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Homeland Security

SLUG: 2-317984 Pakistan / U-S Terror (L)







HEADLINE: Pakistani Authorities Discover Key Terror Information

INTRO: Security officials in Pakistan have uncovered valuable information from two senior members of the al-Qaida terror network. Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.

TEXT: Pakistani authorities detained the two al-Qaida men last month along with 12 others after a shootout in the city of Gujrat. One of them was identified as Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian-born member of al-Qaida, wanted in the United States for his role in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in East Africa.

Media reports say information gleaned from Mr. Ghailani and a computer expert identified as Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, also known as Abu Talha, prompted a high level alert against possible fresh attacks in the United States.

Commenting on the reports, Pakistani Information Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has confirmed the arrest of a computer expert along with Mr. Ghailani, but he refused to name him.


"We have arrested one man who is a computer master or computer engineer and he has many names so that is why I can't confirm what is his exact name. And we have got valuable information from him."

///END ACT///

The Pakistani minister refused to confirm reports that the information uncovered in the raid was responsible for the increase in security at U.S. financial institutions. Sunday, U.S. officials said they had credible information that terrorists were planning to carry out attacks at the New York Stock Exchange, the International Monitory Fund and other key institutions in New York, Washington, and New Jersey.

Pakistani authorities say they seized a computer and several disks in the operation that led to the capture of Tanzanian-born Mr. Ghailani and his associates.

Mr. Ghailani had a five million dollar bounty on his head.

Pakistan has said it will consider an extradition request for Mr. Ghailani, but Foreign Ministry spokesman Masood Khan told reporters Monday no such request has been made yet.

///KHAN ACT///

"We have not been approached by either the United States or Tanzania for extradition of Ahmed Khaflan Ghailani."

///END ACT///

Pakistan has captured more than 500 al-Qaida suspects, including key leaders of the terror network. Most of them eventually were handed over to the United States. (SIGNED)


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