Five Americans suspected of using the Internet to contact militant groups to carry out terrorist attacks told a Pakistani court on Monday they had only wanted to give fellow Muslims financial and medical aid.
The students, in their 20s and from the U.S. state of Virginia, were detained last month. Police officials said emails showed they had contacted the Taliban, and that the group had planned to use them for attacks in Pakistan.
The suspects appeared at an anti-terrorism court and were remanded until January 18, said defense lawyer Mohammad Amir Khan.
“The five men denied having been in contact with al Qaeda, Jaish-e-Mohammad (a Pakistani militant group) or any other militant group,” he told Reuters after the hearing.
“They told the court they wanted to go to Afghanistan to help their Muslim brothers, like those needing medical or financial assistance, and had no plans to carry out any activity in Pakistan.”
Police told the court the five men were in contact with an al Qaeda operative identified as Saifullah, Khan told Reuters. Police have said they would seek a life sentence for the men.
“They had deep interest in the religion and they were of the opinion that a Jihad must be waged against the infidels for the atrocities committed by them against Muslims around the world,” said a police interrogation report last month.