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French Question Two Men Over Al-Qaeda Links (Bosnia trained with close realtion to 9/11 hijacker)
Al-Jazeerah.info ^ | 7 June 2003 | Agence France Presse

Posted on 06/10/2003 9:18:15 PM PDT by Destro

News, June 2003, Al-Jazeerah.info

French Question Two Men Over Al-Qaeda Links

Agence France Presse

Arab News

PARIS, 7 June 2003 — French anti-terrorist investigators were yesterday questioning two men — a Moroccan and a German — arrested this week at Charles de Gaulle Airport near Paris on suspicion of membership in extremist groups linked to Al-Qaeda.

Karim Mehdi, 34, who was arrested on Sunday, is suspected of having contacts with the Sept. 11, 2001 hijackers; Christian Ganczarski, 36, who was detained the next day, is believed to have been in liaison with the suicide bomber who blew up a Tunisian synagogue last year.

It was not clear if their arrests were linked.

Mehdi was picked up en route to the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion where investigators say he was planning to reconnoiter for a future terrorist attack on tourist facilities; Ganczarski arrived in Paris after being deported from Saudi Arabia.

But investigators say the two men were known to each other as members of extremist cells in Germany.

Mehdi was placed under judicial investigation Thursday for “criminal conspiracy in relation to terrorist activities,” becoming the first person to be held in France in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States. Judicial officials said yesterday Ganczarski would be brought before an anti-terrorist judge today.

Magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere was expected to place him under investigation in connection with the April 2002 bombing of the synagogue on the Tunisian resort island of Djerba, which killed 21 people.

A German of Polish origin who reverted to Islam and goes by the name Abu Ibrahim, Ganczarski was detained in Germany after the Djerba attack but released for lack of evidence and fled the country. He was detained in Saudi Arabia in late April.

Described by intelligence officials quoted in Le Monde newspaper as “one of the masterminds” of the Tunisia attack, he received a call on his mobile telephone shortly before the blast from the alleged perpetrator Nizar Nawar.

French investigators were likely to focus on any links between Ganczarski and the so-called Hamburg group which is believed to have organized the Sept. 11 attacks — notably its alleged leader Mohammed Atta.

German police who searched his home found the telephone number of the Moroccan Mounir El Motassadeq, who was sentenced by a German court to 15 years in prison in February 2002 for complicity in the US attacks.

Mehdi meanwhile was said by intelligence officials to have had a close relation with Ziad Jarrah, who died on board the aircraft that crashed in Pennsylvania.

Under interrogation Mehdi told French investigators he received training in Afghanistan and Bosnia. In addition to the planned attack in Reunion he spoke of targeting US military bases in Germany, officials said.

“He is more a foot-soldier than anything else, but a foot-soldier to be taken very seriously. He was an all-purpose militant at the service of Al-Qaeda terrorism,” an investigator told AFP.

Mehdi, who has lived in Germany for 14 years, spoke freely to his interrogators but gave little away. “I say anything I like because that’s what I was taught to do. It is the rule in Al-Qaeda to mix up truth and lies,” he was quoted by the investigator as saying.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: balkans; bosnia; campaignfinance; captured; christianganczarski; karimmehdi; klaterrorism
Mehdi meanwhile was said by intelligence officials to have had a close relation with Ziad Jarrah, who died on board the aircraft that crashed in Pennsylvania. Under interrogation Mehdi told French investigators he received training in Afghanistan and Bosnia.

Bosnian Muslim Connection to 9/11 Confirmed! UN's Yugo Prosecutor Turns Over Bosnian Hijacker Info

Why is the administration keeping the identity of the "Bosnian" Muslim war criminal a secret? Because it would vindicate the Serbs?

1 posted on 06/10/2003 9:18:15 PM PDT by Destro
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To: *balkans
I will not stop.
2 posted on 06/10/2003 9:19:10 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
I honestly have to say that with the exception of wherever the Sedmi Korpus Armija Republike were trained at, I'm not sure whether or not the jihad funnel runs through Bosnia as far as training is concerned. Most of al-Qaeda training camps in the Balkans (and I believe there are some on Johnathan R. Galt's website from Abu Hamza's stash) are located in northern Albania, with Bosnia acting a logistics, recruiting, and financial hub.

