Top Al Qaeda Leader Captured

A top al Qaeda leader has been detained and captured, the Pentagon announced this morning. 

Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi is described as al Qaeda's top operational planner in Afghanistan.  He was also reportedly planning an assassination attempt on Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf.

Officials say he was responsible for several attempted assassinations, including previous attempts on the life of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and cross-border attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan. He has long-standing ties to the Taliban that go back to the 1990s and acted as a liaison between al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi was captured by the CIA as he was attempting to travel back to his native country, Iraq.  He was going to Iraq, officials say, to "manage" al Qaeda's operations, including plots on Western interests outside of Iraq.

He was captured by the CIA in late 2006 and held at a secret CIA detention facility until this week, when he was transferred to Gitmo and Department of Defense custody. 

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During his time with the CIA, Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi was interrogated and revealed useful information about al Qaeda plots, which, officials say, have been disrupted as a result. 

Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi had met with al Qaeda members in Iran, officials also said.

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