CAIRO, Feb 29 – Senior Al-Qaeda operative Seif al-Adel, who was reported to have briefly taken over the militant network’s leadership after Osama bin Laden’s death, was arrested at Cairo airport on Wednesday, security officials said.
The officials did not say why the Egyptian militant, who is on the FBI’s most wanted list with a reward of up to $5 million dollars for his capture, flew in to the Egyptian capital.
State television’s Channel One and the official MENA news agency also reported his arrest.
The news agency quoted airport officials as saying that security had received information that Adel intended to return to Egypt and was monitoring flights for his arrival.
An airport official said Adel, also known as Muhamad Ibrahim Makkawi and Ibrahim Madani, arrived on an Emirates flight from Pakistan with a stop over in Dubai.
Following his arrest, Makkawi was heard by reporters at the airport denying that he was Seif al-Adel. Airport officials said his date of birth, 1952, and his full name matched those of the wanted man.
Security officials said the militant, a former Egyptian special forces officer, was arrested after presenting a travel document at customs and taken into custody by the National Security apparatus.
They said he was wanted by the powerful security agency but did not detail the accusations against him.
On its website, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation says Adel has been indicted for alleged involvement in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Following Bin Laden’s death at the hands of US special forces in May last year, Adel was reported to have taken over the militant network before the appointment of another Egyptian, longtime Al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri.