Brazil’s federal police have arrested a high-ranking al Qaeda operative in Sao Paulo and are keeping him under tight security, a local newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The suspect is allegedly a chief of international communications for al Qaeda, according to the report in Folha de S.Paulo, Brazil’s largest daily newspaper.
The report did not give the suspect’s name or say when he was taken into custody, nor did it provide a source for the information.
The arrest was surrounded by secrecy with the federal police disguising it as part of an investigation into neo-Nazi groups in the country, Folha said. The report also said U.S. authorities were notified of the arrest.
Ricardo Noblat (in Portuguese) points out the importance of the suspect’s duties as chief of international communications for al Qaeda.
UPDATE Via commenter Rodrigo, the member of al-Qaeda is no longer in jail, and would not be extradited. Representative and director for the Commissioner for Public Safety Raul Jungmann says that the release shows that “we are not in control of the terrorist situation”