Kuwait Says Iran Holding al-Qaida Spokesman
17 Jul 2003, 18:11 UTC
Kuwait says a prominent al-Qaida spokesman, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, is in Iran, which has repeatedly denied holding him.
Kuwait's interior minister, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, says Iran offered to extradite Mr. Abu Ghaith back to Kuwait, his home country. The minister says Kuwait rejected the offer, noting that Mr. Abu Ghaith was stripped of his citizenship after the September 11th attacks on the United States.
Mr. Abu Ghaith emerged as an al-Qaida spokesman shortly after those attacks, in which al-Qaida terrorists used hijacked airplanes to kill more than 3,000 people. He appeared in several videotapes and audiotapes, promising in one that a "storm of airplanes" would hit American targets.
Iran has denied persistent media reports it has taken Mr. Abu Ghaith into custody. It has also rejected U.S. accusations it is harboring fugitive al-Qaida members from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Tehran says only that it is holding several suspected al-Qaida members whom it refuses to identify.
Some information for this report provided by Reuters.
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