Algerian Pilot Remanded in Custody over Anti-Terrorism Probe
Algerian pilot Lotfi Raissi, 27, accused of being an instructor for four of the suicide hijackers who carried out the attacks on New York and Washington, was remanded in custody by a court here Friday until October 26.
Raissi was one of two men appearing in court over separate offences under anti-terrorist legislation -- a result of Britain's ongoing investigation into the September 11 attacks on the United States.
He was appearing, along with a 43-year-old man who uses the name Sulayman Zain-ul-Abidin, at Belmarsh magistrates court, southeast London.
A third suspect, Algerian Amar Makhlulif, 36, was to have his case heard at Bow Street magistrates court, central London, although he was not expected to appear.
Zain-ul-Abidin, who worked in the kitchen of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in London, faces two offences of training others to use weapons after being charged under the Terrorism Act by Scotland Yard late on Thursday.
Makhlulif is charged in connection with an alleged plot to blow up Los Angeles airport during the millennium celebrations. The case is part of an extradition hearing brought by the United States.
Makhlulif he has been named by US prosecutors as a key figure in the al-Qaeda network of Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
Detectives had been investigating Zain-ul-Abidin's links with Sakina Security Services, a London security firm which offers to train young Muslims to fight holy wars abroad.
Sakina Security Services is suspected of raising money for the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, one of 21 organizations declared as illegal under British anti-terrorism laws, the Guardian newspaper reported on Wednesday.
A bundle of evidence released Thursday by the British government, alleging that bin Laden was responsible for the attacks in the United States, said Egyptian Islamic Jihad had effectively merged with al-Qaeda.
In May, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, then Britain's home secretary, said Sakina Security Services was under police observation.
The Sakina website, which has been blocked since late Wednesday, was offering gun courses in the United States, combat training as well as showing how to make a home-made bomb.
The Guardian also said British police had been investigating the activities of a London-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Omar Bakri, who has been linked to Sakina.
Bakri has, however, denied any connection with the company and said that police officers had seen him but only to offer him advice about his own security, the paper reported -- LONDON (AFP)
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