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Top Al Qaeda operative flown out of Pak

March 04, 2003 19:39 IST
Kuwait-born top Al Qaeda operative, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was on Tuesday handed over to the US and
flown out of Pakistan to an American detention facility at Bagram air base in Afghanistan, even as an army major was
detained for his alleged links with Osama bin Laden's terror network.

Pakistan Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that Mohammed, one of the chief suspects in the September 11 attacks in the US, had been handed over to the American custody with permission from the Kuwaiti government, four days after his arrest in a joint Pak-US operation.

The minister said Pakistani interrogators had extracted all the intelligence they needed from the suspect, who has been on FBI's most wanted list and the US had recently increased the reward for his capture to $ 25 million.

In another significant development, Pakistan intelligence officials have detained Major Adil Qudoos, believed to be the
uncle of Ahmad Qudoos - the local accomplice arrested along with Sheikh Mohammed in Rawalpindi.

Qudoos was detained at his Cantonment residence in Kohat, a town in the North West Frontier Province bordering
Afghanistan, during the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, local daily Dawn quoted officials as saying.
K J M Varma in Islamabad