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From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
May 12, 2008 at 9:32 PM EDT
A U.S. intelligence agency paid a bounty of $500,000 (U.S.) to Pakistani military officials who arrested a Canadian citizen wanted for links to al-Qaeda, according to a new Federal Court ruling.
Mr. Justice Richard Mosley ordered an Oct. 19, 2004, RCMP memo released yesterday after lawyers for The Globe and Mail fought for its disclosure. The newspaper obtained the document more than a year ago, but chose not to publish it after Crown lawyers warned that the release of the information could illegally reveal a state secret.
"He is deemed to be a national security threat and has a $USD 500,000 outstanding bounty for his capture," the memo reads. "He is deemed to be a great intelligence asset due to his close relationship with Osama bin Laden and other [al-Qaeda] members."
The suspect is the older brother of Omar Khadr, who was arrested at 15 in Afghanistan and sent to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Everything about this case is odd. The RCMP says Khadr admitted to involvement in a plot to assassinate Pakistan's prime minister. But the Pakistanis apparently didn't take that very seriously. In fact, the Pakistani government was planning to release him last June, according to the RCMP. But at the last minute it changed its mind.
Jean Chrétien raised the Khadr case with the Pakistani prime minister at the time, Benazir Bhutto, and within weeks, Ahmed Said Khadr was released. He resumed his life, which he claimed was devoted to charity work in Afghanistan.
U.S. and Canadian Intelligence sources, however, identified Ahmed Said Khadr as a close associate of Osama bin Laden.
Now for the first time, members of the Khadr family admit that bin Laden and Ahmed Said Khadr were old friends. They fought together during the Afghanistan war in the 1980s.
Mr. Khadr's Pentagon-appointed defense attorney, Marine Lieutenant Colonel. Colby Vokey, said America would become the first country in modern history to try a war crimes suspect who was a child at the time of the alleged violations. The conspiracy charge is based on acts allegedly committed when Mr. Khadr was younger than 10, Colonel Vokey said.