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Top al Qaeda militant held in Peshawar swoop

January 22, 2009 17:44 IST

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Acting on a tip off by the United States, police in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar arrested a top al Qaeda suspect believed to have links to the 2005 LondonĀ bombings that killed 52 people. Polce also nabbed six others militants in the pre-dawn swoop.

The al Qaeda member identified as Zabi-ul-Taifi, a Saudi national, was arrested when police launched a raid on Wednesday in Bara Qadeem area of the Khyber tribal region, media reports said quoting top provincial police officials.

Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik told reporters that two of the seven arrested were high value targets. He said while one was a foreigner, the other was a Pakistani, but did not divulge other details.

Pakistani security officials were also quoted by the British Broadcasting Corporation as saying that the arrested men planned attacks on convoys carrying supplies to the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan.

The reports also said the raid in Bara Qadeem area was watched by some US officials.

Large areas of North-West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan are considered safe havens for top al Qaeda leaders including its elusive chief Osama bin Laden [Images] and his number two Ayman-al-Zawahri.

Other reports said that among the seven rounded up were three Arabs and some Afghans.




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