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Top Islamic Leader, Khalid Shaikh Muhammad Captured in FBI Raid near Islamabad, Pakistan
Whisked out of Pakistan, Being Tortured in a Third Country

In a flurry of news reports, U.S. media reported on March 1, 2003 in the afternoon that Khalid Shaikh Muhammad, top Al-Qaida leader, was arrested in Rawalpindi (near Islamabad) at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning (Pakistan time).

The U.S. reports indicate that the raid was carried out jointly by the FBI and General Musharraf's special forces (ISI).

Another U.S. news report indicates that the overall operation was supervised by the CIA. The Pakistanis however are taking sole credit for the operation.

The most detailed report came from Fox News in an interview with former Director of the CIA, Woolsey. This report indicated that Khalid Muhammad was immediately whisked away to a third (unnamed) country for "interrogation" so as to extract maximum information from the prisoner. The nuance of this report is that the raid was totally controlled by the U.S. because Pakistan is not in a position to whisk prisoners to third countries for torture.

In a late night report on CNN (early March 2), Peter Bergen pointed out that the purpose of taking Khalid Muhammad to a "third country" is to carry out torture which would be difficult in Pakistan.

Peter Bergen also connected Khalid Muhammad to Pakistan's Jamaate Islami Party. The captured leader, Bergen said, was staying with a Jamaate Islami leader. [Other reports say that another unnamed "Arab" and a Jamaate Islami person were also arrested.]

Khalid Muhammad is accused by the U.S. of "masterminding" the 9.11 attacks as well as attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole.

2003-03-02 Sun 08:42ct