Pakistan captures Al Qaeda 'external operations' commander in joint operation with US

London/Islamabad, Sept 6(ANI): A senior Al Qaeda leader, who direct took orders from Osama Bin Laden to hit targets in the United States and Europe, has been arrested in Pakistan, according to officials.

Younis al-Mauritani, described as the terror group's foreign minister, was allegedly responsible for conducting international operations and had received instructions from bin Laden to hit American, European and Australian economic interests, the Daily Mail reports.

Pakistan's military has described the 'critical arrest' as 'another fatal blow' to the militant group, the report said.

Two other senior Al Qaeda operatives- Abdul Ghaffar Al Shami (Bachar Chama ) and Messara Al Shami (Mujahid Amino) were also reportedly detained at the same time from suburbs of Quetta.

"He was planning to target US economic interests including gas and oil pipelines, power generating dams and strike ships and oil tankers through explosive laden speed boats in international waters," the Pakistan military said in a statement.

The statement said that the capture of al-Mauritani was a joint operation with the United States, raising the possibility that strained US-Pak ties had improved, the report said.

"This operation was planned and conducted with technical assistance of United States intelligence agencies with whom (Pakistan's) Inter-Services Intelligence agency has a strong, historic intelligence relationship," said the military statement.

"Both Pakistan and United States intelligence agencies continue to work closely together to enhance security of their respective nations," it added. (ANI)