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Key al-Qaeda leader involved in Musharraf's assassination attempt arrested

04 May, 2005

ISLAMABAD: A file photo of alleged al-Qaeda operative Abu Faraj al-Libi, wanted in two attempts to assassinate Pakistani President General Pervez Mush
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ISLAMABAD, May 05 (Online): Pakistan Security Forces have arrested prime Al-Qaeda leader Abu Faraj Al-Laibi involved in assassination attempt on President Gen Pervez Musharraf. Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has confirmed the arrest .

Abu Faraj, a Libyan national, along with his accomplices was arrested from Mardan this week during an army operation.

Abu Faraj is believed to be the master mind behind the assassination attempt on President Musharraf in December 2003 in Rawalpindi in which 25 people were killed.

US had put 1 million dollars as head money for the key Al-Qaeda member.

Abu Faraj also had close contact with Amjad Farooqi, a terrorist killed in an encounter in Faisalabad last year.

Diplomatic circles are terming the arrest of Abu Faraj as a major victory of Pakistani intelligence agencies.

Abu Faraj is one of the Key leaders of Al-Qaeda and a close associate of Osama bin Laden.

Sheikh Rashid confirming the arrest said that Abu Faraj was wanted in two assassination attempts on President Musharraf. However he refused to disclose the location of his arrest and further details in this respect.

He said Abu Faraj is under the custody of the Pakistani intelligence agencies.

According to sources Abu Faraj was arrested from Mardan on Monday in a police encounter.

Bush welcomes capture of top Al-Qaeda operative

US President George W. Bush on Wednesday said that the capture of al-Qaeda's number three, Abu Faraj al-Libbi, in Pakistan, had removed "a direct threat" to the United States.

"I applaud the Pakistani government for their strong cooperation in the war on terror. I applaud the Pakistani government and President Musharraf for acting on solid intelligence to bring this man to justice," said Bush.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters that al-Libbi's capture was the war on terrorism's "biggest success since the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed."

MORE ARRESTS

Security forces have arrested thirteen people including ten foreigners of having Al-Qaeda links from Bajaur Agency. The foreigners include Uzbuk, Chechan and Afghan nationals.

Report said that Al-Qaeda associates were arrested when armed commandos including women commandos conducted raid on the residence of defunct former Ameer of Tehrik Nafaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi Maulavi Faqir Muhammad to arrest him at 3:00am.

When contacted Sufi Hameed, a relative of Maulavi Faqir Muhammad, he told Online that armed commandos raided the two residences of Maulvi Faqir and apprehended his brother Gul Muhammad and two relatives Jan Muhammad and Nazir Muhammad.

3 Afghans , who belong to Afghan province Kinter and their guest was also nabbed during the operation, he added. Sufi Hameed further said security forces remained failed to hold Maulvi Faqir Muhammad. He said raid was a sudden and surprising but Maulvi Faqir's relative did not resist the raid.

According to report received from Bajaur, Bajaur Scouts also joined hand with security forces during the raid. The report said arrested were blindfolded and shifted to undisclosed location through a helicopter. It may be noted Maulvi Faqir Muhammad's brother Karim has already been arrested on the chargea of having link with Al-Qaeda.

End.

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