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Monday, 16 September, 2002, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Key al-Qaeda suspect interrogated
Karachi police take away a suspect
Two suspects were killed in Wednesday's raid
Intelligence officials from the US and Pakistan are continuing the interrogation of Ramzi Binalshibh, accused of being one of the planners of the 11 September attacks.

The suspected leading al-Qaeda member was caught after a shootout in Karachi on Wednesday and is expected to be handed over to the Americans within the next few days.

Map showing Karachi
The officials will be trying to extract information as quickly as they can from Mr Binalshibh, including the whereabouts of any other suspected al-Qaeda members in Pakistan, and whether any attacks are being planned.

The US authorities are preparing to take custody of Ramzi Binalshibh, although it is not clear if he will be flown to the US, to Guantanamo Bay or to an American base in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The German authorities had also wanted to question Mr Binalshibh, who shared a house in Hamburg with Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of the suicide hijackers.

However German Interior Minister Otto Schily said on Sunday the government had decided not to pursue a claim for extradition.

The Pakistani authorities have not yet revealed the name of the second high-profile al-Qaeda suspect arrested during the same raid on Wednesday on an apartment in the country's largest city, Karachi.

US 'relentless'

The Pakistanis say they detained 12 foreign militants in raids during the past week.


One by one, we're hunting the killers down - we are relentless, we are strong and we're not going to stop

President Bush
Pakistan's Government admits that al-Qaeda fighters have crossed the porous border from Afghanistan to hide in Pakistan's towns and cities.

US President George W Bush has welcomed the arrest of Mr Binalshibh and said his capture showed that one by one the killers were being hunted down and the US was "relentless and strong".

The other arrested man is believed to be a key aide to Osama Bin Laden.

Bullet-scarred walls of the Karachi apartment building
Mr Binalshibh was arrested after a three-hour gunfight in Karachi
Secrecy had surrounded the security operation, which began on Monday and culminated in a three-hour gun battle in the streets of Karachi on Wednesday - the first anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington.

Two other suspects died and six Pakistani police were injured, two critically.

Five men have also been arrested in New York State and charged with providing "material support" for the al-Qaeda network.

Seeking publicity?

Co-ordination between the US intelligence services and the Pakistan authorities has been key to this week's successful raids, correspondents say.

FBI file photo of Ramzi Binalshibh
Ramzi Binalshibh is alleged to have helped fund the hijackers
A tip-off from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) led to the arrest of two men in Karachi on Monday night.

Information they gave during interrogation and the FBI interception of a satellite phone call resulted in Wednesday's raid that netted Mr Binalshibh, a Yemeni citizen.

Another five men and two women - all of Arab origin - were arrested at the apartment in southern Karachi.

Heavy weapons and communications equipment were also seized.

Mr Binalshibh, 30, gave an interview recently to the Arabic satellite TV channel al-Jazeera in which he claimed to have been a key organiser of the "Holy Tuesday" 11 September attacks.

In the recording, he challenged US investigators to find him, and there is speculation that his wish for publicity around the anniversary may have assisted those looking for him.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Daniel Boettcher
"The significance of Wednesday's arrests have only just become apparent"
The BBC's Frank Gardner
"He holds the key to the secrets of the September 11 plots"
US President George Bush
"One by one we are hunting the killers down"

Key stories

European probe

Background

IN DEPTH
See also:

14 Sep 02 | South Asia
14 Sep 02 | South Asia
14 Sep 02 | Europe
08 Sep 02 | Middle East
18 Jan 02 | Americas
10 Oct 01 | Middle East
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