Pakistan captures al-Qa'ida suspects for East Africa embassy bombings

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Pakistan announced last night it had arrested a suspected al-Qa'ida operative wanted by the United States for his involvement in the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings.

The man, who was not formally named but appears to be the Tanzanian radical Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, was captured during a police raid in central Pakistan last Sunday.

"He was arrested a few days ago in an operation by security agencies in Gujarat," Pakistan's Interior Minister, Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat told CNN. He said the suspect was east African and "a person who is most wanted internationally".

Ghailani, believed to be in his early 30s, is under indictment in the US for his alleged role in the embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam. He has been charged in absentia with murder, conspiracy to murder and other charges possibly making him eligible for the death penalty.

Ghailani was also named in May as one of seven al-Qa'ida operatives suspected of plotting further attacks in the US . The US Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI director Robert Muller issued a warning about the seven, saying they might be plotting to attack one of this summer's high profile political events.

Yesterday, hours before Mr Kerry's keynote address to the Democratic convention, another alert was issued by the FBI, warning of an "unsubstantiated" and "uncorroborated" threat to either California or New Mexico.

Pakistan, in turn, appears keen to curry as much favour as possible with its US ally on the subject of terrorism, even as its record on sponsoring and protecting Islamic radicals remains open to question. "We have been quite successful in apprehending key figures," Mr Hayat told CNN.