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2 Al Qaeda Suspects Arrested

June 19, 2003|From Associated Press

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Two suspected Al Qaeda members -- including one believed to be a longtime aide to Osama bin Laden -- were arrested Wednesday in northwestern Pakistan, the nation's information minister said.

Pakistani authorities arrested Adil Jazeeri of Algeria at a public swimming pool in an upscale neighborhood of Peshawar. Intelligence sources said Jazeeri was a longtime aide to Bin Laden and was involved in the terror network's training.

"He is an important Al Qaeda catch," Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said in a telephone interview.

The second suspect, Abu Naseem of Tunisia, was arrested a short time later outside an Afghan refugee camp on the western edge of Peshawar, according to an intelligence source who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said Naseem was "highly expert in forgery and arranging fake documents for Al Qaeda men."

Pakistani security officials conducted the raids, but it wasn't immediately clear if the two men were in Pakistani custody or had been handed over to U.S. officials.

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