Investigators in Egypt arrested an al Qaeda leader on Wednesday, authorities and state media reported, although there is doubt about the man's identity. Alaa Mahmoud, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said authorities in Cairo arrested Mohamed Mohamed Ibrahim Makkawi. Authorities think that Makkawi could be the alias for a top al Qaeda leader named Saif al-Adel.
Al-Adel is the man who briefly led al Qaeda and was indicted for his role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa. If Makkawi is al-Adel, the arrest would represent a major blow to al Qaeda, which already is reeling from the death of Osama bin Laden and the capture or killing of other senior leaders. The man was arrested Wednesday at Cairo's airport on an Emirates Airlines flight from Pakistan, Mahmoud said. He has been wanted on charges of terrorism and conspiring to topple the regime, he said. The United States has offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to the capture or conviction of al-Adel.
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