CAMPAIGN AGAINST TERRORISM: Captured Senior Officials Interrogated by US as Mullah Omar Hunt Continues

By Sengupta, Kim | The Independent (London, England), January 7, 2002 | Go to article overview
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CAMPAIGN AGAINST TERRORISM: Captured Senior Officials Interrogated by US as Mullah Omar Hunt Continues


Sengupta, Kim, The Independent (London, England)


AMERICAN OFFICIALS have begun interrogating the two highest- ranking Taliban and al-Qa'ida officials in their custody while the hunt for Mullah Mohammed Omar continues without much success.

Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, the high-profile former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, and Ibn Al-Shayak al-Libi, who ran Osama bin Laden's training camps, were handed over to the Americans by, respectively, the Pakistani and Afghan governments.

Mr al-Libi is being held in Kandahar, where the prisoners include three British Muslims captured fighting among Taliban ranks. Mullah Zaeef is on board an American warship in the Arabian Sea. They are expected to be moved to the US base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, which has been prepared as a centre for Afghan prisoners.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees rejected Mullah Zaeef's application for refugee status. Pakistan, the Taliban's strongest supporter and sponsor before the 11 September attacks, said the mullah was no longer protected by diplomatic immunity after the Taliban government fell.

About 300 prisoners are being held at Kandahar air base; 25 more arrived from Pakistan yesterday. A Saudi newspaper also reported yesterday that Pakistan was holding more than 200 Saudis caught fleeing Afghanistan and any of them with links to al- Qa'ida would be handed over to the Americans.

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CAMPAIGN AGAINST TERRORISM: Captured Senior Officials Interrogated by US as Mullah Omar Hunt Continues
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