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Pakistan Army says it has Al Qaeda's global operations chief in custody

Pakistan’s Army says it has captured Sheikh Younis al-Mauritani, a senior Al Qaeda leader known as the group’s global operations chief.

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Pakistan’s Army says it has captured Sheikh Younis al-Mauritani, a senior Al Qaeda leader also known as the group’s “foreign minister,” who was linked to last year’s foiled terror plot in Europe.

In a press statement, the Army said Mr. Mauritani had plans to target US economic interests including gas and oil pipelines, power generating dams, and oil tankers by using explosive-laden boats in international waters.

His arrest, alongside other senior operatives Abdul Ghaffar al-Shami and Messara al-Shami from the southwestern city of Quetta, was called “another fatal blow” to Al Qaeda by the Army, and could be a sign of the Pakistan Army’s desire to mend relations with the US following the Osama bin Laden raid.

In its press statement, the Army highlighted the “strong, historic intelligence relationship” between Pakistan and the US that resulted in the successful capture of Mauritani, adding: “The intimate cooperation between Pakistan and United States Intelligence agencies has resulted into prevention of number of high profile terrorist acts not only inside Pakistan/United States but elsewhere also in world.”

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