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Pentagon Says New Alleged Al-Qaida Member at Guantanamo


The U.S. Defense Department says it has sent an alleged al-Qaida operative recently captured in the Horn of Africa to the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba.

The Pentagon identified the detainee in a statement Wednesday as Abdullahi Sudi Arale. It said he worked as a courier for al-Qaida between East Africa and Pakistan, helping the network acquire weapons and explosives.

The statement also said Arale was a leader in the al-Qaida-affiliated Somali Council of Islamic Courts. But it did not provide details about his nationality or age, nor did it say how he was captured.

The Pentagon called Arale an extremely dangerous member of al-Qaida. It said he is to be questioned about al-Qaida operations in hopes of preventing future attacks. Arale also is expected to get a hearing to determine his official status at the facility.

The Guantanamo Bay detention center is located on a U.S. military base in Cuba. Close to 400 detainees captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere are still being held there.