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Witness Claims Terrorist not Arrested--May Already be Dead

The sister of a Pakistani man arrested this weekend says he was the only man arrested in the raid and that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 911, wasn't there. Pakistani intelligence officials say Khalid Shaikh Mohammed died in an earlier shootout in Karachi. Another senior al-Qaeda figure, Ramzi Binalshibh, was taken alive during that raid and handed over to the U.S. and is now on a warship somewhere in the Gulf, and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's wife and child were handed over FBI. The wife, under intense interrogation, has revealed information that is likely to lead to new arrests. If Khalid Shaikh Mohammed has been dead for 6 months, who was arrested this weekend and why was the arrest announced?

After al-Qaeda was chased out of Afghanistan, they set up in Karachi, Pakistan, headed by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who has been described by Pakistan intelligence as "probably the only man who knows all the [al-Qaeda] pieces of the puzzle." Last April, a phone call was traced that led the FBI to him. On September 11, 2002 (a date obviously chosen on purpose), the FBI raided his apartment. They wanted to take him alive, but a policeman threw a hand grenade, which started a gunfight in which he was killed. They arrested other people who were in the apartment, one of whom turned out to be Ramzi Binalshibh. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's body was secretly buried, and news of his death was suppressed while officials followed up leads.

Intelligence now believes that a new 911 style terrorist attack is being planned, although not in the U.S., and other countries have been warned to check the records of their flight training schools.

If Khalid Shaikh Mohammed has been dead for 6 months, then who was arrested this weekend? Pakistani authorities announced they arrested him plus two other suspects, but the sister of one of the men, Ahmed Quddus, says, "My brother was the only man in the house when the raid took place. He was taken away while his wife and kids were herded into a room and locked in. They didn't even know when they took him...or where. My brother has never been involved in any bad things. Actually, he's a bit slow, he's not very clever, so I can't even begin to imagine that he could be involved with any terrorist organization. He does not have any links with any terrorist organization. They're saying such strange things about him in the press. He's been living in the neighborhood for fifteen years and everyone knows him to be a placid person." Ahmed's cousin Omar Khan says the security men took away a computer when they searched the house, as reported in the press, but we can assume it did not belong to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

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