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PESHAWAR-- Information collected from different sources suggest that terror suspect, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad's family belonged to Panjgor district of Balochistan province and the wanted al-Qaeda member spent several years in Peshawar during resistance against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan.
Arab and Afghan sources close to Khalid Sheikh Muhammad told The News that details made available by the government about the age along with the photograph revealed that the person arrested in Rawalpindi was not Khalid.
The sources said that the Kuwait born Khalid, who is a Baloch by origin, was in his late 40s and has not been arrested so far. "His actual name is Khalid and Sheikh Muhammad is his father," claimed a Taliban spokesman and an Arab source pleading anonymity.
Khalid Muhammad joined the Afghan Jihad in early 1980s and landed in Peshawar after his return from the US, where he was sent by family to get higher education.
On arrival in Pakistan, Khalid joined Ittehad-I-Islami Afghanistan, a former Mujahideen faction led by Prof Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf and was residing most of the time with other Arab nationals in the Jallo-zai camp, east of Peshawar. Khalid was a known figure among the Afghan mujahideen, especially, those living in Jallozai refugee camp, who had established his own group of Mujahideen called Kateebatul Shuhada (party of martyrs), but was affiliated with Prof Sayyaf.
Like many other Arab nationals, Khalid too was close to Sayyaf because of the Salfi school of thought and was commonly known as Abu Sayyaf among his friends and colleagues because of his long beard.
Prof Sayyaf too has a long beard. "Not only him, but Dr Abdullah Ezzam and Osama bin Laden have stayed at the Arab village within the Jallozai Camp during the Afghan Jihad," said an official of the camp, requesting not to be named. Ezzam was buried in the Arab cemetery at Jallozai camp after he was assassinated in a car bomb in Peshawar.
"I don't have particular information about this man, but he was not among the popular Arab leaders," the source said. He was active in motivating young Afghans studying at religious seminaries and schools at the camps all over the province and the tribal areas to send them for Jihad, specially during vacations, said an Afghan source, who was one of the students sent for preliminary military training to Nangarhar province.
"Khalid was in contact with religious leaders and military command-ers in Kunarh, Nangarhar and Paktia provinces during the Afghan Jihad to impart religious as well as military training to them," the source said. One of his brothers was also killed at Samarkhel in the 1989 attack by Afghan mujahideen on Jalalabad, the source said.
Copyright Balochistan Post 2003. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .