February 29, 2012
al-Qaeda Leader Saif al-Adel Arrested in Egypt (updated/bumped)
Al-Adel is thought to be affiliated with the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), and is believed to be a high-ranking member of the Al-Qaeda organization.He was named the effective leader of al-Qaeda after the death of Osama bin-Laden. Like Zawahiri he came to al-Qaeda in its merger with Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
It will be interesting to see how Egypt's new government handles the capture of al-Adel.
Update: False alarm?
Man arrested in #Cairo ex-Islamist militant, not #Qaeda leader: security source #AlArabiyaSure it wasn't......
Security and airport officials say Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi was arrested on his arrival from Pakistan and was taken for questioning.Apparently its the right guy, US officials are playing along with the snow job according to the AP feed.
Speaking to reporters at the airport, Makkawi said he was not the senior al-Qaeda leader known as Saif al-Adel and that he had had nothing to do with the terror group since 1989.
The US has listed the name Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi as the real name of Saif al-Adel, a pseudonym that means “sword of justice.” But former militants who know both men have previously said they are two different people and the US identification is incorrect.
Makkawi told reporters at the airport that he had returned to Egypt to clear his name.This isn't the Mohamed Ibrahim Makkawi we're looking for. Move along. Move along.
“I decided to return to Egypt to live in peace, without making any deal with the Egyptian authorities and to confirm my innocence of all charges directed against me,” he said, after arriving from Pakistan via the United Arab Emirates.
He said he had been wrongly identified as Saif al-Adel because his name had been used as an alias, but said he had severed any links to the group in 1989, shortly after the organization was set up and several years before it declared its drive against the West and those it deemed foes of Islam.
“I did not carry out any operation against any installation or individual,” said Makkawi, a former army officer in Egypt’s special forces.
He said he knew former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri, then a top official in the group and now its leader, but said relations went no deeper than that.
Update: Well now, that sort of explains this.
Egypt is to lift a travel ban barring seven US pro-democracy organisation workers from leaving the country, judicial officials in Cairo have said.