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Archive for Sunday, January 6, 2002

Briefly

January 6, 2002

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LONDON: Suspect in airline bomb scare linked to al-Qaida members

The man accused of trying to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight with explosives hidden in his sneakers was seen in London with suspected members of the al-Qaida terrorist network, a British newspaper reported Saturday.

Rashid Hussain was quoted by The Times as saying he saw Richard C. Reid in 1998 at London's Finsbury Park mosque with Djamel Beghal and Nizar Trabelsi.

Beghal revealed to French investigators a suicide plot to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Paris and apparently told Dubai investigators he had visited Osama bin Laden's home.

Tunisian-born Trabelsi was named by Beghal as the planned suicide bomber in the Paris embassy plot. He was arrested Sept. 13 in Belgium.

Afghanistan: Ethnic Pashtun envoy arrives, offers U.S. support

The United States envoy to Afghanistan arrived Saturday in the land of his birth to offer American support for rebuilding the battered country.

Zalmay Khalilzad, an ethnic Pashtun born in Mazar-e-Sharif, was named a special envoy by President Bush on Dec. 31. The 50-year-old has played a key behind-the-scenes role in the war on terrorism.

"I'm back in Afghanistan after 30 years. It's with a lot of emotion that I'm back," Khalilzad said at Kabul's airport.

Khalilzad will work with the U.N. secretary general's representative on Afghanistan to help Afghans rebuild.

SINGAPORE: Dragnet brings 15 arrests; some trained under al-Qaida

Authorities have arrested 15 suspected militants, some of them trained at al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan, for allegedly plotting bombings in this city-state, the government said Saturday.

The suspects were arrested last month, and detailed information on bomb construction and photographs and video footage of targeted buildings in Singapore were found in their homes and offices, the Ministry of Home Affairs said. Al-Qaida-linked material, falsified passports and forged immigration stamps were also found.

The suspects have links to militant groups in Malaysia and Indonesia, the statement said.

New Hampshire: Teen says he sent anthrax letter; officials are dubious

A teen-ager arraigned on burglary charges Saturday told police he sent an anthrax-laced letter to Sen. Tom Daschle and was planning to send more, authorities said.

Officials do not believe he sent the letter that was opened Thursday in Daschle's office, and preliminary tests on another letter found with the teen were negative for anthrax.

Police said they found Elijah Wallace, 18, hiding in a closet of a vacant home he had allegedly broken in to. He was armed with a gun and two knives, and he told police he was preparing to send anthrax-laced letters and already had sent four, Fremont Police Chief Neal Janvrin said.

Wallace is charged with burglary and could face federal charges. He entered no plea at his arraignment and was returned to the county jail.

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