Pakistan continues to play Good Cop, Bad Cop. “Pakistan Asks U.S. to Help Catch London Mid-Air Terror Mastermind,” from AP, :
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan “” Pakistan has sought U.S. help to capture an Arab Al Qaeda terrorist who allegedly masterminded the foiled plot to blow up trans-Atlantic jetliners and operates out of Afghanistan’s eastern mountains where hundreds of American troops are based, an intelligence official said Friday.
Pakistani authorities have passed details regarding the Al Qaeda member to the American military, including his whereabouts in the remote Nuristan and Kunar provinces on the Pakistan border, through which hundreds of militants and locals routinely cross, the official said.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the investigation, declined to reveal the Al Qaeda operative’s name or nationality.
But he allegedly exchanged messages carried by a courier with detained British national Rashid Rauf, who is being interrogated by Pakistani authorities in connection with the plot that was smashed last week with at least 30 people arrested in both Britain and Pakistan, the official said.
The wanted Al Qaeda operative is a close aide to Egyptian-born Al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri, the official said. Detained terror suspects have told interrogators that al-Zawahiri likely approved the plan to blow up passenger planes leaving London for the United States by detonating disguised liquid explosives carried onboard in hand luggage.