The capture in Pakistan of Abu Farraj al-Libbi is a significant victory in the worldwide effort to destroy the al-Qaida terrorist network. A native of Libya, al-Libbi is said to have been a close associate of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Two years ago, al-Libbi reportedly became al-Qaida's operations chief in Pakistan after Khalid Sheikh Muhammad was captured.
Al-Libbi is thought to have been a key planner of al-Qaida terrorist attacks, including two failed assassination attempts against Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf. President Musharraf escaped injury both times, but seventeen others were killed in one of the attacks.
President George W. Bush says the capture of al-Libbi "represents a critical victory in the war on terror":
"His arrest removes a dangerous enemy who was a direct threat to America and for those who love freedom. I applaud the Pakistani government for their strong cooperation in the war on terror. I applaud the Pakistani government and President Musharraf for acting on solid intelligence to bring this man to justice."
Since the September 11th, 2001, attacks on the United States, Pakistan has arrested hundreds of al-Qaida suspects, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh, and Abu Zubaydah. Pakistan's Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed says the arrest of Abu Farraj al-Libbi shows that Pakistan is working hard to break up al-Qaida:
"I can say our security forces and our armed forces are moving [in] the right direction after a long time. It's a big catch. And this kind of gives us a good clue [in the search for] other people."
"The fight [against terrorism] continues," said President Bush. "We'll stay on the offensive until al-Qaeda is defeated."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government.