Archive for Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Al-Qaida hunt intensifies

Arrested operative’s identity confirmed

May 3, 2006


— A top al-Qaida strategist with a $5 million bounty on his head and followers from Afghanistan to Europe has been captured in Pakistan, a U.S. law enforcement official confirmed.

Mustafa Setmarian Nasar, who once wrote a 1,600-page autobiographical book on ways to attack Islam's enemies, has been flown out of the country after being interrogated by Pakistani and American authorities, Pakistani officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday. They did not specify where he was taken.

Terror analysts said Nasar's capture has dealt a blow to al-Qaida and other militant movements he aided through his virulent anti-Western writings and weapons training. His movements have been traced to Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and two European capitals.

Nasar, a 47-year-old Syrian-Spanish national, was seized in November 2005 in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, said the American official, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue. Nasar was arrested in a sting operation that sparked a gunfight in which one person was killed, the official said.

Officials in Washington declined to comment Tuesday.

The Syrian native's dual citizenship - he was married to a Spanish woman - and his Western appearance made him difficult to find. His looks could resemble an Irish pub patron - red hair, light skin, stocky build. When he grew out his beard, Nasar - whose aliases ranged from Abu Musab al-Suri to Blond Blond - blended into Islamic society.


b_asinbeer 11 years, 9 months ago

Wasn't the hunt supposed to be at its maximum intensity immediately after 9/11??? Someone please enlighten me.

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