Man detained with 'worrying' circuit at Karachi airport, Pakistan
PAKISTANI officers have arrested a man at Karachi airport after batteries and an electrical circuit were found in his shoes as he tried to board a plane for the Middle East.

The 30-year-old civil engineer allegedly told interrogators he came from Pakistan's northwestern province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where Taliban and Islamist militants have a presence, and had been scheduled to travel to Muscat by Thai Airways.

Mohammad Munir, Airport Security Force spokesman, said the bearded man, whom he named as Faiz Mohammad, was arrested yesterday when a scanner sounded an alarm.

The suspect was not found in possession of explosives, but Munir described the circuit discovery as "worrying".

"He was on the way to board flight TG 507 for Muscat. After the machine gave the alarm, we checked him manually," said the spokesman.

"We have recovered four live batteries and a circuit, with a button to switch it on and off," Munir said.

The suspect allegedly told investigators he was living in Karachi, Pakistan's southern city, but was planning to return to Muscat, where he had previously worked for a construction company, to set up his own business.

"The devices found from the suspect suggested that if he was carrying explosive material, he could have easily blown the explosives up in the plane," said Munir.

Sunday's arrest comes a week after US agents arrested a Pakistani-American man, Faisal Shahzad, as he sat on a plane preparing to take off for Dubai, for allegedly attempting to blow up a car bomb in New York.

Although the circumstances of the Karachi case are murky, the detention is likely to ratchet up US pressure on Pakistan to crack down on Islamist extremists operating in safe havens in tribal areas along the Afghan border.
Posted by: tipper 2010-05-09