Skip to comments.Pakistan Hands Over Senior Al-Qaida Leader Zubaydah to United States
Posted on 04/01/2002 1:44:19 PM PST by aristeides
Pakistan Hands Over Senior Al-Qaida Leader Zubaydah to United States
By John J. Lumpkin Associated Press Writer
Published: Apr 1, 2002
WASHINGTON (AP) - Pakistani authorities have handed over to the United States a man considered the biggest catch yet in the war on terrorism: Abu Zubaydah, a senior al-Qaida leader believed to be leading an attempt to reconstitute the group in Pakistan, officials said. The man has acknowledged he is Zubaydah, according to a senior Pakistani intelligence official and others familiar with his capture. Several of his former associates identified him from photographs, U.S. officials said. He would be the highest-ranking leader in the terrorist organization to fall into American hands since the Sept. 11 attacks.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Zubaydah is either the No. 2 man in Osama bin Laden's terrorist group or "very close to the No. 2 person in the organization." But he refused Monday to confirm his capture, saying it does not help the anti-terror campaign to publicize individuals who have been apprehended.
"If you start down that road," he said, it "tells other people much more than you want to tell them."
Acting on information obtained by the CIA, Pakistani officers, joined by the CIA and the FBI, carried out the raids. Zubaydah was shot in the stomach, legs and groin by Pakistanis as he tried to escape one of the raids at a compound in Faisalabad, one U.S. official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. He has been receiving medical treatment, and is expected to survive. He was transferred to U.S. custody over the weekend.
Zubaydah, as a senior al-Qaida operational planner, would plot attacks based on guidance from bin Laden and his inner circle. Zubaydah would contact the cells in the field to organize the attacks, authorities have said.
If Zubaydah talks, he could be tremendously helpful to U.S. investigators. As the link between bin Laden's inner circle and foreign terrorist cells, Zubaydah is believed to know the names, faces and locations of operatives worldwide. He also may know where bin Laden is hiding.
He is known to have organized several attacks on U.S. interests, including the failed millennium plots to bomb Los Angeles International Airport and a hotel in Jordan frequented by American tourists, U.S. officials say. He also is believed to have played a role in a foiled plot to blow up the U.S. embassies in Sarajevo and Paris last fall, as well as the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
In a recent interview, President Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, singled out Zubaydah as one target in the U.S. war on terror, calling him a "very dangerous man."
Officials said his capture could disrupt terrorist attacks in the works, but it does not mean the al-Qaida threat has ended.
Since the fall of the Taliban, Zubaydah has been leading an effort to reconstitute al-Qaida in Pakistan. An increase in money transfers and e-mail communications suggested he was commanding an al-Qaida faction that was planning new attacks against American interests, U.S. officials have said.
Officials have identified Zubaydah as one of two or three surviving al-Qaida leaders capable of succeeding bin Laden if he is killed.
A senior Pakistani intelligence officer told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that the man believed to be Zubaydah is among about 20 Arabs to be flown to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where hundreds of al-Qaida and Taliban prisoners are detained.
The prisoners were believed to have been sent first to Jacobabad air base in Afghanistan's southern Sindh province.
Zubaydah, 31, is a Palestinian who was born in Saudi Arabia. He is also known as Zain al-Abidin Muhahhad Husain.
Before the war, he worked in Pakistan and screened al-Qaida volunteers traveling to Afghanistan, officials said. He would arrange their travel and send them to training camps. Once they completed training, he would assign them to cells overseas.
Three other senior al-Qaida leaders are already known to be in custody. They are Abdul Rahim al-Sharqawi, also known as "Riyadh the facilitator," Ibn Al-Shaykh al-Libi and Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi. Al-Sharqawi is believed to have coordinated logistics for al-Qaida attacks, and al-Libi and al-Iraqi were two al-Qaida training camp commanders.
Zubaydah was among 70 people, including 45 Arabs and Afghans, who were arrested in nearly a dozen raids starting before dawn Thursday in Faisalabad, Lahore and a third, undisclosed location. During the raids, one suspect was killed and five people, including a policeman and Zubaydah, were wounded.
Several other senior al-Qaida leaders have been killed in fighting since Sept. 11. Mohammed Atef, a top bin Laden deputy and military commander, was killed by a U.S. airstrike in November.
Besides bin Laden, top al-Qaida leaders remaining at large include Ayman al-Zawahri, bin Laden's doctor and spiritual adviser; Saif al-Adil, his security chief; and Shaykh Saiid, his financial director.
EDITOR'S NOTE - AP writers Zahid Hussain and Munir Ahmad in Pakistan contributed to this story.
If this guy can be induced to talk, it's the end of Al Qaeda.
If that don't do it, well, it's time to get medieval with his sorry butt.
Gotta hand it to the Pakistanis...shooting the terrorists there just might reduce resistance in the future.
Personally, I hope Zubaydah is now speaking in a very high-pitched voice, and will never again have the ability to produce murderous offspring.
Induced? He's not a citizen of this country, and frankly I don't care how our Military makes him blurt out everything he knows.
Drug him, beat him, torture him, cut off his genitalia, I don't care what they do to get the information out of him. Treat him how one of ours would be treated if they captured our #2 Military personnel.
They're animals, and deserve to be treated as such. As soon as we get every last piece of information out of him, draw his head back, slit his throat, decapitate him, and send his head home to his mother. Film it, and broadcast it across every satellite, and tv channel across the planet.
Stop conducting such a "sanitary" war with these people and let's get down and dirty. It's the only thing they understand.
Why don't we go one step further and all just convert to Islam? Atleast then we'd be honest about the true source of our inspiration. What you described is not how America should be fighting wars. But if we were Islamic, that wouldn't be a problem.
You missed the point of the post. The only thing these "people" seem to understand, is when they're treated in the same way they treat others. What do you think would happen if they captured General Franks? Think they'd let him live? Of course not. They'd get what info. they could from him and do exactly what I said above. We already KNOW that's what they'd do, because of Daniel Pearl. How soon some people forget.
These people inflict the most degrading, inhumane treatment and punishment on their victims. Turn it around on 'em I say.
There are interrogators and then there are interrogators. Lets say this guy is not going to be eating our Fruit Loops and whining to the chaplain at Camp X-ray for the foreseeable future.
Anybody can be made to talk, just depends on the strength of the man's will and how far below the line of fair play the interrogator wants to descend to get the information. Or so I am told.
In any case, the sad fact is that there are plenty more where this one came from, including I suspect, in Pakistan's security service--- so I don't see a quick end to it even if this guy can be made to talk. Certainly would put a dent in their standard mode of operation however.
Yea, how about an ex wife? LOL! ;^)
So, maybe he's still in Pakistan, as you want, or maybe he's been shipped to Jordan (where he's already been condemned to death.) Remember that Yemeni microbiology student that was turned over to American authorities at Karachi airport late last year? There was recently a report that he had been shipped to Jordan.
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