Mustafa Setmariam Nasar* is your worst terrorist nightmare. A Syrian who linked up with Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda early on in Afghanistan, he is the author of what many believe are the seminal A-Q writings. He is currently at large, due to the fact that the United States, which was secretly holding him in custody, reportedly in Diego Garcia, released him to a Syria prison, and the civil war in Syria caused its government to release him, probably to spite the US for its support of the Opposition.
It makes an interesting story, which we have detailed here before in this blog, but one which makes one wonder whether the US Global War on Terrorism has ignored criminal prosecution of this terrorist, in European courts, for the bombings in Spain and the United Kingdom, so that it could hold on to him for an extended debriefing, only to transfer him to a place where he could easily be released.
Frankly, I still do not know why the capture of one of the world's ten most wanted terrorists was never made public. It may have something to do with the fact that he lived in Latin America for an extended period, during which time Nasar, who was the intellectual author of the Madrid Train Bombing, had time to reportedly assist in the planning and execution of the London Bombings, and to develop the concept of the IED, for use in Iraq against Western forces, and he was not captured or killed. His belated capture in Pakistan was too little and too late. Whether this was a major intelligence failure I will leave to the historians, after the information is declassified, decades later. Unfortunately, the people who made the decision not to capture him will all be retired or deceased by then, with absolutely no accountability.
What I do have a problem with is the fact that neither Spain nor the UK had the opportunity to try this terrorist in public, in open court, and apparently the US even gave Spain disinformation about his whereabouts. The victims, and their next of kin, are owed at least that much.
Now this individual, whose writing is revered in terrorist circles, is out there, somewhere in the Middle East. One wonders where he has gone, and what terrorist projects he is currently involved in.
* Also known as Abu Musab Al-Suri.