German magazine: one person arrested in relation to Tunisian synagogue bombing; Al Qaeda connection reported
German police have arrested a person believed to have acted as a contact in the truck bombing of a synagogue in Tunisia that killed 15 people, including 10 German tourists, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
According to spokeswoman Frauke Scheuten, the suspect was taken into custody in the western city of Duisberg on a tip about a telephone call from Tunisia to Germany before the explosion.
According to a report in German news magazine Stern, German police eavesdropped on a phone conversation shortly before Thursday's explosion of a gas-laden truck at the Ghriba synagogue on the resort island of Djerba.
Either the driver or a passenger traveling in the truck spoke with a contact in Germany who police believe has links to radical Islamist circles, the magazine reported.
Tunisia has described the blast as a "tragic accident," but German officials have said there are growing indications that the explosion was caused deliberately. German federal prosecutors said Monday they were also investigating the case, acting on the suspicion of a terrorist attack.
According to AP, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Monday that the possibility of an attack reinforced the need to keep up the fight against global terror and pledged that "the (German) government will use all means it has to pursue anyone responsible — this will also be a matter for the international police and justice authorities, because it isn't clear where we should look for anyone responsible."
Injured German tourists who have been flown back home for treatment remained in hospitals Monday, where several remain in critical condition.
Meanwhile, the London-based newspapers Al Hayat and Al Quds Al Arabi cited a letter, with an al-Qaeda letterhead, sent by the "Islamic Army for the Liberation of Holy Sites".
The letter, one copy of which was received by Al Hayat office in Pakistan, said the attack was carried out by "the Tunisian Nizar Ben Mohammed Nawwar Said el Islam".
The letter was accompanied by a will dated July 5, 2000.
"This operation is a response to Israeli aggression against the sons of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip," the letter said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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