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Friday, October 01, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Terrorism Notebook
Danish man says he'll join insurgents


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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A Danish man released from U.S. military detention in Guantánamo Bay told a television interviewer he plans to travel to Chechnya and join Islamic militants fighting Russian forces.

In a live interview with the DR-1 television channel Wednesday night, Slimane Hadj Abderrahmane said he planned to go into hiding and then "try to find a way to Chechnya."

As a condition of his release from Guantánamo in February, Abderrahmane pledged to refrain from warfare. Of the pledge, he said, "They can use it as toilet paper over there in the United States."

"I am going to Chechnya and fight for the Muslims," the 31-year-old Dane said during an interview on the daily news show, Nyhedsmagasinet. "The Muslims are oppressed in Chechnya and the Russians are carrying out terror against them."

Abderrahmane, whose mother is Danish and father Algerian, has claimed he was training to join Islamic fighters in Chechnya when he was arrested in Pakistan and transferred to Guantánamo in February 2002.

U.S., Saudi authorities still negotiating release

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Colin Powell said yesterday he expects U.S. and Saudi authorities will be able to resolve differences that have delayed the release to Saudi custody of a U.S. citizen captured in Afghanistan.

Yaser Esam Hamdi was allowed by U.S. officials to call his mother and father in Saudi Arabia for the first time yesterday while being held in a U.S. Navy brig in South Carolina, his attorney, Frank Dunham Jr., told The Associated Press. Hamdi also was allowed to call Dunham for the first time, although the attorney declined to say what they discussed.

U.S. officials said yesterday that there was a snag in discussions with Saudi authorities over the release of Hamdi, who has been detained since 2001 as an enemy combatant.

Hamdi, who grew up in Saudi Arabia, had been scheduled to be released Tuesday and sent to Saudi Arabia.
 
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Hamdi's case led to a Supreme Court decision limiting President Bush's powers to indefinitely hold — without trial or charges — so-called wartime combatants.

Under terms of an agreement with federal officials made public Monday, Hamdi would not be charged with any crime. However, the agreement — which said the United States would transport Hamdi in civilian clothes to Saudi Arabia no later than yesterday — also said he would not be allowed to leave Saudi Arabia for five years and could not return to the United States for a decade.

He also was required to renounce his U.S. citizenship and not participate in any terrorist activity, the agreement stated.

But the Saudi government has called the deal "unenforceable" and said Hamdi should be set free without conditions because he never broke a law.

Pakistani agents arrest Libyan in house raid

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Pakistani intelligence agents arrested a Libyan on suspicion of having links to al-Qaida after raiding a home on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar yesterday, security officials said.

The suspect identified himself as Ahmed Abdullah after his arrest in the area of Matanni near Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan's deeply conservative North West Frontier Province, said an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pakistan is a key ally of the United States in its war on terror and says it has arrested scores of terror suspects in recent months.

Yesterday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said Pakistan's fight against terrorism was "very noteworthy."

Also

The United States and France agreed yesterday to cooperate more closely on terrorist cases and combating organized crime, signing new deals both sides said signaled better relations. French Justice Minister Dominique Perben said he also received fresh assurances from U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft over the fate of three French citizens being held in U.S. custody at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Perben and Ashcroft signed two accords updating an extradition treaty and facilitating the transfer of terror suspects.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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