Tags: Pakistan | Qaida | arrest | mistake

Pakistan Admits Arrested American Mistaken Identity

Tuesday, 09 March 2010 10:21 AM

Islamabad, Pakistan - The suspected Al Qaeda operative arrested in Karachi over the weekend was not the Southern California native wanted by the United States on treason charges for his involvement in the terrorist network, Pakistani intelligence officials said Monday.

Pakistani security officials had initially asserted that the Islamic extremist they had captured in the country's largest city late Saturday was Adam Gadahn of Riverside, a spokesman and top propagandist for the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

However, by early Monday morning, doubts had arisen about those reports. U.S. officials said they were skeptical and added that they had received no indication Gadahn was the suspect arrested in Karachi.

Later Monday, Pakistani intelligence officials reversed themselves and said the man arrested was actually Abu Yahya Mujahideen al Adam, a Pennsylvania native and suspected operative for Al Qaeda. The intelligence officials said Adam had been transferred to Islamabad for interrogation but would not give any further details.

U.S. officials in Washington said Monday that they had been unable to verify that Pakistan had arrested an Al Qaeda operative who was born in Pennsylvania.

Several officials said they were unfamiliar with the name Abu Yahya Mujahideen al Adam. "That's not one that really rings bells," a U.S. official said.

Gadahn, 31, remains at large. He is on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists and is the first American since the World War II era to be charged with treason. The U.S. government has offered a $1-million reward for information leading to his arrest.

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Tuesday, 09 March 2010 10:21 AM
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