Accessibility links

Mohammed Arrest - 2003-03-04


U.S. and Pakistani authorities are proclaiming the arrest of an alleged senior member of the al-Qaida network as a major victory in the war on terrorism. Investigators are interrogating Khalid Shaikh Mohammed at an undisclosed location outside Pakistan. They hope he can lead them to several other key figures in the terror network.

Authorities say Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was arrested Saturday in an apartment near Islamabad. Mohammed was on the FBI’s list of 22 most wanted terrorists.

This is a picture of Mohammed taken shortly after his arrest. Authorities say Mohammed played a key role in arranging finances for al-Qaida, and may have information concerning the whereabouts of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

In a weekend television interview, the Chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Porter Goss said Mohammed’s arrest could give the U.S. crucial information.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS, ABC NEWS
“Would you expect that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed would know where Osama bin Laden is?”

CONGRESSMAN PORTER GOSS,CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE
“Yes.”

GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS, ABC NEWS
You think he does know?”

CONGRESSMAN PORTER GOSS,CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE
I think he does know and I suspect he has been in contact with him as well.”

Officials believe Mohammed was the main organizer of the September 11th terrorists attacks. They also say that in his role as head of military operations, Mohammed planned the 1998 bombings of two U.S. Embassies in East Africa, and the October 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole.

U.S. authorities say he was planning more attacks on the United States, including a plan to steal or hijack gasoline tanker trucks and crash them into gas stations.

U.S. intelligence agents are now going through evidence recovered at the scene of Mohammed’s arrest, including laptops, computer discs, and documents.

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee says the arrest is a major blow to the al-Qaida network.

SENATOR. PAT ROBERTS, SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE
“We have taken the operations officer of the al-Qaida right at the same time they were planning a spring offensive. So I think the top ten all the way from Osama down to whoever’s left, I think this is bad news for them and they should be alert that we’re being very aggressive in the war against terrorism and and we’re winning.”

Mohammed was born in Kuwait, and in the 1980’s attended college in the southern U.S. state of North Carolina where he studied engineering. He is said to have met Osama bin Laden, after going to Afghanistan to join rebels fighting the then Soviet Army.

XS
SM
MD
LG