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Archive for Tuesday, February 12, 2002

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February 12, 2002

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Paris: Suspect in French custody claims he met terrorists

A Frenchman who claims to have crossed paths in Afghanistan with key figures tied to the Sept. 11 attacks, a thwarted millennium plot on Los Angeles and other threats on American citizens is providing French authorities with a treasure-trove of information on al-Qaida, officials revealed Monday.

Yacine Akhnouche, 27, was arrested on Feb. 4 outside Paris with two others suspected of involvement in a 2-year old plan to bomb a cathedral in Strasbourg, France, judicial officials and anti-terrorism investigators told The Associated Press.

Speaking freely during sessions with investigators, Akhnouche apparently offered details on the training camps he went to during three trips to Afghanistan

Jordan: U.S.-born terrorist sentenced to death

A San Jose, Calif.-born man was sentenced to be hanged Monday after a Jordanian military court found him guilty of plotting to blow up tourist sites during millennium celebrations. But the court acquitted him of being linked to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.

For the second time, Jordanian prosecutors failed to convince a military judge in a state security court that Raed Hijazi, 33, was affiliated with al-Qaida.

Had prosecutors succeeded in linking Hijazi to al-Qaida, that might have helped quell some of the skepticism that remains in the Arab world concerning bin Laden's responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.

SEATTLE: Shipyard worker found guilty of killing 2, wounding 2

A former shipyard worker was convicted Monday of shooting two people to death and wounding two others in 1999 when he opened fire at the shipyard.

Kevin Cruz, 32, was convicted of two counts of aggravated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. He could get the death penalty or life in prison without parole at sentencing later this month.

Prosecutors said Cruz walked into an office at the Northlake Shipyard on Nov. 3, 1999 and fired 11 rounds. Prosecutors believe he harbored a grudge because he was fired soon after the company's insurance company cut off his benefits for a work-related injury, saying he wasn't really hurt.

Colombia: Rebel mortar hits army barracks, killing 10 soldiers

In their boldest attack this year, suspected leftist rebels launched two bombs into an army garrison in southern Colombia on Monday, killing 10 soldiers and wounding more than 30.

The bombs landed on a barracks full of sleeping soldiers and started a fire that detonated several hand grenades stored inside.

Four of the more than 30 injured soldiers were still hospitalized Monday night, Gen. Fernando Tapias said.

While Tapias did not say whom he thought responsible for the attacks, Gen. Arcesio Barrero, commander of the army's Fourth Division, blamed the attack on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the biggest rebel group in Colombia.

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