Suspected Bin Laden Aide Held in India for Alleged Plot to Blow Up US Embassy
Indian police have arrested a Sudanese national suspected of working for Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden and plotting to blow up the US embassy in New Delhi, according to reports on Saturday.
The suspect, identified as Abdel Raouf Hawash, was arrested Friday "with six kilograms (13.2 pounds) of RDX (research developed explosives)," a police official told AFP.
"Hawash was under surveillance for approximately three months and the arrest was a joint operation by the Delhi police and intelligence agencies," the official said.
"During questioning, he told us he was associated with Osama bin Laden," the official added.
US diplomats were unavailable for comment Saturday when contacted by the agency.
At the time of his arrest, Hawash and an associate, Shamin Sarvar, an Indian national from the eastern state of Bihar, were on the lookout for a suitable vehicle to execute a car bombing, the official Iranian news agency (IRNA) said.
Over six kilograms of RDX, detonators and timers were recovered from the two at the time of the arrest, IRNA said.
Delhi police had been working for nearly two months on a tip about a probable attack on the embassy . Interrogation of the two arrested revealed that they had been visiting Delhi frequently and combing the diplomatic area extensively.
Hawash, who arrived in India eight years ago, was reported to have said he was "recruited" into Bin Laden's group by a "conduit" of the dissident Saudi billionaire.
"Hawash told us that he was recruited by Abdul Rehman Al Safani, who is a Yemeni national, after his arrival in India. But this is subject to verification," the police official told AFP.
"The amount of money which Hawash admitted to taking -- 500,000 rupees ($10,638) -- seems to confirm that he is connected to a big terrorist ring," the police official added.
Bin Laden is on the US Federal Bureau of Investigation's ten most wanted list for the bombing of two US embassies in 1998, in which more than 220 people were killed.
He is believed to have been hiding in Afghanistan since 1996 – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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