A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Top al Qaeda official reportedly arrested at Egypt airport

Former al Qaeda [JURIST news archive] military commander Saif al-Adel [Telegraph profile] was arrested at an airport in Cairo [Al Ahram report] on Tuesday, according to the Egyptian media. Egyptian security officials detained al-Adel upon his arrival after noticing that his name appeared on the passenger list on a flight from Pakistan. Before he was taken away for questioning, however, al-Adel contended that Egyptian officials had mistaken his identity [BBC report], and that he was not the al Qaeda official that authorities sought. Doubts have since emerged over whether the man detained on Tuesday is actually al-Adel. The Christian Science Monitor reported [text] that the man arrested by Egyptian officials was probably an Egyptian militant who shares a similar alias to al-Adel. al-Adel has been on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists Lists [materials] since 1998 for his connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The US Department of State [official website] is offering a five million dollar reward for his capture.

In September a CIA drone strike in Yemen killed senior al Qaeda leader [JURIST report] and US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. The strike marked the US government's most successful attack against al Qaeda since the raid leading to the death of Osama bin Laden [JURIST report] in Pakistan last May. In June al Qaeda operative Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was killed [JURIST report] by security forces at a checkpoint in Somalia. Mohammed was on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists Lists [materials] for his involvement in the 1998 US embassy bombings. Al-Adel, who has also gone by the alias Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi, has drawn a great deal of international interest since the US embassy bombings. In May, following Osama Bin-Laden's death, al-Adel operated as the interim head of Al Qaeda [Telegraph report]. In March 2011, al-Adel published a series of letters [materials] covering the Arab Spring [JURIST news archive] uprisings.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.