Pakistani authorities have detained a Scottish charity worker once called the “Tartan Taliban”, who converted to Islam more than two decades ago. Dundee-born James McLintock, who goes by his Muslim name, Yakoob, in Pakistan, was picked up in Peshawar over the past month, several sources say. News of his detention filtered out at the weekend amid a public spat between the British and Pakistani governments after last week’s arrest of 11 Pakistani students in northwest England.
McLintock said he fought jihad alongside mujahideen fighters battling Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and in Bosnia in 1994. On Christmas Eve 2001 he was arrested while crossing from Afghanistan as US forces were hunting Osama bin Laden. Initial reports suggested he was a radical Islamist, but after interrogation by British intelligence it emerged he was working for a charity, and he was freed. In 2003, he was detained by British police in Manchester but released shortly afterwards. The Pakistani police have not yet clarified the charges of which McLintock is accused now.