KUWAIT TIMES: Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, sought to turn himself in to Kuwaiti authorities and seek a possible return to his country of origin before he headed to Turkey where he was recently arrested, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported yesterday quoting Turkish security sources.
The former Al-Qaeda spokesman had reportedly been detained following a tipoff by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which learnt that he had used a fake passport to enter Turkey from Iran where he had been staying since escaping from Afghanistan after the Sept 11 attacks, according to Turkish media reports yesterday. “Abu Ghaith’s request to return to Kuwait was made through mediators to Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry, which refused to receive him on the basis that he was no longer a Kuwaiti citizen,” the sources who spoke to Al-Rai on the condition of anonymity said. Kuwait had stripped Abu Ghaith off his citizenship in 2001 shortly after he made internationally televised statements defending the Sept 11 attacks and vowing further retaliations following the US Invasion of Afghanistan.
The sources indicated that Abu Ghaith decided to go to Turkey after numerous failed bids to enter Kuwait. “He arrived two weeks (prior to his arrest) using an Iranian passport, then contacted the Saudi embassy in Ankara to notify them about his presence with his wife, Saudi citizen Fatima bint Osama bin Laden, and their children,” the sources said.
They added that the Saudi embassy produced travel documents for Abu Ghaith’s family who left for the Arab Kingdom with his brother-in-law, whereas Abu Ghaith himself stayed in an Ankara hotel before Turkish authorities arrested him after coming to know of his true identity. On the other hand, another Kuwaiti newspaper report quoting “a source with knowledge of the case” suggested that Abu Ghaith was actually arrested at least two weeks ago while the announcement came only after Turkish authorities verified his identity. “Abu Ghaith used a forged passport to enter Turkey where he planned to seek political asylum,” said the source who spoke to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity.
The source also suggested a connection between Abu Ghaith’s arrest and the attack on the US embassy in Ankara on Saturday, which he said was likely “a retaliation of Abu Ghait’s ongoing detention for at least two weeks.” It remains unclear where Abu Ghaith will finally end up as the source quoted by Al-Qabas indicated that he was likely to be handed over to authorities in the United States where he is wanted for terrorism charges. On the other hand, Al-Rai’s report quoted Turkish daily Hurryiet which reported that he was likely to be sent back to Tehran.
Kuwait’s Al- Watan newspaper also covered Abu Ghaith’s arrest in a report in which they quoted an insider in the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry, who confirmed that Kuwait will not request to receive Abu Ghaith “since he is no longer a Kuwaiti citizen.” The source who spoke on the condition of anonymity also indicated that Kuwait was aware about Abu Ghaith’s arrest ten days before the news appeared in the Turkish media.
LWDLIK - If only the Brits could be this decisive.