The possible arrest of Mohammed Ibrahim Makkaw may be a case of mistaken identity

Diane Dolinsky-Pickar's picture

Update: According to Reuters "An Egyptian Islamist, mistakenly identified as a senior al Qaeda commander because he has the same name, was detained at Cairo airport."

Earlier today HULIQ reported:

According to Egyptian security officials, Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi was arrested as he arrived on a flight from Pakistan, upping by one individual the count for capturing heinous, despicable Al Qaeda leaders no matter where they seek to hide.

Makkawi is under indictment for the 1998 U.S. bombings in Africa, where more than 200 people were killed when two nearly simultaneous attacks were propagated upon the U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. His reputation as a senior Al Qaeda advisor and Al Qaeda leader also includes the charge that he was a confidant of Osama Bin Laden, and he was part of an attack that resulted in death and injury prior to 1998, ie the assassination of Anwar el Sadat, along with the game-changing inferno on United States soil that came to be called simply by its date, the September 11th attacks.

The FBI had issued a $5 million dollar reward for his capture.

On the infamous day of September 11, 2001, hijacked airlines hit the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan and the Pentagon in Washington, DC, resulting in massive death and injury to civilians, and leading to the inauguration of George Bush’s strategy to make the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden, and the Al Qaeda network of terrorists more generally, the top security priority of his administration.

Makkawi’s alleged criminal history goes back to 1981, when Sadat was reviewing a military parade in Cairo, where a substantial array of armed firepower and forces marched to commemorate Egypt’s participation in the 1973 Yom Kippur War against Israel. Sadat was saluting the troops from the review stands when a team from one of the military vehicles exited their hideout and began firing weapons and throwing grenades into the reviewing stand. Anwar el Sadat was killed along with 20 of his compatriots, and 4 American diplomats were hurt.

Makkawi was one of the masterminds of this attack. The killers themselves were identified as members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. They were motivated by their opposition to peace with Israel, which Sadat bravely undertook to further the integration of his country into the Middle East as a whole, and to ensure security and tranquility with neighbors. Both objectives did not sit well with radical Egyptian nationalists and terrorists.

Known as a military and intelligence strategist and a one-time member of Bin Laden’s security contingent, Makkawi’s curriculum vitae includes a stint as a former Egyptian military officer, author of numerous terrorist manuals, and an active drill sergeant cum training supervisor of terrorist training camps in Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan.

He has also been connected with the abduction and murder of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal South Asia Bureau Chief who was viciously beheaded in a kidnapping that rocked the world and drew attention to the empire of evil that mujahedeen in Pakistan were building.

To get an idea of how senior he was, Makkawi, who used an alias of Saif al-Adel, was the third most wanted person on a list of Al Qaeda leaders still at large, according to an article published by msnbc.com in October, 2010. At that time, Osama Bin Laden was the number one Al Qaeda terrorist at large and Ayman al-Zawahiri was second.

Bin Laden met his demise in an armed struggle with navy commandos in May 2, 2011, which involved a secret US operation on his fortified complex in Pakistan.

There remains a $25 million price tag on the head of Al-Zawahiri, who is still at large. “As we did both seek to capture and kill—and succeed in killing—Bin Laden, we certainly will do the same thing with Zawahiri,” said Admiral Mike Mullen.

The Associated Press reported that the captured man responded with a plea of mistaken identity. “Speaking to reporters at the airport, Makkawi said he was not the senior Al Qaeda leader known as Saif al-Adel and that he had nothing to do with the terror group since 1989.” In other words, he was not an Al Qaeda leader, but an ordinary man improperly being picked up.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, Marion Doss

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