President Bush has welcomed the arrest in Pakistan of a top al-Qaida suspect known as Abu Farraj al-Libbi, saying it is a critical victory in the war on terrorism. Mr. Bush said al-Libbi's capture removes a major threat to the United States and those who love freedom. He praised Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Pakistani security forces for acting on solid intelligence to bring al-Libbi to justice. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the importance of the arrest will become more apparent in the coming days.
Pakistan's information minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed confirmed al-Libbi's arrest, saying it is a major breakthrough in Pakistan's war on terror. The Libyan national is believed to be the number three al-Qaida leader and is considered one of Osama Bin Laden's closest personal associates. He is accused of orchestrating two unsuccessful attempts in December 2003 to assassinate President Musharraf. U.S. officials say American intelligence played a key behind-the-scenes role in al-Libbi's capture Monday.