Pakistan has arrested five more al Qaeda suspects as part of a month-long crackdown on Osama bin Laden's shadowy network, officials said on Thursday. Officials said the suspects, whom they declined to identify, were captured in various parts of the country in the last two to three days. It was not clear how senior the suspects were or whether they were Pakistanis or foreigners.
Pakistan has detained more than 20 people in the last month, including key foreign and local al Qaeda operatives, in a swoop that has led to a security alert in the United States and the arrest of 13 al Qaeda suspects in Britain, informs Reuters.com
According to SFGate.com European terrorism analysts acknowledge the United States and its allies are under threat by al Qaeda, but some suggest the White House is unnecessarily tweaking this anxiety with vague and dated intelligence about possible attacks. Some of Europe is suspicious the Bush administration is using fear to improve its chances in the November elections.
Terrorism experts say too much publicity about possible plots and raids into extremist networks, including the arrest of 13 suspects in Britain last week, could hurt wider investigations. American politicians have called for an examination of those claims.
Officials in Pakistan reportedly said Tuesday that Washington's recent disclosure of the arrest of a key al Qaeda operative, Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, allowed other extremists under surveillance to disappear.
"It causes a problem. There's no doubt about that," said Charles Heyman, editor of Jane's World Armies. "The moment you make any announcement you tell the other side what you know. As a rule of thumb, you should keep quiet about what you know."