News of the capture of Ramzi bin al-Shibh [b. al-Shaybah] in Karachi is exciting. Also captured, though this point has been litle commented on, was Abu Bakr al-Misri, the media point man for al-Jihad al-Islami (led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden’s right hand man). Fundamentalists in London were already saying that the arrest of Bin al-Shibh following his interview with an al-Jazeerah reporter signals the end of al-Qaida’s press honeymoon with some outlets in the Arab world. The loss of a canny media operative like al-Misri is very bad news for al-Qaida. The question of the fate of these recent arrestees is unkown. Germany has asked for extradition to Germany. It does not have capital punishment. The likelihood is that the terrorists will be extradited to the U.S., where they will be executed if convicted. Keeping someone like Bin al-Shibh available for interviews about al-Qaida is one argument against simply taking him out and shooting him.
Der Spiegel is reporting that a second cousin of Lebanese 9/11 hijacker Ziad Jarrah was a spy for Stasi, the East German intelligence, and took money also from Libya. It is hard to know what all this means, if true, for our understanding of Ziad Jarrah. There is no proof that his statements are true, and he has apparently been known to sell false informtion for a modest payment.