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Pentagon says it captures key al-Qaida figure

By Xinhua

Washington : The Pentagon said Friday it has captured a high-level al-Qaida figure suspected of having close ties to Osama Bin Laden and has sent him to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The man, named as Muhammad Rahim, helped arrange Bin Laden’s escape from his hideout in Afghanistan in 2001, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.

Rahim was transferred to the Pentagon from CIA custody this week, he added.

However, Whitman would not say when or where the CIA captured Rahim, or how long he has been in the hands of the Americans.

Afghani media earlier reported that Rahim was arrested in Pakistan and he had a bounty of 200,000 U.S. dollars on his head.

Whitman described Rahim as a close associate of Bin Laden and had ties to al-Qaida groups throughout the Mideast.

“He is one of (Bin Laden’s) most trusted facilitators and procurement specialists,” he said.

U.S. forces have caught a number of associates of Bin Laden but the hunt for the al-Qaida mastermind is still going on.