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Senior al-Qaeda member in US custody

Senior al-Qaeda member in US custody
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First Published: Sat, Apr 28 2007. 03 40 AM IST
Updated: Sat, Apr 28 2007. 03 40 AM IST
WASHINGTON: An Iraqi al-Qaeda member accused of assassination plots against Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and other attacks was transferred by the CIA to the US military prison at Guantanamo this week, the Pentagon said on Friday.
Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi was also accused of commanding al-Qaeda’s paramilitary operations in Afghanistan and launching attacks on US and coalition forces from Pakistan, the Defence Department said.
Al-Hadi was detained trying to get back into Iraq to “manage al-Qaeda’s affairs” there, according to Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman.
The Pentagon would not say when he was captured.
Some security analysts previously said the US-led military coalition in Afghanistan captured al-Hadi in 2001, but the Defence Department on 27 April accused him of providing leadership and reconnaissance support in attacks on US forces as late as 2003.
One US government official said al-Hadi was captured by the CIA, but another said he was first in military custody and given to the CIA for interrogation.
With al-Hadi, the Pentagon is now holding 15 men it considers “high-value detainees” -- a classification that indicates US officials believe the capture had a significant effect on al-Qaeda operations and the prisoner is capable of providing high-quality intelligence.
The Pentagon has not scheduled initial administrative proceedings for al-Hadi at Guantanamo, the US naval base in Cuba where the United States runs a prison camp for foreign terrorism suspects.
Hearings there have yielded admissions by some of detainees of involvement in attacks against the United States, including the September 11 hijacked plane attacks on New York and Washington.
According to a US government summary on al-Hadi, the detainee was “known and trusted” by al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
He was a long-time trainer at one of al-Qaeda’ training camps and had ties to extremist groups allied with al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to the US intelligence summary.
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First Published: Sat, Apr 28 2007. 03 40 AM IST