ABC: Senior AQ Commander Nabbed (Tied to London Airline Plot)
Top al Qaeda Man In Pakistan Nabbed
August 17, 2006 9:31 AM
Gretchen Peters and Habibullah Khan Report:
A senior al Qaeda commander allegedly tied to the London airplane bomb plot has been arrested in Pakistan, Pakistani intelligence and law enforcement officials have told ABC News. Matiur Rehman, one of the most wanted men in Pakistan, is known to have met with the alleged plot ringleader Rashid Rauf, according to the officials.
Rehman’s capture could provide the most important leads in months to the whereabouts of Al Qaeda’s top two leaders, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri. Rehman was believed to be in frequent contact with Zawahiri.*
Rehman was taken into custody in the southern Punjab city of Bawalpur, the same town where alleged London plot ringleader Rashid Rauf was arrested last week. ABC News saw a copy of the police report on Rehman, with an attached copy of his photo.* *
Pakistani officials told ABC News earlier that 29-year Rehman was known to be planning a terror spectacular to mark the fifth anniversary of the 9/ll attacks, and the London plot may have been it.
ABC News consultant Alexis Debat, a terrorism expert at the Nixon Center in Washington D.C., says, "[Rehman] is the interface between al Qaeda's leadership and thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Pakistani militants who are able to provide the muscle for al Qaeda's operations not only in Pakistan but around the world."
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