Baghdad, Iraq A prison escapee thought to be one of al-Qaida's former top lieutenants in Indonesia was killed Monday when British forces attempted to arrest him in southern Iraq.
Omar al-Farouk, whom British authorities described as "a leading terrorist connected to activities such as murders and kidnappings," was killed in the early morning hours during a raid on his house in the city of Basra, military officials said.
Maj. Charlie Burbridge, the British military spokesman in Basra, declined to link the suspect to al-Qaida, but Farouk has been accused of serving as Osama bin Laden's representative in Indonesia before his arrest and detention by U.S. authorities in Afghanistan.
Farouk, a 35-year-old native of Kuwait who has also been known as Farouk al-Iraqi, was arrested by Indonesian authorities in 2002 and transferred into U.S. custody at Bagram air base in Afghanistan, from which he escaped with three other suspects in July 2005. At the time, authorities identified the escaped Kuwaiti prisoner as Mahmoud Ahmad Mohammed.