MADRID (Reuters) – A suspected al Qaeda leader, accused of being involved in September 11 and planning the 2004 Madrid train bombings, has been imprisoned in a secret U.S. jail for the past year, Spain’s El Pais newspaper reported on Sunday.
Mustafa Setmarian, 48, a Syrian with Spanish citizenship, was captured in Pakistan in October 2005 and is held in a prison operated by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Pakistani and European security service officials told El Pais.
A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Spain declined to comment on the report.
Setmarian’s 2005 capture was reported in May of this year after the United States put a $5 million bounty on the head of the alleged founder of al Qaeda’s Spanish network.
A photograph of the red-haired Setmarian has been removed from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Intelligence’s most-wanted Web page.
Pakistan has not answered requests from Madrid about the whereabouts of Setmarian, wanted in Spain for allegedly training September 11 hijackers in Afghanistan and ordering Madrid commuter train attacks that killed 191 people, according to El Pais.
Spain’s high court is unable to request his extradition as he has not been officially imprisoned, the newspaper reported.
Spanish high court officials were not immediately available to comment.
Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon in June complained U.S. officials were concealing information on his whereabouts.
Amnesty International has reported Setmarian’s disappearance. The human rights organization says dozens of Islamic radicals captured in Pakistan are held in clandestine jails operated by the United States and other countries.
Setmarian is married to Elena Moreno, a Spanish woman who says he is held in a secret CIA jail.