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Quote: Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 May, 2005, 18:14 GMT - BBC

Pakistan 'catches al-Qaeda chief'

Pakistan has arrested senior Libyan al-Qaeda suspect Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the government says.
Libbi is said to have been third in al-Qaeda and is wanted over attempts on the life of Pakistan's president.

US President George W Bush described the reported capture as "a critical victory in the war on terror".

The BBC security correspondent says it is the most significant arrest since Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11, in 2003.

'Direct threat'

Libbi was captured in the past few days after a clash in north-western Pakistan, officials said.

Pakistan has stepped up military operations against al-Qaeda suspects in the region, near where Osama Bin Laden is widely believed to have been hiding.

Pakistani Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said security agents had already gathered "a lot of tips" from the arrest, which meant they were "on the right track" to eventually capturing the al-Qaeda leader.

"This is a very important day for us," Mr Ahmed said.

Libbi is wanted in connection with two attempts on the life of Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf in December 2003, in which 17 people died.

He was regarded as the prime suspect in a number of bombings in Pakistan, including an attempt last year to kill Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

Libbi was also alleged to have taken over Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's role in al-Qaeda after the latter's capture.

In Washington, the US president said Libbi was a "top general for Bin Laden".

He was a "major facilitator and chief planner for the al-Qaeda network", Mr Bush added.

"His arrest removes a dangerous enemy who was a direct threat to America and for those who love freedom."

'Terrorist puppets'

Libbi was held with at least five other foreign al-Qaeda suspects in a clash in Waziristan in North-West Frontier Province, security sources said.

A senior security official told the AFP news agency: "It is a very big success because he was the hand who was moving all the terrorist puppets in the country."

Libbi appeared on a Pakistan most-wanted list last year.

Pakistan had put a reward of 20m rupees ($340,000) on the head of Libbi in August last year.

Pakistan has been a key ally in what the US calls its war on terrorism.

Islamabad has handed over more than 700 suspected al-Qaeda operatives to the US.

But Pakistan's Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said it was too early to say if Libbi would be taken in to US custody.
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Now how do we get information from this man who almost certainly must be a hardcore extremist?

(We cannot use "torture", 'cuz a bed sheet and a dog are mean. :roll: )
The CIA has, for decades, been using refined torture techniques that don't involve sexual humiliation and physical pain. In fact, the latter two are inferior because they cause people to make things up just to save their hides.
Refined torture techniques. Don't make me laugh. These kinds of things, such as rapidly fluctuating the tempature in a room, depriving a person of sleep, et cetera, do not come close to real torture.
Well, I never said they came close to 'real torture', whatever that is. But they are generally more effective than pulling fingernails or 'playing frat jokes', as Limbaugh would put it. And its more than just 'changing temperatures in the room'... usually it involves extreme isolation and doping the prisoner up on all kinds of drugs. The point is to disorient them, weaken their mental defenses. At this point 'should we torture terrorist leaders or not' argument is moot since the U.S. government has already made its decision, whatever that decision is; we've been holding for a long time now someone higher-up than this fellow we just caught.
This man Libi is singing like a canary,already Pakistan has rolled up about 20 MORE of his friends.

They either tortured him or he knew they would so he started singing.

Why have we been sending Islamists to these Islamic states for 30 years if torture doesn't enhance information gathering?

YES,torture works. More often,the THREAT of torture works. Any disinformation could be compared to previously determined true info and torture calibrated based on veracity. These cultures been doing it for a few thousand years,it works OK.
Maybe it does. Maybe what I believe is wishful thinking. But how do we know Pakistan wasn't just using the mind-breaking techniques instead of outright pulling out fingernails or threatening to etc.?
Anon,

You're naive. That's a fact. Next time you watch the news and hear of Iraqi Army troopers or police apprehending some terrorists,watch closely.

The guys have already been half beat to death.

They don't look that way when we apprehend them and I know for a fact that Iraqis prefer WE apprehend them than the Iraqi Army. It doesn't bother me,don't get me wrong,these guys deserve NO rights.

But,the Iraqis,like all the rest of the Asian mentalities don't give s hit for the "niceties" of our society. In this fight,NEITHER do I. We'll lose if we think we can be nice while they cut our heads off.
Well, I don't believe we're necessarily as nice as we think we are, nor have we ever been...
The dichotomy between some interrogation techniquies and other is not nice/no nice. Its rather: does it work effectively? And if few techniques do, then which one, where, and when produces reliable results faster? According to published reports crude "gangster type" torture does not measure up.
Gents,

I do think we're as "nice" as we think we are,I just don't think "nice as we think we are" is as nice or silly as some caricatures. For instance,I would personally LOVE to stomp the head of any known terrorist and piss in their ears,but I would help any lady across the street if she wants me to.

AG,I think torture works well,if it didn't,these tyrannies could not control their people. The people of Iraq were terrified of Hussein,it wasn't because he was nice!