Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, whose real name was Ali Mohammed al-Fakheri, 46, took his own life in his prison cell, according to the Libyan newspaper Oea.
Information gained from the interrogation of al-Libi was cited on several occasions by the Bush administration as justification for the war in Iraq.
He told his CIA interrogators that al-Qaeda had sent two men to Iraq to seek training in chemical and biological weapons in December 2000. Classified documents added that the men did not return, so al-Libi did not know whether the training took place, and that, in any case, he was probably “intentionally misleading the debriefers”.
Al-Libi recanted the story in January 2004, although George Tenet, the former director of the CIA, wrote later: “The fact is, we don’t know which story is true, and since we don’t know, we can assume nothing.”
Noman Benotman, a Libyan who was once close to al-Libi, said two years ago that al-Libi had been sent to Libya, adding that he was “extremely ill, suffering from tuberculosis and diabetes”.
Al-Libi was said to be involved with Abu Zubaydah in running the Khalden, training camp in Afghanistan, where Zacarias Moussaoui, a member of the September 11 gang, received instruction.