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Pakistan Detains Alleged al-Qaida  Leader - 2003-03-15


Authorities in Pakistan say they have captured a suspected leader of the al-Qaida terrorist network in a raid in the central Punjab province.

Pakistani officials have identified the suspect as Moroccan national Yassir al-Jazeeri. He is thought to be one of the top leaders of the al-Qaida network, headed by Osama bin Laden.

Government officials say law enforcement agencies detained Yassir al-Jazeeri in a house in the provincial capital, Lahore, where he was staying with a Pakistani family.

The suspect is currently being interrogated at an undisclosed location in the country. Pakistani authorities say the man is wanted by the United States.

U.S. officials say that Yassir al-Jazeeri is not on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists.

Saturday's arrest comes two weeks after the capture of al-Qaida's suspected operational commander Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, near the Pakistani capital. He is now in U.S. custody.

U.S. officials believe he planned the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on U.S. cities.

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