Skip to comments.United Arab Emirates hands over major Al Qaida leader to U.S.
Posted on 12/26/2002 11:09:17 PM PST by JohnHuang2
ABU DHABI ? The United Arab Emirates has officially acknowledged that it captured a major Al Qaida leader and transferred him to U.S. custody.
Al Nashiri, 36, was one of the leading fugitives in the Al Qaida network. He is believed to have directed or participated in the suicide attack on a French oil tanker off the Yemeni coast in October, the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000 and the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
Officials said Abu Dhabi relayed Abdul Rahim Al Nashiri to U.S. authorities last month, Middle East Newsline reported. They said Al Nashiri was Al Qaida's operational chief in the Persian Gulf and responsible for numerous suicide missions against U.S. forces in the region.
"UAE security authorities in late October arrested Abdul Rahim Al Nashiri, nicknamed 'prince of the sea' and Al Qaida's chief for naval operations and its operations chief in the Gulf, who was preparing to blow up several vital economic installations inside the country," a UAE government statement said.
Officials said Abu Dhabi kept silent for weeks after Al Nashiri's capture for security reasons. They said the emirates feared an Al Qaida backlash by sleeper agents within the UAE.
Al Nashiri was arrested in October as he was preparing new attacks on U.S. and other targets in the Gulf, officials said. They said the UAE captured and transferred the Al Qaida suspect as part of the Washington-led war against terrorism.