Several weeks before the July 7 bombings in London, British officials were reluctant to approve a plan by United States authorities to seize an Indian-born British citizen who is now wanted for questioning in the attacks, law enforcement officials said yesterday.
At the time, the man, Haroon Rashid Aswat, 31, had been under surveillance in South Africa by the authorities there, said the American officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the case. But during discussions between the three nations about how to proceed against Mr. Aswat, who was wanted on sealed terrorism charges filed in New York City, he eluded investigators and disappeared, the officials said.
It would appear that we have learned nothing. Recall the famous or infamous, case where the Sudan offered Osama to the Clinton administration and he refused. Not that the current administration has been blameless in this area. In 2001 a CIA predator, armed with missiles, got a location on Mullah Omar, the head of the Taliban. But when they asked for permission to fire, the lawyers all the way back at Centcom headquarters in Florida turned them down.
It’s nothing new, but it has got to change.