Suspected Algerian Al-Qaeda Financial Head arrested in Spain
Authorities in Spain have detained an Algerian man they suspect is al-Qaeda's financial chief in the country.
57-year-old Ahmed Brahim is also alleged to have been a leading planner of the bomb attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed over 200 people in August 1998.
Brahim was arrested on Saturday from his home in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona, during a joint operation by police from several countries including the United States, France and Germany.
Police said Brahim owned boat-trading and public relations firms and had recently sent money to several European countries and computer equipment to a number of Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia.
Interior Minister Mariano Rajoy stated that Brahim had a "close relationship" with Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, whom he termed as the "financial brain" of terror suspect Osama Bin Laden's network, according to the BBC.
Salim, alleged to be a founding member of al-Qaeda, is in a United States jail, accused of conspiracy in the 1998 embassy bombings. "This is a heavy blow to the finance apparatus of this terrorist network," Rajoy said referring to the arrest, which followed a seven-month thorough investigation.
Meanwhile, Brahim's wife, Pirjo, protested his innocence. "My husband has been living in Spain for 15 years and has nothing to do with al-Qaeda" she told reporters.
Four French citizens who were at Brahim's home when he was seized were being investigated, however had not been arrested, Rajoy added.
This capture brings to nine the total amount of al-Qaeda suspects arrested in Spain since the September 11 attacks. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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