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Pakistan Hands Over al-Qaida Suspect to US

Pakistan's Interior Ministry, shows senior al-Qaida suspect Abu Faraj al-Libbi on May 4, 2005 in Islamabad

Pakistan says it recently transferred a top al-Qaida operative to U.S. custody. Abu Farraj al-Libbi was arrested in Pakistan last month.

In remarks published on Monday in an Arab newspaper, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said the senior al-Qaida operative was recently handed over to U.S. authorities.

Jalil Jilani, a Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman, confirmed Monday the president had made the comments, but did not elaborate.

"[The president's] statement was self-explanatory," he said. "I don't have any further details with regard to that particular case."

Pakistan accuses Abu Farraj al-Libbi of masterminding two assassination attempts on Mr. Musharraf in 2003.

Islamabad also says the 40-year-old was the third-highest ranking member of al-Qaida and a close associate of Osama bin Laden.

The alleged terrorist's arrest on May 2 was trumpeted as a major breakthrough for Pakistani security forces. Following his capture, the authorities claim a series of police raids led to the arrest of over two dozen alleged al-Qaida militants.

Mr. Musharraf told CNN last week that Pakistani interrogators had gained all the information they could from the terror suspect.

The Pakistani president has not said when al-Libbi was handed over or where the United States is holding him.

The U.S. embassy in Pakistan has made no comment on Mr. Musharraf's statements and has not confirmed the reported handover.