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U.S. Takes Sole Custody of Al Qaeda's Mohammed

Al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was in U.S. custody and has been taken out of Pakistan for interrogation following his capture over the weekend, a U.S. official said on Monday. There have been some conflicting reports over whether Mohammed was still in Pakistan and being questioned by Pakistani as well as U.S. authorities. A U.S. official told Reuters that Pakistan had handed Mohammed over to U.S. authorities and that he was solely in U.S. custody and had been taken out of Pakistan to an undisclosed location for questioning. Analysts have described Mohammed as a pivotal figure in al Qaeda who planned its operations and vetted all recruits. The United States, under criticism for failing to arrest the top leaders of al Qaeda while focusing on a possible war on Iraq, was elated by news of Mohammed’s arrest, describing him as “a key al Qaeda planner and the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.” The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives intelligence committee, Porter Goss, said it would result in “other very successful activities soon” and suggested U.S. operatives were already moving on information seized when Mohammed was arrested. Full Story

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