- Physician for al Qaeda members
Ahmed Khawaja is a prominent Pakistani doctor who was apprehended and interrogated by American and Pakistani authorities for providing medical treatment to relatives of top al Qaeda operatives. While Khawaja admitted to the FBI that he had in fact treated a number of such individuals, he claimed that it was “professional responsibility and duty” that had led him to care for, among others, the wife of Osama bin Laden and the wife of Abu Zubaida. Zubaida, al Qaeda’s chief lieutenant of operations outside Afghanistan, was arrested in March 2002 following a traced call that Zubaida made to Khawaja to thank him for his assistance. The subsequent interrogation of Khawaja also led to the arrest of alleged al Qaeda recruiter Abu Hamza al-Masri. Khawaja failed to notify authorities of his ongoing assistance to al Qaeda terrorists prior to his apprehension, leading authorities to speculate that he may have been the group’s principal physician.