A battered al-Qaida suffered another significant blow when Pakistani agents working with the CIA arrested a senior leader believed to have been tasked by Osama bin Laden with targeting American economic interests around the globe, Pakistan announced Monday.Younis al-Mauritani’s arrest — made public six days before the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — also point to improved cooperation between two uneasy anti-terror allies after the rancor surrounding bin Laden’s killing.
Pakistan’s unusual public announcement of close cooperation with the U.S. spy agency appeared aimed at reversing the widespread perception that ties between the CIA and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency had been badly damaged by bin Laden’s death.
The Pakistani military said the arrest of al-Mauritani and two other Qaida operatives took place near the Afghan border in the southwestern city of Quetta, long known as a base for militants. It did not say when. The arrests were carried out in the past two weeks, according to a U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.