Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Jalil Abbas Jilani confirmed a reported comment by Musharraf published in a newspaper in the United Arab Emirates on Monday that al-Libbi had been handed over, but gave no further details.
 
"The president made a statement to this effect. The president's statement was self-explanatory. I don't have further details," Jilani told a news conference in
Islamabad.

An intelligence official said al-Libbi was whisked out of Pakistan with US officials aboard an airplane a few days ago.
 
"A plane came and he was sent with US officials to an unknown place," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the clandestine nature of his job.

Scant details

A spokesman for the US embassy in Islamabad was not immediately available for comment.

It was not clear what charges if any al-Libbi might face in the United States, or if he has been indicted by any US court.

Some officials have described al-Libbi as al-Qaida's No 3 leader, after Osama bin Laden and Egyptian surgeon Ayman al-Zawahri.

However, he does not appear on the FBI list of the world's most-wanted terrorists, and exact details of any role in al-Qaida remain murky.

He was arrested on 2 May after a shootout in northwestern Pakistan.

Pakistan says it has captured more than 700 al-Qaida suspects since the 11 September 2001 attacks on America, sending most of them to the United States.