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Suspected Al-Qaeda Arrest In Egypt Apparent Mistaken Identity


An Egyptian Islamist has been detained at Cairo's airport after reportedly being mistaken for a senior Al-Qaeda commander, U.S. and Egyptian officials said.

Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi was suspected of being Saif al-Adel, an Al-Qaeda commander who also goes by the name Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi, among other aliases.

Makkawi, a former Egyptian military officer, told journalists he had returned to Egypt to clear his name, saying that he once had ties to Al-Qaeda, but had severed them in 1989.

Little is known about Saif al-Adel, who is believed to have hidden in Iran after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States.

He is wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

U.S. and Egyptian authorities are looking into the case.

With AP and Reuters reporting
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