updated 6/14/2005 8:36:11 AM ET 2005-06-14T12:36:11

An alleged al-Qaida kingpin did not provide information to Pakistani interrogators that could lead them to Osama bin Laden, Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said Tuesday during a state visit to Australia.

Abu Farraj al-Libbi, al-Qaida’s alleged No. 3 man who is accused of masterminding two assassination attempts against Musharraf, was captured after a shootout with Pakistani agents in the country’s northwest on May 2. He was later transferred to U.S. custody.

“No he didn’t give any information, and he still hasn’t” about bin Laden’s whereabouts, Musharraf said in an interview with The Associated Press.

“But he did divulge a lot of information which led to the arrest and apprehension of, I think, 14 other individuals,” he said.

Despite being Pakistan’s most wanted man, al-Libbi was deported to the United States recently amid expectations he will be grilled on the whereabouts of bin Laden, who is assumed to be hiding near the Pakistan-Afghan border.

Musharraf defended his decision to hand al-Libbi to the United States as necessary for the war on terror, which his administration strongly supports.

“We thought that his being in the United States, deporting him there to gather more intelligence through interrogation would serve a better cause than holding him for trial here which has its own sensitivities in our environment,” he said.

No information on bin Laden
Musharraf said Pakistan has not made a decision on trying al-Libbi after his alleged role in masterminding two bombings that narrowly missed Musharraf in 2003 and a suicide attack aimed at Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in 2004. Neither leader was hurt, but 26 people died in the attacks.

Asked if Pakistan has an idea where bin Laden currently is hiding, Musharraf said: “No we don’t at the moment. We don’t have a clear idea.”

Musharraf also defended his strong support for the U.S.-led war on terror, which has drawn criticism from political opponents.

“What we are doing mainly is for Pakistan’s sake. Fighting extremism, fighting terrorism is in our own interest,” he said.

“The vast majority of the people understand that this is a right policy,” he added.

On Wednesday, he was to hold talks with Prime Minister John Howard and his government and sign a memorandum of understanding on counterterror cooperation.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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