Import of Improvised Explosives Training equipment from US: UK and Canada looking for Pakistani link to 7/7
By Maqbool Ahmed
KARACHI: A six-member team of British and Canadian explosives experts is arriving in Islamabad in the last week of this month in connection with the investigations of a network of British and Canadian nationals of Pakistani origin which is believed to have imported “Improvised Explosives Training” equipment from the United States in June 2003, sources in the interior and foreign ministries told the Daily Times on Tuesday.
The equipment was sent as personal baggage through Overseas Couriers and was seized by Pakistani authorities.
Sources said Canadian authorities eventually knew about the network when they checked the computer hardware of a Pakistani-Canadian, Momin Khawaja, containing the information about export of the training equipment, during a routine search. Sources said in Pakistan the importer was Junaid Baber, who had fled the US after 9/11.
According to a preliminary report of the investigations jointly conducted by Canadian and British authorities and sent to Islamabad, Junaid Baber, Momin Khawaja and Haroon Rasheed Aswad, a suspect in London bomb blasts, had met in London some time in February 2004.
The report said Junaid Baber stayed at the office of Al Mahajroon, the Islamist organisation recently outlawed in Britain, in Lahore for more than a month after arriving in Pakistan. Then he moved to an apartment at Abrar Centre on Wahdat Road in Muslim Town, Lahore. Junaid Baber stayed till December 2001 and then bought an apartment in Eden Heights on Jail Road. He also worked for the Pakistan Software Export Board from April 2002 to December 2002 and during this period he remained in touch with Momin Khawaja through the Internet using various Internet cafés, one of them the report identifies as Cyber Vision in Barkat Market.
In early 2003, according to the report, Junaid Baber approached a local importer and exporter, Akram Khan, as a buyer of some old containers and also requested him to bring back some of his personal belongings from the US.
The shipment (supposedly containing Junaid Baber’s belongings) in the shape of a briefcase was received through Overseas Couriers in June 2003 and was seized by Pakistani customs authorities on suspicion.