Calgary man arrested in Kabul

A Calgary man who was recently arrested in Kabul often talked about joining Afghanistan's insurgency movement, a Canadian Muslim leader told CBC News.

A Calgary man who was recently arrested in Kabul often talked about joining Afghanistan's insurgency movement,a CanadianMuslim leadertold CBC News.

Alla El Syed, an imam from Calgary, said he spoke with 24-year-old Suhail Qureshi about the jihad, a holy war against enemies of Islam.

Qureshi, a Canadian citizen,wasdetained several days ago in Afghanistan, where he is still being held captive.

"We talked about jihad, but he didn't simply talk about the training in the camps," Syed said, recalling the conversations he's had in Calgary with Qureshi. "That was not his thing. He wanted to perform jihad in Afghanistan."

Syed said he tried to explain the meaning, consequences and foundations of the jihad to Qureshi, and show him it was unfounded.

"There was no basis to start such a jihad at this specific time," Syed said. "I tried to reason with him, give him the logic, the proof from the Qur'an and apparently he wasn't listening very well."

Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed Qureshi's detention and says he has been visited by consular officials, who checked on his condition.

Afghan authorities have said they will grant Canadian officials regular access to Qureshi, said Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ambra Dickie.

Dickie said the Privacy Act prevents the government from releasing any further details about Qureshi orhis arrest.

A report in the Globe and Mail on Friday said the man was arrested on suspicion of attending a militant training camp.

According to the report, he is of Pakistani origin and was carrying a Canadian passport when he was arrested in a Kabul bus station.

Afghan officialsallege he travelled to an insurgent camp in the Waziristan region of Pakistan, a mountainousarea along the Afghan border where Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters are thought to be based.

More than 2,000 Canadians are serving in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar region as part of the NATO-led mission. Since the mission started five years ago, 54 Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have been killed.

With files from the Canadian Press