Senior Bush Administration officials have told the Washington Post newspaper a member of Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaida terrorist organization has been arrested in Sudan. The officials described the Al-Qaida prisoner as "moderately high up" in the network's leadership, but they would not identify him by name. They would only confirm that he was not Abu Anas Al-Liby, one of 22 figures on President Bush's most-wanted list of international terrorists.
Tuesday's editions of the Washington Post reported that U.S. officials had identified the captured agent as Abu Anas Al-Liby, who is being sought for allegedly helping to plan the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. But later Tuesday, U.S. officials downgraded that claim, saying they were wrong about the Sudanese prisoner's name, which they said sounded similar to Abu Anas Al-Liby.
In Wednesday's Washington Post, U.S. officials restated that the Bush Administration has been negotiating for more than a month with officials in Khartoum to have the figure in custody transferred to Egypt.
According to administration officials, Egypt would like to extradite the Al-Qaida member because of his alleged role in a 1995 assassination attempt against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Egypt's interrogation rules are not as strict as those governing U.S. investigators, and U.S. officials are hopeful Egyptian authorities can uncover new information about the bin Laden terrorist network, which the United States blames for the September 11 attacks on New York and Wasington.
U.S. officials are still searching for Abu Anas Al-Liby, who is wanted for his role in planning the 1998 embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam, which killed 224 people.
The Sudanese government has denied reports it is holding an Al-Qaida terrorist.