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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Key Terror Suspect May Be Extradited

KARACHI, Pakistan -- U.S. officials led the interrogation of key al-Qaida suspect Ramzi Binalshibh on Sunday as Pakistan pondered likely extradition requests from both the United States and Germany.

Pakistani security forces, acting on a tip-off from U.S. agents, arrested Binalshibh in the sprawling southern port city of Karachi on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks he is accused of helping to plan.

The arrest followed a three-hour gun battle involving hundreds of police that left two al-Qaida suspects dead and at least six policemen wounded.

At least one other raid was conducted in Karachi earlier in the week. Now, Binalshibh, a second high-level al-Qaida suspect and 10 others are being held in a secret, high-security location in Pakistan.

"They are being interrogated to retrieve maximum possible information about other al-Qaida suspects in Pakistan," said an army source, who asked not to be identified.

The source said the arrested men were being kept blindfolded and handcuffed during questioning, with the two leading suspects held separately from their colleagues.

"Most of the time, it's United States FBI officials who are interrogating them," he added.

Binalshibh, who is wanted by Germany for his alleged role in planning and carrying out the hijacked plane attacks on the United States, is one of the most important al-Qaida members to be taken into custody over the past year.

U.S. officials have said the Yemeni national, who was refused a visa into the United States at least four times before Sept. 11, 2001, wanted to join the 19 hijackers involved in last year's attack.

On Saturday, U.S. President George W. Bush hailed the capture and vowed to hunt down other suspects still at large.

"Thanks to the efforts of our folks and people in Pakistan, we captured one of the planners and organizers of the Sept. 11 attack that murdered thousands of people," Bush said.

"One by one, we're hunting the killers down. We are relentless, we are strong and we're not going to stop," he told reporters at Camp David.

Pakistani Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider said Pakistan was ready to hand the suspects over to U.S. authorities if there was evidence they were involved in terrorist activities. But the German government said it also wanted to try Binalshibh.

"We in Germany have issued an international arrest warrant that we want to enforce. If there are competing interests we must come to an agreement with other countries," German Interior Minister Otto Schily told German ARD television in Copenhagen.