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Archive for Monday, May 6, 2002

Australian terror suspect moved to U.S. prison camp in Cuba

May 6, 2002

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— An Australian man suspected of having links to the al-Qaida terrorist network has been transferred from Afghanistan to the U.S. military's Camp X-Ray prison on the island of Cuba, the Australian government said Monday.

The United States had agreed to allow Australian government officials access to Mamdouh Habib while he is held at the Guantanamo Bay facility, Attorney-General Daryl Williams said.

Mamdouh Habib, a 46-year-old father of four, also holds Egyptian citizenship.

He was arrested in Pakistan in October. He was initially transferred to Egyptian custody, but then was moved to Afghanistan and handed over to the U.S. military.

Habib's family in Sydney has denied he was involved with al-Qaida, and said he was looking for an Islamic school for his children when he was arrested.

"U.S. authorities have advised that Mr. Habib is in good health," Williams said in a statement.

He did not say when Habib had been transferred to Guantanamo Bay, but said Australian government officials along with police and intelligence officers would interview him there "around mid-May."

Habib joins fellow Australian David Hicks at Camp X-Ray. Hicks, 26, was captured by United States' forces in Afghanistan in December where he was allegedly fighting for the Taliban.

The Australian government has accused him of training with Osama bin Laden's terror group.

Williams said last week Hicks would also be interviewed by government officials.

The two suspects will not be allowed to have lawyers present during the interviews, Williams said.

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