Al Qaeda man held in Karachi, says ISPR
ISLAMABAD, May 17: ISPR, the public relations wing of the armed forces, said on Tuesday that security forces had arrested a “senior Al Qaeda operative, Mohammad Ali Qasim Yaqub alias Abu Sohaib Al Makki” from Karachi.
“According to preliminary investigations Al Makki is a Yemeni national and has been working directly under Al Qaeda leaders along Pak-Afghan borders,” an ISPR statement said. It did not say when the man was detained and how he was captured.
It was unusual, if not unprecedented, for the ISPR to announce the arrest of an Al Qaeda leader because the military seldom makes such announcements.
Stressing the significance of Al Makki`s capture, the ISPR said: “The arrest of Al Makki is a major development in unravelling the Al Qaeda network operating in the region.”
Little information is publicly available about Al Makki. He wasn`t on the US list of wanted men. But that doesn`t imply that he was not a significant man in Al Qaeda hierarchy. There have been instances in the past when full description of certain Al Qaeda operatives became known only after they had been captured or killed.
Reuters adds: A security official said Al Makki was between 35 and 40 years old and had been living with his three children and wife “for some time”.
“He gave some information about movements of some people,” the official said. “We are evaluating that information and planning actions.”
Military sources said he had come to Pakistan in 2001 and operated in the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“He was hiding in a house right in the middle of the city,” another official said.
“The arrest was made after intelligence operations began in various cities after May 2. The intelligence operation is still on.”