RealNews

Pakistanis Arrest Qaeda Figure Seen as Planner of 9/11

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, suspected of planning the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington and one of the F.B.I.’s most wanted terrorists, was detained by Pakistani authorities this morning and is now in American custody, officials said. The arrest represented a major victory in the American-led global search for pivotal leaders of Al Qaeda — the men who planned the suicide hijacking attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, as well as other terrorist acts. It is also the most prominent arrest yet in Pakistan, where more than 400 Qaeda suspects have been detained and many have been sent on to American custody, in a cooperative effort that has opened President Pervez Musharraf to criticism from Islamic political forces at home. “We have finally apprehended Khalid Shaikh Mohammed,” Rashid Qureshi, a spokesman for Mr. Musharraf, said late tonight. “He is the kingpin of Al Qaeda.” In Washington today, the White House issued a statement praising Pakistani and American officials for what it called a joint operation in capturing Mr. Mohammed. “Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is one of Osama bin Laden’s most senior and significant lieutenants, a key Al Qaeda planner and the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks,” said the statement, issued by Ari Fleischer, the White House press secretary. Officials suspect that Mr. Mohammed was also involved in the simultaneous bombings of the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, as well as the bombing of the United States destroyer Cole in Yemen in October 2000. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.