ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Police in northwest Pakistan acting on a tip from the U.S. have arrested an Al Qaeda suspect believed to have links to the 2005 London transit bombings that killed 52 people, two Pakistani security officials said Thursday.
The suspect was identified as Saudi national Zabi ul Taifi, the officials said. He was among seven suspects captured during a raid Wednesday near Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province, which borders Afghanistan.
Pockets of Pakistan's northwest are believed to be havens for Al Qaeda and Taliban militants, and possibly home to top Al Qaeda leaders Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri.
The U.S. has pushed Pakistan to go after militant sanctuaries on its territory, while Pakistan has repeatedly requested that American officials share more intelligence to aid their efforts.
Officials said Taifi is alleged to have played a role in the 2005 attacks in London, but they did not specify the nature of his suspected involvement. The officials requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Pakistan's chief army spokesman, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas declined to immediately confirm the arrests.
However, the two officials told The Associated Press that the "well planned" raid stemmed from a tip from American officials. They said the Americans didn't participate in the raid, but were not far away from the militant hide-out.
"We have reasons to believe that we got the right man who had played a role in the 2005 attacks in London," said one security official, who said he received the information from security agents in Peshawar.
The official said three other Arabs and three Afghans also were rounded up in the Bara Qadeem area.
Earlier, three intelligence officials and a police official also confirmed the raid and said the seven men arrested were suspected Al Qaeda members. The officials requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue.
They said a spy plane and three helicopters hovered over the area at the time of the raid.