Top-secret meeting: FBI, police map out plan for American’s recovery

A team of FBI officers goes into huddle with Lahore police in Model Town.

Asad Kharal August 17, 2011

LAHORE: A white Land Cruiser, with a police escort in tow, arrived at the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) centre in Lahore at about 1:40 pm on Wednesday. The four-wheel drive was transporting officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who were there for a meeting regarding American aid expert Warren Weinstein’s abduction, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The meeting between the investigation agencies went on for approximately two hours. No unauthorised persons were allowed to enter the CIA centre in the presence of FBI officials, although some intelligence agency officials visited the centre while the meeting was ongoing.

Three FBI personnel shared on Wednesday all the information they had gathered relating to Weinstein’s abduction with the police at the CIA centre in Model Town.

(Read: The kidnapped American)

However, after the meeting, police officials refused to disclose the names or ranks of the FBI officials, citing security reasons.

Following Weinstein’s  abduction, the police and intelligence agencies along with the Model Town security personnel have started keeping a strict check on foreigners residing in the city.

The police have detained two suspects in connection with the abduction of the US citizen, while the FBI and Pakistani investigation agencies have gathered some evidence from Weinstein’s house, sources familiar with the matter said.

Weinstein’s house has been sealed off by the police, while Model Town security personnel have collected the data of other foreigners living in the same locality and issued directions for them to stay in contact with the area police station regarding their movement.

Three policemen have been deployed at Weinstein’s residence and no one is allowed to visit the crime scene. The three policemen are working under the assistant sub inspector of the local police station and have received strict orders about not letting anyone enter the house.

A cell phone, laptop and other items belonging to Weinstein, who was working as country director for JE Austin Associates, have been sent to the forensics lab and for a technical analysis, an investigator told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity.

Investigators claim they have collected the call data record of Weinstein’s security guards, driver and other staff, as well as of the abducted American, and are examining the records.

According to the data compiled by the Model Town security, there are at least 13 more houses where foreigners are residing. According to the list which is also available with The Express Tribune, of the 13 houses/offices, seven are being occupied by Chinese citizens, one is being used by a Scotland citizen, three are in the use of Thai citizens, one is occupied by an Afghan citizen, one by a Polish citizen and one by a citizen of the Philippines.

(Read: We are not all CIA agents)

Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2011.

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