Pakistani security forces have detained a 35-year-old New Zealander who was trying to enter an al Qaeda and Taliban militant stronghold on the Afghan border.
Pakistani intelligence officials who declined to be identified have said they suspected he might have links with Islamist militants.
The man, identified on his passport as Mark Taylor, was detained at a paramilitary checkpost on the outskirts of Tank town, about 280km southwest of Islamabad, which is the gateway to South Waziristan.
The top government administrator in Tank, Barkatullah Khan, said, the man had told the soldiers who detained him that he was going to South Waziristan to get married.
“He was travelling in a passenger van. He has a beard and was wearing a shalwar kamiz as a disguise,” Khan said, referring to a traditional baggy trousers and tunic outfit worn by men…
While some Westerners of Asian descent have been known to travel to Pakistan to join militants, very few Westerners with European roots have been know to have gone there for that purpose.
South Waziristan is one of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous ethnic Pashtun tribal regions that have long been off-limits for foreigners without special permission and which in recent years have become plagued by militant violence.
New Zeal I have a Mark Taylor active in leftist politics at Auckland Uni in the mid ’90s.
Anyone else know someone who might fit the bill?