Osama bin Laden’s spokesman has been caught by US intelligence officials working in Jordan, scoring what they called a major victory against al-Qaeda.
Law enforcement officials confirmed the capture of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who was believed to have taken part in the September 11, 2001, plot against the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Ghaith is also bin Laden’s son in law.
The capture of bin Laden’s spokesman was praised by Rep. Peter King, former chairmain of the House Homeland Security Committee.
“Definitely, one by one, we are getting the top echelons of al-Qaida,” King said Thursday. “I give the (Obama) administration credit for this: it’s steady and it’s unrelenting and it’s very successful.”
Bin Laden’s spokesman was caught within a narrow window of opportunity for the US, a Turkish newspaper claims. Ghaith was taken into custody last month in Turkey, where he was staying at a luxury hotel. But Turkish officials could not charge him with a crime and released him.
US intelligence officials tracked bin Laden’s spokesman as he passed through Jordan on his way to Kuwait, capturing him there. Turkish officials could not confirm details about the al Qaeda leader’s capture or about his deportation from the country.
The capture of bin Laden’s spokesman was one of several blows to al Qaeda leadership this week. Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, the commander of the North African wing of al Qaexa, was also killed along with 40 other suspected militants in a French airstrike in Mali earlier in the week.
Later in the week it was announced that Chad soldiers killed Qaeda commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who was responsible for an attack at an Algerian gas plant attack, that left at least 37 hostages dead.
US intelligence officials have released no more information on how bin Laden’s spokesman was caught or what will happen next with the al-Qaeda leader.
Chad soldiers have killed