alleged 9/11 terrorist arrested in Pakistan, now in undisclosed location

  1. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer (news - web sites) said. "It's a wonderful blow to inflict on al-Qaida."

    Mohammed, 37, is perhaps the most senior al-Qaida member after bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri.

    A naturalized Pakistani who was born in Kuwait, Mohammed is on the FBI (news - web sites)'s most-wanted list and allegedly had a hand in many of al-Qaida's most notorious attacks. The U.S. government had offered a reward of up to $25 million for information leading to his capture.

    There also has been suspicion that Mohammed was involved in last year's kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, and may have even carried out his execution.

    A senior Pakistani government official, speaking on condition of anonymity said Mohammed was "no longer in Pakistan" and had been taken by U.S. officials to an undisclosed location. The official said the second foreigner arrested has also been handed over to U.S. officials.

    Mohammed was arrested along with an unidentified man of Middle Eastern origin and a Pakistani identified as Ahmed Abdul Qadoos, a 42-year-old member of one of the country's main religious parties, Jamaat-e-Islami.

    The government official said the Middle Eastern suspect was "also proving to be an important man," but would not disclose his identity.

    Mohammed is the third senior al-Qaida figure to be arrested in Pakistan. He was taken Saturday in Rawalpindi, a city near the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said.

    CIA officers and Pakistani authorities carried out the operation that led to Mohammed's capture, according to American officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    "This is a great success today, but the war on terrorism goes on tomorrow," said Jim Wilkinson, a spokesman at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida. "There's still a lot of work to do."

    U.S. officials say Mohammed organized the Sept. 11, 2001, terror mission that sent hijacked passenger jets crashing into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon (news - web sites) and a field in Pennsylvania, killing more than 3,000 people.

    But even before then, Mohammed was wanted in connection with plots in the Philippines to bomb trans-Pacific airliners and crash a plane into CIA headquarters. Those were broken up in 1995.

    He also has been linked to April's bombing of a synagogue in Tunisia. At least 19 tourists, mostly Germans, were killed then.

    Mohammed narrowly escaped capture in a raid about a week ago in the southwestern town of Quetta, a Pakistani government source said. During that raid, a Middle Eastern man, possibly of Egyptian origin, was arrested, according to the source, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

    "At the time of that raid in Quetta the authorities were looking for Khalid Shaikh but he escaped and from there they followed him to Rawalpindi," the official said. "They got information from the man they picked up in Quetta and from phone calls until they tracked him down to Rawalpindi."

    Senior government officials said the three men were arrested about 3 a.m. local time Saturday at a house where Qadoos lives with his father.

    But Omar Qadoos, Ahmed's cousin, said only Ahmed, his wife and two children were in the house. There also was a guard outside, he said.

    "The police pounded on the gate and then they rushed through. There was some firing, but no one was hurt and then they beat the guard and broke the lock on the front door," Omar Qadoos said.

    He said police held the family at gunpoint while they collected cassettes, a computer and computer discs, leaving the floor littered with clothes, papers and other items.

    Mohammed's ties to terrorism are deep. He is the uncle of convicted 1993 World Trade Center conspirator Ramzi Yousef and one of his older brothers also belongs to al-Qaida. Another brother died in Pakistan when a bomb he was making exploded.

    He also is said to be close to bin Laden's son, Saad.

    The Pakistani government says it has handed over more than 420 al-Qaida and Taliban suspects to the United States.

    Until now, the biggest catch so far was the arrest last March of the group's suspected financier, Abu Zubaydah, who was taken into custody in a raid in the central Pakistani city of Faisalabad. Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi-born Palestinian, was said to be a link between bin Laden and many of al-Qaida's operational cells.

    Abu Zubaydah ran the Khalden camp in Afghanistan (news - web sites), where U.S. investigators believe many of the Sept. 11 hijackers trained.

    On Sept. 11, 2002, Ramzi Binalshibh, a would-be hijacker who could not get into the United States, was captured in the southern port city of Karachi. He was an aide to Mohammed and a key moneyman for the attacks.

    Binalshibh also was the former roommate of hijacker Mohamed Atta.
  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Click the link to see photos. Last night on CNN the mother of a 9/11 victm said, "I don't want him killed. I hope we can find out more about how such hate that killed my son develops."
    A husband said, "We have to hunt down and kill them all." He said, "If they have ties to Al Quida we need to stop them."
    Profile: Al-Qaeda 'kingpin'
    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has been one of the FBI's most wanted suspects since the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States.

    He is believed to have masterminded the suicide-hijackings in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, and is regarded as one of the
    highest ranking operatives in Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

    Sheikh Mohammed has not been charged in connection with the events of 11 September, but in 1996 he was indicted in America accused of
    plotting to blow up American airliners flying from south-east Asia to the United States in January, 1995.

    He has escaped previous attempts to arrest him in different parts of Pakistan.


    Sheikh Mohammed was born in Kuwait in either 1964 or 1965.

    He is said to be fluent in Arabic, English, Urdu and Baluchi.

    He graduated in 1986 from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in the United States.

    Sheikh Mohammed has been sought since the 1990s and the US Government offered $25m for information leading to his whereabouts.

    US officials said he transferred money that was used to pay for the attacks, in which more than 3,000 people died.

    Sheikh Mohammed is the uncle of Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted in 1997 of bombing the World Trade Center four years earlier.

    He is also believed to be close associate of Abu Zubaydah, thought to be a member of Bin Laden's inner circle and one of the organisation's
    most senior officials.

    Sheikh Mohammed's arrest marks one of the most important breakthroughs in the fight against al-Qaeda.

    "He is the kingpin of al-Qaeda," an aide to the Pakistani president said. "It is a big achievement."
    Story from BBC NEWS:

    Published: 2003/03/01 20:14:12

    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Mar 2, '03
  4. by   Mkue
  5. by   maureeno
    this from last October

    dead then, alive now
    never dead

    more contradictions
    whose raid
    where is he now
    Last edit by maureeno on Mar 4, '03
  6. by   Mkue
    There are shrill cries of success and sighs of relief surrounding a news report that is being hailed as the biggest catch so far: No.3 man, Sheikh Khalid Muhammad, of the dreaded Al Qaida is captured, alive! The biggest success in the global war against terrorism. This is certainly excellent news and both the Pakistani and the American authorities deserve congratulations.

  7. by   maureeno
    to find out what has been going on these last months....

    "Was 'mastermind' really captured?"

    "The conditiion upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance,
    which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."
    John Philpot Curran
    July 10, 1790
    also attributed to Thomas Jefferson