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Campaign Against Terrorism: A Coalition Update

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  3. Law-Enforcement Actions

All over the world countries are taking law enforcement action against the Al Qa’ida network.

Most of these actions concern information sharing and co-operation over borders.

There are many examples of direct actions against individuals and organisations linked with Al Qa’ida.

The very nature of these investigations means we are not able to divulge as much information about them as we would like, but below are just a few that we can discuss:


In 2001, Spain conducted a number of major operations against Islamic terrorist networks, as follows:

  • Spain collaborated with Italy in breaking up the "Varesse" group; the terrorist Mohamed Bensakhria, who has links to Bin Laden and is the leader of the "Meliani" group, was arrested and extradited to France;
  • in September, members of a cell of the Grupo Salafista para la Predicación y el Combate were arrested in different cities in Spain; and,
  • in November, 11 citizens who had ties with Al Qa’ida were arrested in Madrid.

Spain is also actively collaborating with Europol in regard to the supply and exchange of information on terrorist groups.


Ahmed Laidouini, a Frenchman of Algerian descent, was arrested on December 24th. He is suspected of training in Al-Qa’ida camp in Afghanistan in 1998 and becoming a liaison between Al Qa’ida cells


The Public Prosecutor General has initiated 17 investigative proceedings related to the attacks or to the phenomenon of Islamic-fundamentalist terrorism.

The investigations have led to arrest warrants and international searches for Said Bahaji, Ramzi Omar (alias Binalshib), and Zakaria Essabar, who fled Germany shortly after the attacks.

A fourth suspect has been apprehended and is in custody pending interrogation.

The traditionally close and trusting co-operation between German and US authorities, particularly the FBI and CIA, has intensified since September 11. Up to 15 liaison officers from US authorities are participating in the investigation in Germany.

The Federal Criminal Police Office has two permanent liaison officers in Washington and has sent two officers from the special commission to the FBI.


The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is giving the FBI every support and assistance. The terrorist attack of September 11 has led to the largest terrorist investigation by the MPS outside the UK.

A total of move than 5000 actions have been generated

Teams of family liaison officers were sent to New York to assist families of British victims of Sept 11.

The casualty bureau at New Scotland Yard received over 26,000 calls.

Yasser Al-Siri has been charged with conspiracy to murder in connection with the assassination of General Masoud.

Sulayman Balal Zainulabidin has been charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 in connection with the provision of paramilitary training.

Sheik Abdullah el-Faisal has been charged with encouraging others to murder.


In February 2002 Italian investigators discovered evidence pointing to a bomb plot against the US embassy in Rome.

Holes were found carved into an underground passageway next to the mission, which police believe could have been used to plant a bomb by militants linked to Osama bin Laden's al-Qa’ida network.

Photos of the holes - large enough for a person to get through - have been forwarded to prosecutors handling the case of Moroccan men arrested with suspected bomb-making equipment.

The Moroccans were found with large quantities of a cyanide compound, explosive powder and maps of the water network around the US embassy on Via Veneto in the heart of Rome.

After the arrests, police and maintenance staff checked tunnels around the embassy complex that carry water, gas and electricity to buildings in the area, and found a hole cut into a wall next to the diplomatic mission.


The Government of Malaysia announced on January 4th that it had arrested members of an Islamic militant group with links to Zacarias Moussaoui, the accused

11 September terrorist attack conspirator.

The suspects all belonged to a group the authorities call Kumpulan Militan Malaysia (KMM), had connections with Moussaoui when he was in Malaysia in September and again in October 2000.


The bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi in August 1998 by al-Qa’ida, in which more than 200 Kenyans were killed, is still vivid in the memories of the Kenyans.

Kenya has extradited to the US all the suspects arrested in Kenya in relation to the 1998 bombing. It is a member of Interpol and has contributed repeatedly by extraditing international signalled criminals.

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