Al Qaeda Figure Seized in Thailand

U.S. officials announced Thursday that they had captured Hambali, the 39-year-old Indonesian they describe as al Qaeda’s top strategist in Southeast Asia and a key figure in the bombings on the resort island of Bali last year that killed 202 people.

Hambali, whose given name is Riduan Isamuddin, was caught in Thailand earlier this week in a joint operation by Thai anti-terrorism forces and the CIA, U.S. officials said. He has been transferred to an undisclosed country, where he remains in CIA custody undergoing interrogation, an official said. “He’s a known killer,” President Bush said in a speech in California to U.S. military personnel who served in the Iraq war. “Hambali was one of the world’s most lethal terrorists who is suspected of planning major terrorist operations. . . . He is no longer a problem to those of us who love freedom.” Full Story

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