tampabay.com

Pentagon: Senior al-Qaida agent being held

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published April 28, 2007


WASHINGTON - After being secretly held by the CIA for months, an Iraqi who was one of al-Qaida's most senior and experienced operatives has been shipped to the Guantanamo Bay military prison for terror suspects, officials said Friday.

Abdul Hadi al-Iraqi is believed responsible for plotting cross-border attacks from Pakistan on U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and he led an effort to assassinate Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, and U.N. officials, the Pentagon said.

The transfer of Iraqi, said to have been an associate of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, makes him the 15th so-called "high-value" detainee known to be handed over to military officials at the military facility in Cuba from CIA control.

It wasn't until last September that President Bush first acknowledged the CIA use of secret prisons around the world.

Officials said that Iraqi was captured well after that, but John Sifton of Human Rights Watch in New York said he was skeptical.

After Bush's announcement, "we thought there were others who remained in CIA custody or ... were temporarily being held in some sort of proxy custody by someone else" Sifton said.

His group says it has a list of 16 additional people who at one time had been in CIA custody and have never been accounted for. The CIA has not commented on the list.