Some reports say it was Adam Yahiye Gadahn, a U.S. citizen from California who converted to Islam and has become the American born mouth piece for al-Qaeda and was charged with treason against the United States.
Other reports deny it was Gadahn taken into custody.
Some Pakistani officials had said on Sunday that Adam Gadahn, a California-born convert to Islam with a $1 million US bounty on his head, had been arrested on the outskirts of the city of Karachi.
But a senior government official and two security agents said on Monday the suspected al Qaeda operative picked up in Karachi was not Gadahn.
“Our initial impression was that the guy was Adam Gadahn but that information now looks incorrect,” said one security official, who declined to be identified.
After all the initial headlines and stories, most media organizations are backing away from the original reporting.
Example: AP's original headline "Officers: Pakistan arrests American-born al-Qaida", has now been changed to "Pakistan seeks identity of American suspect."
Originally they reported:
Pakistani intelligence agents have arrested Adam Gadahn, the American-born spokesman for al-Qaida, in an operation in the southern city of Karachi, two officers and a government official said Sunday.
The arrest of Gadahn is a major victory in the U.S.-led battle against al-Qaida and will be taken as a sign that Pakistan is cooperating more fully with Washington. It follows the recent detentions of several Afghan Taliban commanders in Karachi.
Gadahn was arrested in the sprawling southern metropolis in recent days, two officers who took part in the operation said. A senior government official also confirmed the arrest.
Now the story says:
An American member of al-Qaida was picked up in a raid in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi, Pakistani officials said Monday, but reversed earlier assertions that the detained man was the terror network's U.S.-born spokesman.
CBS shows more confusion:
The reported arrest of Gadahn follows the recent detention of several Afghan Taliban commanders in Karachi, including the group's No. 2. Those detentions have been seen as a sign that Pakistan, which has been criticized as an untrustworthy ally, was cooperating more fully with Washington.
Some observers were cautious about giving credence to the claim that Gadahn was in custody as reports emerged that the man arrested might instead be a Taliban militant leader. There was no way of independently verifying the arrest or identity, and detentions of terror suspects in Pakistan are often surrounded by conflicting reports.
CBS News was told by sources in the Pakistan government that it was Gadahn, even after U.S. officials refused to confirm it was the California native for whom a $1 million reward has been posted.
Later, CBS News' Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad reported that earlier reports the detained individual was Gadahn proved false. According to a Pakistan security official who spoke with CBS News on condition of anonymity, the arrested individual is in fact "a Taliban militant leader who is known as Abu Yahya."
The official said evidence compiled from an interrogation of the suspect and information exchanged with U.S. officials verified the man's identify.
The reassessment only added to the confusion surrounding the arrest of a man earlier described by other unnamed Pakistani security officials as Gadahn.
"In the light of our latest information, I can say, this is not looking like Gadahn. But it is still the arrest of an important Taliban militant," said the Pakistani security official who spoke to CBS News late Sunday.
What is known for a fact?
Someone was arrested.
Other than that, no official words has come out but the majority of stories are now changing, correcting or simply backtracking the initial news stating that Gadahn was the one arrested.