10 held across Europe for financing Al Qaeda-linked group

May 16th, 2008 - 10:44 pm ICT by admin  

Paris, May 16 (DPA) Intelligence and anti-terrorism agents in France, Germany and the Netherland Friday arrested 10 Turkish nationals suspected of financing a terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda. Eight of the suspects were arrested in France by members of French domestic intelligence service DST, French media reported.

The raids by DST agents took place in the eastern city of Mulhouse and in the central Rhone region.

The suspects are accused of trying to raise funds for a terrorist group in Uzbekistan linked to Osama bin Laden’s global terrorism network. French anti-terrorist forces have been investigating the group for one year.

According to German public broadcaster SWR, a 35-year-old Turkish national, who had been sought under a European arrest warrant, was arrested in Weil am Rhein, a German town near the borders with France and Switzerland, within the framework of the French operation.

SWR said the arrested man was linked to the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), a shadowy Uzbek-based organization.

The IJU first came to prominence in Europe with the arrest of three alleged members of the group in Germany in September last year for plotting a car-bomb attack.

In addition, the Dutch public prosecutor’s office said that a 48- year-old Turkish national was arrested in the city of Tilburg.

The police also seized computers, files and ammunition during a search of three homes in Tilburg.

The arrests came a day after Swiss intelligence officials said that Al Qaeda was planning for extensive atacks during the Euro 2008 tournament, which will be hosted jointly by Switzerland and Austria. The tournament kicks off June 7 in the Swiss city of Basle.

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