Monday, August 02, 2004

Most Wanted

On the 24th September 2001 US Treasury Secretary O'Neill issued an Executive Order freezing the assets of named individuals and organisations suspected of funding or carrying out acts of terror. A second list followed in October 2001.

Among the names, Ahmed Ghailani, also known as 'Ahmed The Tanzanian' or 'Fupi', who was captured in Pakistan a week ago.

Many of the suspected terrorists were only known by nicknames or aliases - the first wanted list mentioned 'Abu Hafs The Mauritanian' and subsequent lists spoke of 'Ahmed The Egyptian' (imagine the Egyptians issuing a wanted notice for 'Dave From England') and 'Ernad The Palestinian'. Although among this latest list you can spot our old friend Abu Hamza, surprisingly not known as Captain Hook.

A lot of the early names were killed or captured. Abu Hafs The Mauritanian made it onto Robert Fisk's website, was then reported killed, but has since been reported to be in Iran. Ahmed The Egyptian still appears to be wanted, but the current top 20 has lost a fair few names.

Presumably the US authorities have good reason to issue warnings about attacks in New York. The jury's still out on whether his arrest lead to the attempted assassination of Shaukat Aziz, but this is a big Al Qaeda catch.

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