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9 arrested in suspected al-Qaida-linked camp

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 5, 2002

MANILA, Philippines -- Authorities raided a suspected al-Qaida-linked terrorist training camp at an Islamic school in the northern Philippines and seized weapons following a clash in which nine militants were arrested, police said Saturday.

Police said the camp was linked to al-Qaida but not to the Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim rebel group in the southern Philippines with ties to the terrorist network led by Osama bin Laden. Police didn't explain why they believed the camp was connected with al-Qaida.

The camp was discovered Friday based on intelligence from a suspected Islamic militant captured after a clash Thursday in Anda, in Pangasinan province north of Manila, police said. The camp was in an Islamic school in a mountainous area in Tarlac province bordering Pangasinan.

Police said the suspected Islamic militants had no known connection with any Muslim extremist groups in the southern Philippines, where U.S. soldiers are training Filipino soldiers to better fight the Abu Sayyaf, which is holding two Americans and a Filipino nurse hostage.

Police said one of the arrested militants claimed the group had been sent to cause havoc in Tarlac city on the May Day holiday, adding that they were new recruits.

Al-Qaida linked to Tunisia synagogue explosion

BERLIN -- Investigators have found evidence suggesting links between a deadly explosion at a Tunisia synagogue and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network, a German television station said.

If al-Qaida operatives are confirmed to be behind the blast, it would be the network's first completed terror attack since Sept. 11.

Tunisian investigators searching the home of a suspected attacker found bomb-making instructions and souvenirs brought back from the suspect's stay in an Afghanistan training camp, according to a statement by the SWR channel.

Police also found a satellite telephone of a type used by al-Qaida fighters in Afghanistan, the report said, citing unidentified German security officials.

The phone was used for an April 11 call with someone in Pakistan, the same day a gas-laden truck exploded outside the 2,000-year-old Ghriba synagogue on the Tunisian resort island of Djerba, killing 19 people, the statement said.

N.J. post office renamed for terror victim

CRANBURY, N.J. -- As his tearful widow urged onlookers to remember the victims of terrorism, the Cranbury post office was renamed Saturday for Todd Beamer, who uttered the words "Let's roll" before he died on a hijacked flight Sept. 11.

The structure in Beamer's hometown is now known as the Todd Beamer Post Office Building.

"As you pass Todd's plaque, please realize that terrorism is a real enemy with real victims," Lisa Beamer said.

About 1,000 people gathered for the ceremony.

Lisa Beamer's eyes filled with tears as she reflected on the many tributes hailing her husband. "He would have preferred to be remembered in Cranbury as a great Little League coach instead of a national hero," she said.

The bill authorizing the renaming, sponsored by New Jersey's congressional delegation, was signed in January by President Bush.

Beamer, 32, called an operator from United Airlines Flight 93, alerting authorities to the hijacking. He ended the conversation by dropping the phone and saying, "Let's roll!" Investigators believe that was a signal to other passengers to confront the hijackers.

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