- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 16, 2003

From combined dispatches
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan A key subordinate of Osama bin Laden, who U.S. government sources say is in charge of communication among al Qaeda operatives, was arrested in eastern Pakistan yesterday.
The suspect, Yassir al-Jaziri, is among the leading terrorists wanted by the United States, Pakistan's information minister Sheik Rashid Ahmed said. He is not, however, on the FBI's most-wanted list.
An intelligence source said the capture was made from information received from another senior al Qaeda figure, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was arrested in the northern city of Rawalpindi, near the capital, Islamabad, two weeks ago and is now in U.S. custody.
Mohammed is often portrayed as No.3 in al Qaeda, behind Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman Al Zawahiri, and is suspected of being the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
Al-Jaziri "is less important than Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, but he is quite an important person," Secretary of the Interior Ministry Tasneem Noorani said. He said al-Jaziri was picked up in the upscale Gulburg suburb of Lahore yesterday evening.
Mr. Ahmed said al-Jaziri was perhaps one level down from Mohammed in the al Qaeda organization.
"This is the biggest catch since Khalid Shaikh Mohammed," the intelligence source said, adding a second man, an Afghan called Gulzeb, alias Jaffar, had also been captured.
The intelligence source said a third man, a Pakistani who fought with the Taliban in Afghanistan, was also arrested in a second raid in the Gulburg area later last night.
Al-Jaziri is thought to be involved in al Qaeda's business operations, and the intelligence source described him as a U.S.-educated "computer whiz."
The Pakistani family he had been staying with was being interrogated, but Mr. Ahmed said they were not under arrest.
Intelligence sources said local experts were still trying to crack the security codes on two laptops and some CDs that were found at the one-room apartment where he was picked up.
Another source said travelers checks and maps of "various installations" around the country had also been seized.
There have been a series of bomb attacks, mainly on Western and Christian targets in Pakistan since September 11, 2001, and al Qaeda has been linked to several of those attacks.
In December, Pakistani authorities arrested a prominent doctor in Lahore, Ahmed Javed Khawaja, and accused him of having links with senior al Qaeda figures including al-Jaziri.
Intelligence sources told Reuters the arrest had been made by four Pakistani security personnel accompanied by two FBI agents.
"We were chasing him for some three months, and this raid was conducted along with American FBI," one source said.
The FBI is helping Pakistan track down al Qaeda members who may be hiding in the country, but Pakistani authorities deny FBI agents actually take part in raids.
U.S. government sources told the Associated Press that U.S. intelligence provided information that led to the arrest, but Americans did not take part in the actual raid that captured him.
The senior superintendent of police in Lahore said his men had not taken part in the operation.

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