World Cup cricket terror suspect arrested

March 25, 2011 at 12:43 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 25 (UPI) -- A man suspected of plotting a terror attack at the cricket World Cup in the Indian subcontinent has been arrested, Interpol Chief Ronald Noble said in Pakistan.

"Last week, with the help of Pakistan, we identified and arrested the terrorist who had left Karachi. Thanks to the cooperation of Pakistan and other countries we were able to make sure that the World Cup remains safe," Noble told a news conference Thursday in Islamabad, Pakistan's Dawn reported.

The secretary-general of the international police organization, however, did not identify the suspect or the location of his arrest, saying only that the arrest occurred after the man left the port city of Karachi, Pakistan's largest city.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who accompanied Noble to the news conference, said there was a "serious attempt" of a terror attack during the tournament and the information was being shared with neighboring India, where the finals of the tournament are scheduled to be held in Mumbai. The World Cup matches have been played in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.

Malik said the arrested man had no connection with Pakistan.

Dawn reported that India had issued an alert this month about a possible attack during the tournament. Cricket is the most popular sport in the subcontinent, with hundreds of millions of fans.

India and Pakistan's contests in the past have drawn the most volatile fan interest. The two countries have already qualified for the World Cup's semifinals, which will be played March 30 in Mohali, near Chandigarh in north India. Some Indian reports say the match is a sellout and that all hotels in the Mohali area are heavily booked.

Of greater concern to Indian authorities is whether Pakistan reaches the finals, which will be played in Mumbai, Dawn reported, quoting the Indian Express.

Mumbai was the scene of a Nov. 26, 2008, terror attack in which about 170 people died. India maintains the attacks were masterminded by terror groups in Pakistan.

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