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Feb 04,2008
Al-Qaida leader moved freely in Pakistan
by UPI

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Al-Qaida commander Abu Laith al-Libi, killed in Pakistan, reportedly had comfortably settled in Peshawar and been moving freely there prior to his death.

The top commander of Libyan descent, who was killed in a missile attack last week, had lived in Peshawar for years organizing suicide bombings and other attacks across the border in Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported. Peshawar is the capital of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province where Islamist violence has escalated.

Despite a $200,000 U.S. reward for his capture, Libi had no trouble meeting with officials and visiting hospitals, the report said quoting officials and local residents in the provincial capital Peshawar.

He even openly met with a Pakistani politician and a Libyan diplomat, although the Pakistani government maintains it has been doing all it can to capture al-Qaida terrorists within its borders, the report said.

The Pakistani government has refused to allow U.S. forces look for al-Qaida leaders in its territory.

U.S. military officials say Libi was behind a suicide attack outside Afghanistan's Bagram air base during a visit by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in February of last year. He was not harmed but the attack killed at least 23 people.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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