five youths could face life imprisonment if they are convicted under the charges framed by the Pakistani police.

Waqar Hussain Khan, 22, Ahmed Abdullah Minni, 20, Ramy Zamzam, 22, Iman Hassan Yemer, 17 and Omar Farooq, 24 were arrested in Sargodha on December 9.

The Lahore High Court has already ruled that they cannot be extradited or handed over to any foreign agency without the court being informed.

The International Criminal Police Organisation is an organisation of 188 countries facilitating international police cooperation.

This report raises many questions, chief among them:

Is this Interpol request in any way linked to the new powers conferred on the organization by President Obama's executive order of December 17?

And what exactly is a "red corner" or "red notice" anyway? Interpol's website says it is issued "to seek the arrest of provisional arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition."

More from Interpol:

An Interpol Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant.

These Interpol 'Red Notices' represent only a tiny fraction of the number of red notices issued by Interpol.

The persons concerned are wanted by national jurisdictions (or the International Criminal Tribunals, where appropriate) and Interpol's role is to assist the national police forces in identifying or locating those persons with a view to their arrest and extradition.

Of course, the Northen Virginia Five have already been identified, located and arrested.

These red notices allow the warrant to be circulated worldwide with the request that the wanted person be arrested with a view to extradition. ...

"A view to extradition" where -- the US? To international court? Is it unusual for Interpol to call for the extradition of US nationals, or are we seeing something new unfolding?

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