Captured al-Qa'eda man was FBI
By David Rennie in
The American al-Qa'eda operative unmasked last week
as having planned
to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge was first detained in March,
and has been used by the FBI for months as a double agent, it was
US authorities waited until last week to announce a
plea bargain struck with Iyman Faris, a Pakistani-born lorry driver
ordered to scout out terror targets, including the New York
They did not say that Faris, who was also ordered to
study ultralight aircraft, and the possibility of derailing a train
into a chemical storage facility in Washington, had been under FBI
control for months.
Justice Department officials told Time magazine that
Faris was secretly detained about two weeks after the dramatic
capture on March 1 in Pakistan of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,
al-Qa'eda's chief of operations.
Installed in a safe house in Virginia, Faris sent
messages to his terrorist commanders by mobile phone and email. "He
was sitting in the safe house making calls for us. It was a huge
triumph," a senior Bush administration official told Time.
After pleading guilty to offering material support to
al-Qa'eda, Faris will be sentenced in August. He faces up to 20
years in prison.
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