Skip to comments.Al-Jazeera reporter back into custody [Madrid cell]
Posted on 11/19/2004 1:29:35 PM PST by ganeshpuri89
MADRID, Spain (AP) -- An Al-Jazeera reporter indicted in Spain on charges of belonging to an al-Qaida cell has been re-arrested after spending more than a year out on bail, court officials said Friday.
Tayssir Alouni was arrested Thursday evening in the southern city of Granada, where he lives. A prosecutor said he posed a flight risk because the National Court this week rejected appeals from him and 20 other terror suspects, taking them one step closer to trial.
The proceedings are expected to start early next year, court officials said.
Alouni was among 35 people -- including Osama bin Laden -- indicted in September 2003 by Judge Baltasar Garzon on charges of belonging to a Spain-based al-Qaida cell. Garzon, the country's leading anti-terrorism judge, charged some of them with helping prepare the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
Garzon argued al-Qaida used Spain as a staging ground for the attacks so he had jurisdiction to seek prosecution.
Alouni was charged with belonging to the Spanish cell and was arrested Sept. 5, 2003. Several weeks later he was released on $7,834 bail after telling the court he had heart trouble.
In last year's indictment, Garzon said Alouni was the right-hand man of the alleged leader of the Spanish cell, a Syrian-born Spaniard named Imad Yarkas. Yarkas is charged with providing financing and logistics for Sept. 11 plotters in Europe.
Under the cover of journalistic trips, Alouni took money and messages to al-Qaida members in Afghanistan in the late 1990s, Garzon charged. Alouni also helped militants arriving in Spain by providing them with housing, money and residency papers, the judge said.
Alouni, who has both Spanish and Syrian citizenship, was a well-known war correspondent in the Mideast for Al-Jazeera.
He was the Kabul correspondent for Al-Jazeera during the Afghanistan war, and one of the only journalists allowed by the hardline Taliban regime to operate from the areas under its control.
He was criticized by some for helping the station secure videotapes from bin Laden in the months after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Suri, a friend of Yarkas--leader of the Madrid cell (both fled Syria in the early '80s during that country's crackdown of the Muslim Brotherhood)--is the brains behind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
And yet we STILL don't designate Aljazerra as a terrorist organization.
Oh my! Al Jazeera is in bed with al Qaeda? This is just TOO SHOCKING! I think I'm gonna have a heart attack and DIE here!
Good post ! You might also want to look at my post today: