NPR logo Pakistan's Arrests Of Al-Qaida Americans Don't Pan Out

Pakistan's Arrests Of Al-Qaida Americans Don't Pan Out

When Pakistanis arrested last month Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, second-in-command to Mullah Mohammed Omar, it represented a high point for that nation's counterterrorism efforts.

Pakistan isn't exactly on a roll, however based on what happened in the last few days.

Over the weekend, the Pakistanis reported that they had arrested first one Americans linked to al Qaeda it later turned out they didn't have in custody.

As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reported on the network's newscast:

When the news first broke over the weekend, the reports said that a key al-Qaida spokesman was in custody.

Officials in Pakistan said that they had captured Adam Gadahn, a Californian who has been charged with treason because of his ties to al-Qaida.

Then officials there walked that story back.

And said they had a young man with a similar name, Abu Yahya Mujahideen al-Adam in custody.

He too allegedly was an American working for al-Qaida.

Now officials familiar with the case tell NPR that no Americans were arrested by Pakistani authorities and neither man is in custody.

The news comes at a time when US and Pakistani forces have been working more closely than ever in trying to apprehend key al-Qaida and Taliban members who are hiding out in Pakistan.