KHAR, Pakistan — One of the two Taliban militants suspected of attacking a teenage girl activist was detained by the Pakistani military in 2009 but subsequently released, intelligence officials said today.
Malala Yousufzai, 14, was shot and critically wounded on Oct. 9 as she headed home from school in the northwest Swat Valley.
The military detained Attaullah and several of his associates during the army’s 2009 offensive in Swat because of suspected ties with the Pakistani Taliban, which had established effective control over the valley at the time, said two intelligence officials.
The military successfully pushed most of the militants out of Swat, but Attaullah was released because of a lack of evidence linking him to specific attacks, said the officials. It’s unclear how long he was held.