The only thing I saw close to training facilities in the Balkans were the story that knighthawk posted from Netherlands about Muslims being sent over to Bosnia for "summer camps," where they can presumably be brainwashed by the phalanx of Saudi NGOs that work there into good future cannon fodder. But that's ideological indoctrination, not actual combat training like we've seen in the Kosovo camps.
3 posted on 06/10/2003 9:39:27 PM PDT by Angelus Errare
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To: Destro
"...French anti-terrorist investigators were yesterday questioning two men ..."

Can just hear the questioning...
"Do you like the pink scarf or the purple scarf..."
4 posted on 06/10/2003 9:44:07 PM PDT by RRWCC (Even under a good king, a subject is still a subject.)
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To: Angelus Errare
Terrorists Use Bosnia as Base and Sanctuary

Profile of WSJ Kidnapping Suspect "Saeed went to Bosnia"

Bosnia trip radicalized Pearl slaying suspect

Terrorist Training for an Islamic Bosnia: Documents detail what went on inside the terrorist camps

Al-Qaeda claims responsibility for 9/11 attacks: spokesman "fought with the Muslims in Bosnia"

Spain Holds al-Qaida Finance Suspect (Another Bosnian Link to al-Qaeda and 9/11)

NATO: Terrorists Are Still in Bosnia

Al-Qaida Plot Revealed in Sarajevo "in Sarajevo something will happen to Americans similar to 9/11"

5 posted on 06/10/2003 9:51:41 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: RRWCC
Do these cammos make me look fat? Answer it! Answer it!
6 posted on 06/10/2003 9:53:00 PM PDT by dead
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To: RRWCC
Do you have a license for that Minkee???

(let's see who get's the reference!)

7 posted on 06/10/2003 9:53:05 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Angelus Errare
I'm not denying that al-Qaeda uses the country for a base anymore, but I think Bosnia is much more equivalent to Azerbaijan than to Georgia when it comes to the Chechen jihad - it's a logistics center and a transit point, not an actual training site, the actual camps are down south in northern Albania. I have little illusions as to the nature of the Bosnian Islamists and their Saudi/Iranian backers.
8 posted on 06/10/2003 9:58:27 PM PDT by Angelus Errare
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To: Destro
I'll have to admit I missed that one....
9 posted on 06/10/2003 9:59:58 PM PDT by RRWCC (Even under a good king, a subject is still a subject.)
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To: Angelus Errare
You are correct as to the current situation. As my post intended to show DURING the shooting war there was a Bosnian training operation coupled with jihad operations. After the Bosnian war came to its temporary conclusion al-Qaeda moved south and used Bosnia as a logistic base and safe haven and access point into Europe and beyond.
10 posted on 06/10/2003 10:04:27 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: RRWCC
One of the Pink Panther movies--
11 posted on 06/10/2003 10:04:53 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
Ah, my apologies then for misunderstanding your post.

I figure that a major part of al-Qaeda's rationale for moving south was that it brought them closer to what was then a priority theater of operations (Kosovo and now Macedonia) as well as the fact that northern Albania is, to put it quite simply, a lot more corrupt and easier for a group to operate clandestinely in than Bosnia, which was why the Egyptian groups used the place as a hub during the mid-1990s.

An analogy might be drawn to Chechnya. Once the Chechens achieved de facto independence in the mid-1990s, the place immediately became a jihadi training center. Now that many of those camps have fortunately been overrun or destroyed by the Russians, al-Qaeda has been forced to relocate to Georgia, where Shevardnadze thinks they're "freedom fighters" or some such tripe. Had Khattab actually won in Dagestan, I suspect we'd see that replace Chechnya proper as al-Qaeda's Caucasus HQ.
12 posted on 06/10/2003 10:10:51 PM PDT by Angelus Errare
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To: Angelus Errare
I figure because al-Qaeda had to share Bosnia with their old pal NATO they kept a low profile. Moving south into Albania allowed for fewer restrictions on movements--easy access to weapons and life there is cheap.
13 posted on 06/10/2003 10:15:58 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
True enough, but it's a lot easier to transport jihadis and arms to Kosovo from Albania rather than Bosnia. Remember, NATO didn't know what al-Qaeda was until 1998 despite the existence of ample evidence to the contrary, including the proto-9/11 Oplan Bojinka. Heck, even after the Moscow hostage seige you'll still run into people who refuse to believe that Basayev are part of the terror machine despite the fact that Barayev's thugs were getting orders from their controllers in the Gulf and sent their video cassette not to BBC or CNN International, but to al-Jazeera, the favored loudspeaker for Islamic terrorists from Tirana to Jakarta.

