- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 5, 2004

From combined dispatches

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan gave British authorities images of London’s Heathrow Airport and other sites that were found on the computers of two al Qaeda fugitives arrested last month, intelligence officials said yesterday.

Al Qaeda also planned suicide attacks on the airport in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, and the Chaklala air base near the capital, Islamabad, used by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, Reuters news agency reported citing Pakistani intelligence sources.

Pakistani officials, however, could not confirm reports in British newspapers that the information found on the computers helped lead to the arrests of a dozen terror suspects in Britain this week.

Several news reports in Britain said one of the suspects arrested late Tuesday, variously identified as Abu Eisa al-Hindi or Abu Musa al-Hindi, was thought to be a senior member of al Qaeda and had been plotting an attack on Heathrow.

London’s Metropolitan Police refused to say whether al-Hindi was among those arrested, and Pakistani officials contacted by the Associated Press had no information about the reported link.

British police, contacted by Reuters, downplayed any Pakistani role in the arrests, saying their investigation was ongoing before they received information from Islamabad.

However, U.S. officials said the CIA, working with allies in the war on terrorism, provided information that contributed to the detention of al-Hindi.

Maps, photographs and other details of likely targets in the United States and Britain were found on computers belonging to Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani — a Tanzanian indicted for his role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa — and a Pakistani computer expert identified as Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, two Pakistani officials said.

The British reports said al-Hindi, using the code name Bilal, had been in contact with Khan.

A Lahore-based intelligence official involved in the investigation after the July 13 arrest of Khan said his computer contained photographs of Heathrow Airport, as well as pictures of roads running beneath several buildings in London.

Pakistani authorities said it was not clear whether the photos were taken recently.

An official said information from Khan and Ghailani also has been shared with the United Arab Emirates, the country through which several al Qaeda men are thought to have passed — including two South Africans arrested July 25 with Ghailani.

According to South African media, the two men were thought to have been plotting attacks on landmarks in their home country.

British police arrested 13 men, ages 19 to 32, in raids Tuesday in London, the nearby towns of Watford and Luton, and in Blackburn in northwest England, “on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.” One was subsequently released.

Pakistani Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayyat said the arrests in Britain were not based on “specific information” passed on by Pakistan.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide