Doubts have emerged about the identity of an al-Qaeda militant who Egypt said had been arrested at Cairo airport.
State media said the senior al-Qaeda commander Saif al-Adel, whose real name the US has listed as Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi, had flown in from Pakistan.
But a man identifying himself as Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi told reporters that although he had once been an al-Qaeda member, he was not Saif al-Adel.
Senior al Qaeda operative Seif alAdel, who was reported to have briefly taken over the militant network’s leadership after Osama bin Laden’s death, was arrested in 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 up to $5 million dollar reward for his capture, flew to Cairo airport.
An airport official said he arrived on an Emirates Airline flight from Pakistan with a stop-over in Dubai.
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.
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, Bin Laden’s longtime deputy Mohammed al Zawahiri.
Saif Al-Adel is an Egyptian explosives expert and a high-ranking member of Al-Qaeda. Adel was indicted for his part in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Africa. According to the indictment, Adel is a member of the majlis al shura of al-Qaeda and a member of its military committee, and he provided military and intelligence training to members of al-Qaeda