MINGORA, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistani authorities interrogated a teenager on Monday wanted in the United States on charges of financing and supporting the al Qaeda-linked Pakistani Taliban, local intelligence officials said.
Alam Zeb, 19, was charged in Florida along with his mother and a family friend.
He is the grandson of the imam of a Florida mosque who was arrested in the United States along with his two sons on Saturday on the same charges of creating a network that moved funds from the United States to Taliban supporters in Pakistan.
"He (Zeb) is being interrogated by the security officials at one of their facilities," an intelligence official told Reuters.
Zeb, his mother and a family friend all live in Swat Valley in the northwest, where the army launched a major operation in 2009 to clear the area of al Qaeda-linked insurgents.
The college student denied any links with the militants.
Zeb said his grandfather, Pakistani-born American Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 76, had sent money back to Pakistan only to help poor relatives rebuild their houses damaged in fighting in Swat between the army and Pakistani Taliban.
Some money was used to renovate a religious school, Zeb said.
Pakistani officials said they had not received any U.S. request to help track down the three suspects in Pakistan.
The charges were made public as U.S. relations with Pakistan have become strained over the U.S. raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on May 2.
His presence in a garrison town near Islamabad raised suspicions that Pakistani security agencies were aware of his hideout, where one of his widows said he lived for five years.
Pakistan has welcomed his death as a big step against militancy but it is angry over "unilateral" U.S. action it says has violated its sovereignty.
(Writing by Augustine Anthony; editing by Michael Georgy)
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