The Pentagon says the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has transferred a high-level al-Qaida member with close ties to Osama bin Laden to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
A Pentagon spokesman (Bryan Whitman) says the detainee, identified as Muhammad Rahim, helped prepare caves in Tora Bora -- a mountainous region in Afghanistan used by bin Laden to hide as U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban in 2001. The spokesman said Rahim -- an Afghan national -- helped bin Laden escape during a U.S. operation to catch the al-Qaida leader.
Rahim also attempted to procure chemicals for a plan to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan. The South Asian news agency ANI reported in August last year that Rahim had been captured in the Pakistani city Lahore. A memo from CIA director Michael Hayden released Friday confirmed Rahim was captured in mid-2007. Hayden said he was then placed in a CIA interrogation program.