Five young American Muslims suspected of wanting to join terrorist groups have been arrested in Pakistan.
The five students in their early 20s from northern Virginia were detained in the city of Sargodha, 190 kilometers southeast of Islamabad on Monday.
They were found in a house belonging to a relative of one of the young men who is believed by police to have links to the outlawed militant group Jaish-e- Muhammad.
This group is blamed by police for many terrorist acts, including the 2002 murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl and an attempted assassination of former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf.
Pakistani authorities were on the look-out for the five Americans at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The families of the five reported them missing in late November after finding a video in which the students urged Muslims to defend Islam.
The video was passed to the United States Council on American-Islamic Relations which in turn gave it to the FBI.
Two of the students are said to be of Pakistani origin while the others are believed to be of Eritrean, Yemeni and Egyptian descent. All are American citizens.
Sarghoda’s police chief, Usman Anwar, said examination of laptop computers found at the house where the five were detained showed they had been in touch with various militant groups in Pakistan since August.
If it is found that the five were indeed trying to join terrorist groups it will raise more questions about disenchanted young Muslims in western societies.