Feds Arrest Al-Qaeda Sleeper Agent In Queens; NJ Man Still Held Hostage

(New York-WABC, June 16, 2004) The FBI has arrested an American citizen living in Queens said to be a sleeper agent for Al Qaeda.


ABC News reports investigators have tied the man to a terrorist cell set to carry out a series of bombings and assassinations in London.

The man, a naturalized citizen from Pakistan, was secretly taken into custody in April.

He is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan and is said to be cooperating offering investigators significant information about Al Qaeda's plans.

He is being held as a material witness and his family is now under federal protection.

The man has told investigators that Al Qaeda is planning more attacks in the United States. He has also revealed a scheme to smuggle terrorists across the Mexican border.

The suspect's assertions were part of the intelligence that led to recent warnings about a summer threat from Al Qaeda.

Another man being held today is kidnapped American Paul Johnson.

A video on an Arabic website shows Johnson blindfolded.

His abductors claim to be with a group called "Al Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula." They say they'll kill Johnson unless Saudi authorities free Al Qaeda prisoners by Friday.

Johnson was taken hostage last Saturday. He has worked in the kingdom since 1992 for defense contractor Lockheed Martin. His son is now trying direct appeals to the kidnappers.

Paul Johnson III, Son: "Whoever's responsible for this, I would trade in a heartbeat for my father. He doesn't deserve this and I plead with y'all to please let my father go."

Johnson's abduction is part of a growing campaign to kill and kidnap Americans, pushing them out of the Saudi Arabia. The royal family vows to pursue anti-western militants more aggressively than ever before.