CANBERRA, Australia – An alleged terrorist reputed to be Al Qaeda's No. 3 will face trial in Pakistan (search) before Islamabad considers handing him to the United States, Pakistan's foreign minister said Thursday.
Pakistani intelligence agents captured Libyan Abu Farraj al-Libbi (search) last week after a shootout. He is suspected of being behind two bombings targeting Pakistan's president and was also allegedly involved in a plot to kill its prime minister.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri (search) said there was no chance of al-Libbi being handed to the Americans before he is prosecuted in Pakistan.
"Of course we have to (prosecute him). He's a man who's tried to kill our president twice," Kasuri told The Associated Press in an interview in Canberra.
But the United States would be given access to information gleaned by Pakistani investigators, Kasuri said.
"The United States and Pakistan intelligence (agencies) have so much trust in each other, working on many issues for the last 50 years," he said.
"Any information that is of any interest to the United States will be passed on to the United States regardless of where he's kept," he added.
Kasuri said he did not know if the U.S. government had asked for al-Libbi.
Pakistan has accused al-Libbi of masterminding two December 2003 assassination attempts against President Gen. Pervez Musharraf (search). Musharraf escaped unharmed, but 17 other people were killed.
Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao on Wednesday claimed that al-Libbi also orchestrated a homicide attack against Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz last year, weeks before he took office.
Aziz was unhurt in the July 30 attack in Fateh Jang, a town near Islamabad. A homicide bomber blew himself up near Aziz's car, killing nine people, including Aziz's driver. Since then, authorities have arrested several Islamic militants on suspicion of involvement.