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Key Suspect in Sept 11 Attacks Captured in Pakistan - 2002-09-14

U.S. officials say a key suspect wanted in last year's terrorist attacks in the United States has been captured in Pakistan. Ramzi Binalshibh, who had reportedly been a roommate in Germany of hijacker Mohamed Atta, is now reported to be in U.S. custody.

He's described as being one of the most important al-Qaida operatives captured yet, and one of the key planners of the September 11 attacks. His whereabouts had been unknown. But the 30 year old Yemeni national was reportedly captured earlier this week in a joint operation carried out by U.S. special forces and Pakistani police, who stormed an apartment in Karachi where suspected al-Qaida members were living.

The Qatar-based al-Jazeera television network recently interviewed a man purporting to be Ramzi Binalshibh who boasted of his involvement in the September 11 attacks but was unable to join with the other hijackers after he had been repeatedly denied a visa to enter the United States.

Instead, U.S. officials believe he provided logistical support and funnel money to some of the terrorists, and to a Florida flight school where they trained.

If he is not already in U.S. custody, it's likely that Pakistan would turn the fugitive over, given the country's record of handing over terrorism suspects implicated in other attacks against the United States.