Philippines arrest another man with suspected al-Qaida link
Monday, January 21st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ A man was arrested in the southern Philippines Monday for allegedly belonging to an al-Qaida-linked group accused of plotting terror attacks in Southeast Asia.
Mohammad Kiram was arrested in the predominantly Muslim city of Marawi, the latest of five suspected members of Jemaah Islamiyah to be arrested in the Philippines.
The Muslim extremist group is accused of planning attacks on Western embassies and the U.S. military in Singapore with the help of cells in Indonesia and Malaysia as well as the Philippines.
Army Maj. Gen. Alfonso Dagudag presented the handcuffed Kiram to reporters at an army camp in Cagayan de Oro city, near Marawi.
``The government will continue its hot pursuit of suspected international terrorists in the country until we can say that we are free from terrorist threats,'' he said.
Dagudag said Kiram was found based on information from an Indonesian man believed to be have been a key leader of the group. The man, Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi, was arrested last Tuesday in Manila.
Al-Ghozi also gave information that led to the discovery on Thursday of more than a ton of TNT, police said. The explosives were found in General Santos, a city 625 miles southeast of Manila.
Three men were arrested in connection with the cache, which included 300 detonators, six 400-yard rolls of detonating cord and 17 M-16 assault rifles.
The United States blames Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network for the Sept. 11 terror attacks on New York and the Pentagon. Bin Laden is the prime suspect.
In Spain, two other suspected al-Qaida members were brought before a judge in Madrid for questioning. They were identified as Moroccan-born Spanish citizen Najib Chaib Mohamed, 35, and an Algerian, Atmane Resali, 31.
The two were arrested in the northern city of Barcelona over the weekend. The Interior Ministry said the two had shared an apartment in Madrid with Luis Jose Galan, one of eight al-Qaida suspects arrested in Spain and accused of planning the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
In Saudi Arabia, relatives of a terror suspect who turned up on a videotape recovered in Afghanistan were quoted Monday as saying they believe he has been dead for three years.
The state-controlled newspaper Al-Watan quoted the relatives as saying they believe Khalid Ibn Muhammad al-Juhani is dead because they haven't heard from him since he left for Afghanistan six years ago but have received condolence phone calls from abroad.
Al-Juhani, who would be 27 now, was one of five suspects shown on the videotape and in photos released by the FBI last week as part of a public appeal for help in tracking down terrorists. U.S. authorities had said the men may not still be alive.
The videotape was recovered from the rubble of the home of Mohammad Atef, believed to have been al-Qaida's military chief. Atef was killed by a U.S. airstrike in November.