Pakistan hands over Arabs suspected of al-Qaida links to U.S.

Monday, April 1, 2002

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pakistan has handed over to U.S. authorities about 20 Arabs arrested last week in raids on suspected al-Qaida hide-outs, a senior intelligence official said Sunday.

One of the detainees resembles a key lieutenant of Osama bin Laden, police officials say. U.S. and Pakistani authorities are trying to determine if the suspect is Abu Zubaydah, who intelligence sources say had taken effective control of al-Qaida after the collapse of Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

The intelligence officer told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that the Arabs would be flown to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where hundreds of al-Qaida and Taliban prisoners are detained.

The Arabs were among 60 people arrested Thursday in raids in the cities of Faisalabad and Lahore.

Agents seized weapons, laptop computers and other documents. One suspect was killed and five people, including a policeman, were wounded.

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