Skip to comments.Two Senior Al-Qaida Suspects Arrested in Pakistan, Including Two Wanted by United States
Posted on 08/03/2004 9:45:29 AM PDT by Republican Red
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) - Pakistani authorities have arrested two high-ranking al-Qaida terrorists - one with a multimillion-dollar U.S. bounty on his head - in a days-long sweep that has netted at least six suspected militants, officials said Tuesday. The interior minister said the arrests in eastern Punjab province were a major break just days after intelligence agents arrested Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian wanted for the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa.
"In addition to Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, whose bounty was $25 million, we have captured another most wanted suspect with a bounty on him running into the millions of dollars," the minister, Faisal Saleh Hayyat, said.
He said both suspects were of African origin but refused to identify them or their nationalities.
Four Egyptians and a Libyan on the FBI's list of most-wanted terrorists are believed to be in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Each of them has a $5 million bounty on his head in connection with the embassy bombings.
Osama bin Laden's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, is also from Egypt. He and the al-Qaida chief are believed hiding along the Pakistan-Afghan border, far from Punjab province.
Hayyat's announcement followed news that at least six al-Qaida suspects, including a Syrian, have been arrested in separate raids in recent days.
Three of the suspects - two Pakistanis and a foreigner - were arrested on a road near the eastern city of Lahore, and five grenades and two AK-47 rifles were found in their sports utility vehicle, a high-ranking intelligence official told The Associated Press.
Another detainee is a policeman, Raja Waqar, assigned to the office of Punjab province's top politician; he is suspected of passing al-Qaida linked groups information on the whereabouts of top government officials, Lahore police chief Tariq Salim Dogar told The Associated Press.
"The previous record of the policeman shows that he has been involved in jihadi activities and had links with al-Qaida. We have initiated a probe to find out how he managed to get posted to such a sensitive place," Dogar said.
A fifth suspect, arrested Sunday at a bus station in a town near Lahore, identified himself as Juma Ibrahim, a Syrian, said district police chief Aslam Ghauri. He said Ibrahim was turned over to Pakistan's spy agency.
Another man was arrested trying to board a plane in Lahore with questionable documents, said a government official who gave no further details.
It was not immediately clear if any of the six militants described by Pakistani officials included the two senior al-Qaida men that Hayyat said were wanted by the United States.
Several of the detainees were believed to be linked to other al-Qaida suspects in custody, including a computer expert identified as Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan who was arrested July 13.
Khan provided information leading to the arrest of Ghailani in eastern Gujrat on July 25, said an intelligence official in Lahore who was involved in the raid on Ghailani.
Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said Monday that Ghailani's computers at home contained e-mails with instructions for attacks in the United States and Britain.
Intelligence gained from Khan's and other arrests was a major factor in U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge's decision to issue a warning Sunday about a possible al-Qaida attack on prominent financial institutions in New York, Washington and Newark, N.J.
Pakistani officials are also pointing to the arrest in June of Masrab Arochi - nephew of former al-Qaida No. 3 Khalid Shaikh Mohammed - as providing useful intelligence. Arochi was among 10 suspects arrested in raids in the southern port city of Karachi.
An intelligence official in the capital, Islamabad, said Arochi led police to a network of al-Qaida operatives and that several as-yet-undisclosed arrests have been made. He would not confirm any direct link between Arochi and the arrest of Khan, the computer expert, but said Arochi has been made available to U.S. intelligence agents.
Pakistan has vowed not to turn him over to the United States.
Meanwhile, details emerged about the hunt that led authorities to Ghailani, the suspect in the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 200 people - including 12 Americans.
Ghailani arrived in Pakistan on a Kenyan Airlines flight to Karachi on Aug. 6, 1998, a day before the attacks. He was a ghost until his arrest nearly six years later, apparently as he planned to flee the country.
A senior intelligence official told The Associated Press that Ghailani spent time in the tribal area of South Waziristan before traveling in recent weeks to Gujrat. Al-Qaida "facilitators" arranged for him to hide in several local houses, said the official, who asked that his name not be used.
Officials also believe Ghailani was hiding for a while in the southern port city of Karachi, home to a number of local extremist groups as well as al-Qaida, and in Lahore.
Raja Munawar Hussain, the police chief in Gujrat, told AP that a front man who leased a car and opened a bank account for Ghailani also was arrested.
Hang around ASA....I'll be pinging you very soon....:-)
Waiting for Homeland Security to arrest 30,000 lawyers here in the U.S.A.
Make you almost wish you were someone getting interrogated.
I just had a great idea for a new reality show....
So from the looks of things we have:
Musabir Aroochi and the Jundallah mob
The Nigerian courier and Co
Keep in mind that we also busted a courier in Iraq the other day with a message from Zarqawi to bin Laden. I think we may well have gotten perhaps the other end of that communication or at the least perhaps one of the guys who smuggles all of those damned tapes to Qatar.
At the very least, their operations in Pakistan have been completely compromised. Roll 'em up, boys.
I imagine the fact that they just tried to whack Musharraf's new deputy isn't going to be forgotten by the Pakistanis either.
Place your bets ......how long before this makes the US media....I say a day.
Yep, same here.
Those that would think of it as political are largely Kerry supporters already. However, it may sway a few undecideds.
"Waiting for Homeland Security to arrest 30,000 lawyers here in the U.S.A."
How about the two running for the top offices of the US, at this time?
Good guess. We haven't heard a tape from Al Qaedzeera lately, have we? But I'm still waiting for them to nail Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the old AQ public relations man, as well as his successor - whose name escapes me at this time. Al Qandahari??
Don't forget this one. A quiet find:
A Pakistani, actually. But I do know Arabs, who earned PhDs in Computer Science (University of Southern California). I have also worked closely with one of them. A very talented guy, specializing in Computer Vision.
I am sure their achievements pale in comparison to yours, though.
Not likely. This is an AP story.
Do you have a list of known AQ members from Nigeria who are on the FBI's 22 most wanted list?
Jimbo do you think that is the same Khan.....the computer geek?
No. He is the one affiliated with this one:
Suleiman Abu Ghaith is "in custody" in Iran these days and it behooves the mad mullahs to at least pretend as though he's inactive. His successor was Thabet bin Qais, who is supposedly the guy behind those Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades we all know and love among other things.
Al-Kandahari is the new top dog in Yemen.
WASHINGTON - The information that led authorities to issue an unprecedented warning of potential terrorist attacks on financial centers in New York, Washington and New Jersey came from at least three al Qaeda members who were deemed highly reliable, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Monday.The highlighted portion is news to me.
Two were pivotal al Qaeda figures arrested last month in Pakistan in separate raids where documentary evidence also was seized, the officials said. The more important of the two was an al Qaeda computer engineer who relayed communications to the network's members, they said.
The third is a member of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network who is in British custody and is cooperating, one official said. No other details were available.
I do note that most of the people the Pakistanis are picking up are not Pakistani or Afghan: maybe they're trying to keep the heat of the locals by throwing us some 'furriner' bones.