The family of Abu Anas al-Libi, the al-Qaeda suspect seized by American forces in Libya, claimed yesterday that he was innocent and had been working in a pizza restaurant while in Britain, not masterminding terrorist attacks.
His son, Abdullah al-Ruqai, said his father had been forced to leave Britain because of "police harassment".
He described how his own childhood had been spent on the run, leaving primary school in Manchester for a life first in Afghanistan, where his father became close to Osama bin Laden, and then in prison in Iran.
But he insisted that his father had gone to Afghanistan to "help the oppressed" and was innocent of the murders of 224 people in the twin bombings of the United States embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, of which he is accused by the US.
"My father is a normal man," he said from his home in Tripoli. "He told us everything about his life. He went from Libya to Afghanistan to help oppressed people there.
I assure you that he is innocent, and this will be clear soon, when they fail to provide any evidence against him."
Al-Libi, whose real name is Nazih Abdulhamad al-Ruqai, was seized in a dawn raid outside his home in Tripoli suburb on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the man named as the "high-value target" whom US Navy Seals were trying to capture during a raid in Somalia, also on Sunday, was the leader of a bomb plot in Kenya allegedly involving Samantha Lewthwaite, according to intelligence reports.
Leaked documents from Kenya's National Intelligence Service say that Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, also known as Ikrima, was the leader of a terrorist cell which allegedly included Lewthwaite and another Briton, Jermaine Grant, who is on trial in Kenya.
The group planned "multiple attacks" as part of a mission "sanctioned by the al-Qaeda core in Pakistan", it is claimed in the documents seen by the Daily Telegraph.
Ikrima, a Kenyan, was named by US officials as the target of the unsuccessful assault on a villa in the town of Barawe.