WASHINGTON — The White House hailed on Monday Pakistan's capture of a senior Al-Qaeda leader believed to have been plotting attacks on the United States and other countries.


"We applaud the actions of Pakistan's intelligence and security services that led to the capture of a senior Al-Qaeda operative who was involved in planning attacks against the interests of the United States and many other countries," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.

Earnest called it "an example of the longstanding partnership between the US and Pakistan in fighting terrorism, which has taken many terrorists off the battlefield over the past decade.

The Pakistani army said Younis al-Mauritani was picked up in the suburbs of the southwestern city of Quetta along with two other high-ranking operatives after US and Pakistani spy agencies joined forces.

"In an intelligence-driven operation by Inter-Services Intelligence in coordination with Frontier Corps Baluchistan, a senior Al-Qaeda leader, Younis al-Mauritani, mainly responsible for planning and conduct of international operations, was nabbed," a Pakistani army statement said.

It named the two other senior operatives as Abdul Ghaffar al-Shami and Messara al-Shami.

The army hailed cooperation between the CIA and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency in the arrest of the trio, news of which comes just days before the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.