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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 June, 2003, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
'Key' al-Qaeda suspect questioned
Pakistani officials say a key al-Qaeda suspect caught near the border with Afghanistan this week is likely to have crucial information about the network.

Ramzi Binalshibh, seized September 2002 in Lahore
Some leading al-Qaeda suspects have been captured in Pakistan
Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat told reporters that Adil al-Jazeeri - an Algerian national living in Peshawar, in the North-West Frontier Province - would be privy to many details about al-Qaeda operations.

Mr al-Jazeeri, who is being questioned by police, was detained in the Hayatabad district of the city after the interrogation of a Tunisian, Abu Naseem, who was arrested earlier.

The arrests were part of a continuing hunt for suspected al-Qaeda activists believed to be hiding in Pakistan.

The two were among five men - believed to be Arabs and Afghans - detained for suspected al-Qaeda links.

Series of arrests

"Being a facilitator [al-Jazeeri] is privy to certain activities which normal operatives do not have. He must have a lot of information," Mr Hayat told AFP news agency.

It is the latest in a series of arrests by Pakistani officials of suspected al-Qaeda activists.

Last month security forces arrested Haffan al-Hasham, who was believed to be involved in al-Qaeda's communications network.

Pakistani security personnel accompanied by American FBI agents made the arrest near the southern city of Karachi

April saw the arrest of two suspected al-Qaeda operatives who were believed to be part of a group that was under investigation when a member of Pakistan's intelligence services (ISI) was killed in March.

This was the first killing of an intelligence official in the area since operations to flush out suspected al-Qaeda or Taleban militants began in late 2001.

The ISI has captured more than 450 al-Qaeda suspects since the fall of Afghanistan's Taleban government in late 2001.


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