Al-Qaeda “Number Three” Handed Over to US
CNN, among others, has the latest story on Abu Farraj al-Libbi:
Pakistan has handed over to the United States a senior al Qaeda terrorist suspect believed to have masterminded two assassination attempts against President Gen. Pervez Musharraf.
Abu Farraj al-Libbi, captured last month in Pakistan, is widely regarded as the No. 3 man in al Qaeda.
Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Jalil Abbas Jilani confirmed a report in a newspaper in the United Arab Emirates on Monday that quoted Musharraf as saying al-Libbi had been handed over.
“The president made a statement to this effect. The president’s statement was self-explanatory. I don’t have further details,” Jilani told a news conference in Islamabad.
Musharraf told CNN last week that Pakistan had extracted “all the intelligence” from al-Libbi and had no further need for him.
“He says he is not in contact with Osama bin Laden,” the Pakistan president said.
Musharraf also said that al Qaeda no longer existed in Pakistan as a “homogenous body” and its members were reduced to operating in small bands.
In an interview with United Arab Emirates daily al-Ittihad, Musharraf confirmed that had already happened, The Associated Press reported.
“Yes, we turned Abu Farraj al-Libbi over to the United States recently, and we don’t want people like him in our country,” Musharraf was quoted as saying.
He did not say when or how al-Libbi was handed over or provide other details.