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Alleged Qaeda Big Goes To Bagram

A suspected longtime aide to Osama bin Laden has been handed over to American authorities and flown out of Pakistan, a Pakistani official said Monday.

Adil Al-Jazeeri was blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back while he was taken to an American plane in Peshawar late Sunday, the intelligence official said on the condition of anonymity.

The official said he believed the al Qaeda suspect was flown to Bagram, an American forces base in neighboring Afghanistan.

Pakistan officials believe Al-Jazeeri, arrested in Pakistan last month, is a ranking member of bin Laden's al Qaeda terror network.

"He was interrogated here. He is among the important people of al Qaeda. Useful information can be obtained from him during further investigation," the official said.

Al-Jazeeri, an Algerian national, was arrested in the upscale residential district of Hayatabad in Peshawar, which borders Afghanistan.

Another al Qaeda suspect, Abu Naseem of Tunisia, also was arrested near Peshawar the same day Al-Jazeeri was caught.

Neither Al-Jazeeri nor Abu Naseem appear on the American FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list.

Nearly 500 al Qaeda suspects have been arrested in Pakistan and most of them have been handed over to the United States.

Pakistan is a key U.S. ally in the war against terrorism.

Those captured include senior al Qaeda suspects, such as Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was arrested in March and is believed to be the No. 3 leader in al Qaeda and a suspected planner of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. On Sept. 11, 2002, Ramzi Binalshibh, another suspected planner of the 2001 attacks, was arrested in Karachi.

Bagram holds an unknown number of detainees from Operation Enduring Freedom.

On July 3, the Bush administration announced that the president had designated six people detained in the "war on terrorism" eligible for military tribunals. No charges have been pressed yet.