Mistaken identiy on Gadahn, Pakistan says

March 9, 2010 at 1:06 PM
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KARACHI, Pakistan, March 9 (UPI) -- Pakistani authorities withdrew their claim that a suspected American citizen captured in Karachi is the U.S.-born al-Qaida fugitive Adam Gadahn.

Pakistani authorities lauded the alleged arrest of Gadahn, an Oregon native, as the latest in a string of high-profile operations in Pakistan. A joint CIA raid with the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Service in Karachi in February resulted in the capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of highest-ranking Taliban officials arrested in years.

Following a FBI denial, however, Pakistan said Monday claim of the Gadahn capture was a case of mistaken identity. Islamabad said the man captured in Karachi is Abu Yahya Majadin Adam, whose name closely resembles a Gadahn alias, London's Independent newspaper reports.

The Independent said Adam was an American citizen, however, raising concerns about the presence of foreign militants operating in Pakistan.

The media went into a frenzy following early announcements of the possible capture of Gadahn, who has a $1 million bounty for his arrest. A similar whirl erupted over the alleged death of Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud.

Mehsud allegedly died from wounds suffered during a U.S. airstrike in January.

Mehsud was last heard from in an audio tape Jan. 16. Alam Tariq, the official spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, has not issued a formal announcement, leaving the situation speculative.

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