NATO wouldn't know al-Qaeda after the Bosnian War if bin Laden and al-Zawahiri had hosted a terrorist summit right under their noses.
14 posted on 06/10/2003 10:22:31 PM PDT by Angelus Errare
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To: Angelus Errare
NATO wouldn't know al-Qaeda after the Bosnian War if bin Laden and al-Zawahiri had hosted a terrorist summit right under their noses.

Ha! Which they did and still do often!

15 posted on 06/10/2003 10:30:16 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Angelus Errare
Speaking of al-Zawahiri--were not his child brides in safe keeping in Albania not to long ago?
16 posted on 06/10/2003 10:31:03 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
Well, if you know either individual's whereabouts I would recommend contacting the nearest CIA station, as I think somebody has a lot of cash for you ... ;)

In all seriousness, I have a lot of problems with the way the US orchestrated its activities in Bosnia/Serbia (which Kosovo is part of) during the 1990s. Part of this can be explained as simple short-sightedness on the part of the administration at the time, but that's no reason to continue those policies now that we are all on the same page and do know who the enemy is. The Chechen trifecta should have been added to the terrorist list a long time ago and the same goes for their ethnic Albanian equivalents. Of course, I also think that the US should start sending weapons to help out the southern Sudanese to overthrow the al-Qaeda allied National Islamic Front, but what does a poor college student like myself know ...
17 posted on 06/10/2003 10:34:36 PM PDT by Angelus Errare
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To: Destro
I believe he sent at least one of the widows of Anwar Tariq (al-Qaeda's Balkans operations chief who was killed by the US bombing in Afghanistan) that he married to Ali Ahmeti, a name that is no doubt familiar to you. I have no information on what Ahmeti did with her, though she may have been acting as a courier.
18 posted on 06/10/2003 10:37:34 PM PDT by Angelus Errare
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To: Angelus Errare
We both are the other kind of scary college radicals....
19 posted on 06/10/2003 10:47:30 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
What can I say, ANGELUS ERRARE, "Where angels lose their way ..."

And kudos to whoever gets that quote.
20 posted on 06/10/2003 10:49:47 PM PDT by Angelus Errare
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To: Angelus Errare; Destro
Most of the KLA camps were located at old Albanian military bases, some vicinity the Alb/Yugo border north of Bajram Curri & near Kukes, but the biggest were put far away from Serbian counter-action in central Albania vicinity Burrel & Tirana. The training at that time was supported by the U.S. & the Albanian military, but the camps have been empty since late summer in 1999 for the obvious reason that they were no longer needed. Later, ethnic Albanian extremists established training and base camps in the 5 kilometer ground safety zone (GSZ) established by NATO inside the Kosovo/Serbian border. The purpose of the GSZ was to separate forces to ensure no incidents, but a side-effect was to give the Albanians an area where neither KFOR or the Serb forces were allowed--and they took advantage of it. The GSZ is where the UCK forces were organized, trained, and staged for their initial attacks into FYROM in Spring 2001. When it was belatedly shut down, the UCK had established sufficient control over the Tetovo & Sar Mtn area to move their ops right into FYROM.

The only known Al Qaida camp in Albania was identified and shut down in 98(?date?--it is starting to all run together for me) with most terrorists arrested, 1 killed, and the others extradited--some to be later executed. The camp--like many terror facilities, contrary to popular perception, was not in a remote area where any unusual activity would be noted, but instead on the outskirts of Tirana in an old food processing factory compound. For those familiar with the area, it was just off the main Tirana-Durres road near the intersection with the airport road. Obviously, lots of nearby traffic & movement to camouflage the terrorist activities and also close to a large city, an airport, and the seaport of Durres. Unless you have a host country like Taliban-run Afghanistan, or a place with no government like Somalia, or else an odd-ball situation like the GSZ next to Kosovo, the terrorists will do their best to blend in with the normal activity--so busy areas with lots of vehicles & people coming & going are where you will find them. Bottom line, there are certainly no overt KLA or other terrorist training camps in northern Albania or elsewhere in Albania and; if there are terrorists present, they are in hiding and most likely in a populated area versus some part of the country-side where they would stick out like a sore thumb.
21 posted on 06/11/2003 10:14:58 AM PDT by mark502inf
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