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Pakistanis arrest man, but whom?

U.S. is skeptical that a Californian turned top propagandist for Al Qaeda has been captured in Karachi.

March 08, 2010|By Alex Rodriguez

The recent spate of arrests by Pakistani authorities of Afghan Taliban leaders represents a marked philosophical shift by a government that previously had focused its attention primarily on Taliban militants and other homegrown extremists responsible for attacks on Pakistani soil. Before the arrests, many in the Pakistani government viewed the Afghan Taliban as an important hedge against the day when U.S. troops leave Afghanistan.

The latest arrest of a key Afghan Taliban figure in Karachi occurred last week, when Pakistani security forces arrested Agha Jan Mohtasim, an Afghan insurgency commander and the Taliban's finance minister before the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

Intelligence sources said Jan was arrested in Karachi's Sohrab Goth neighborhood, a largely Pashtun district. Jan is believed to be a son-in-law of Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Afghan Taliban's supreme leader.

alex.rodriguez@latimes.com

Staff writers Greg Miller in Washington and Anna Gorman in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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