Pakistani security forces killed four suspected al-Qaida terrorists in a shootout in Nawabshah, in southeastern Pakistan. Among the dead was Amjad Farooqi. Pakistani Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Sherpao says Farooqi was a “major player” in al-Qaida:
"He was killed in an encounter when he tried to charge [personnel] of the law-enforcing agencies with grenades. He was a known terrorist and a proclaimed offender and was involved in a number of terrorist activities. He was also the mastermind of the two attempts on the life of the president of Pakistan."
Pakistani security officials say Farooqi was a close associate of al-Qaida leader Abu Faraj al-Libbi. Farooqi was indicted by a court in Pakistan for his part in the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said Farooqi’s death means that “a very big terrorist has been eliminated.”
The al-Qaida terrorist network also suffered a major setback in Lebanon with the death of Ismail Mohammed al-Khatib. Lebanese officials say al-Khatib died of a heart attack shortly after his arrest by security forces. Lebanon’s prosecutor-general Adnan Adoum said al-Khatib was “an al-Qaida operative. . .his role was to recruit [Muslim] fundamentalist youth to carry out operations against coalition forces in Iraq.” Lebanese authorities say al-Khatib was among ten suspects arrested in a foiled plot to bomb the Italian embassy in Beirut.
President George W. Bush says “there is no safe isolation from terror networks, or failed states that shelter them”:
"We’re determined to destroy terror networks whenever they operate, and the United States is grateful to every nation that is helping to seize terrorist assets, track down their operatives, and disrupt their plans. We’re determined to end the state sponsorship of terror -- and my nation is grateful to all that participated in the liberation of Afghanistan. . .and my nation is grateful to the soldiers of many nations who have helped to deliver the Iraqi people from an outlaw dictator."
“All civilized nations,” said Mr. Bush, “are in this struggle together, and all must fight the murderers.”