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U-A-E Says It Arrested An Al-Qaida Leader - 2002-12-23


Authorities in the United Arab Emirates say they recently arrested and turned over to the United States Abdel Rahim al-Nashiri -- identified as the head of operations in the Persian Gulf region for the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

The U-A-E's official WAM news agency said Mr. Nashiri had been taken into custody in late October for planning to blow up vital economic targets in the country.

The United States has said it is holding Mr. Nashiri, but the French News Agency reports this is the first official confirmation that he was arrested in the U-A-E.

Mr. Nashiri is said to be a prime suspect in the bombing of U-S embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998, in the bombing of the U-S-S Cole in the southern Yemeni port of Aden in October 2000 and in a blast that crippled a French supertanker off the Yemeni coast in October of this year.

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