Pakistan launches hunt for 2 north African al-Qaida men


ISLAMABAD, AP

Pakistani security forces acting on a tip are looking for two alleged north African al-Qaida operatives, a senior government official said Saturday, seeking another breakthrough against Osama bin Laden’s terror network. Identified as Abu Farj, a Libyan, and Hamza, from Egypt, the pair are believed to be close associates of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian indicted for his role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa. The two suspects, about whom authorities refused to give further details, have been on the run in Pakistan since Ghailani and a Pakistani computer expert Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan were captured in two separate raids in July in eastern Pakistan. It was not immediately clear when and from where Farj and Hamza entered Pakistan and what they were doing here. The tip about their presence came from Khan, a senior government official told The Associated Press.

“Yes, our security agencies are looking for Abu Farj and Hamza, but I have no details,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another security official confirmed that the country’s intelligence agents were searching for the pair.