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Monday, May 09, 2005

 

mistaken identity


the london times has uncovered that american intelligence and the white house have probably misidentified the detained man whom they called the #3 man in al-qaeda.

Bush called him a “top general” and “a major facilitator and chief planner for the Al- Qaeda network”. Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state, said he was “a very important figure”. Yet the backslapping in Washington and Islamabad has astonished European terrorism experts, who point out that the Libyan was neither on the FBI’s most wanted list, nor on that of the State Department “rewards for justice” programme.

Another Libyan is on the FBI list — Anas al-Liby, who is wanted over the 1998 East African embassy bombings — and some believe the Americans may have initially confused the two. When The Sunday Times contacted a senior FBI counter-terrorism official for information about the importance of the detained man, he sent material on al-Liby, the wrong man.

Some believe al-Libbi’s significance has been cynically hyped by two countries that want to distract attention from their lack of progress in capturing Bin Laden, who has now been on the run for almost four years.

Even a senior FBI official admitted that al-Libbi’s “influence and position have been overstated”. But this weekend the Pakistani government was sticking to the line that al-Libbi was the third most important person in the Al-Qaeda network.

One American official tried to explain the absence of al-Libbi’s name on the wanted list by saying: “We did not want him to know he was wanted.”
the only question, it seems, is whether the bush administration made yet another glaring error in prosecuting their war on terrorism or if the american public is being openly lied to yet again in an effort to dupe and defraud them of their support -- or, of course, both.


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