RIYADH (AFP) – The United States has extradited a leading Al-Qaeda member captured in Afghanistan back to his homeland in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi interior ministry said Monday.
Mohammed Jaafar al-Qahtani, 36 — also known as Abu Nasser al-Qahtani — was handed over to Saudi authorities on April 29 following four months of negotiations, ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Turki told AFP.
“He is being questioned according to Saudi regulations,” he said, adding that Qahtani’s family has already met him more than once.
Qahtani is one of four militants who managed to escape in July 2005 from the heavily fortified US military prison in Bagram, Afghanistan.
But he was recaptured in Khost, southeast Afghanistan, in December and had since then been held by the US military in Afghanistan.
The three other militants were the Libyan Mohammed Hassan, known as Sheikh Abu Yahia al-Libi, Syrian Abdullah Hashimi, and Kuwaiti Mahmud Ahmed Mohammed, known as Omar al-Faruq.
The latter was killed by British troops in southern Iraq in September last year.
The US-led coalition has being carrying out counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan since overthrowing the Taliban government in 2001 for sheltering Al-Qaeda.