A judge in Spain jailed a suspected member of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network today and ordered another to be kept in police custody pending further questioning, news reports said.
Najib Chaib Mohamed, a 35-year-old Spaniard of Moroccan origin, was imprisoned by Judge Ismael Moreno without bail in accordance with an arrest order issued by fellow magistrate Baltasar Garzon, the private news agency Europa Press said.
Moreno, who was standing in for Garzon, ordered another man, Atmane Resali, 31, from Algeria, to be retained in police custody pending Garzon's planned interrogation of the suspect Tuesday.
No one could be contacted at the court to confirm the reports.
The two were arrested Saturday in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, an industrial suburb of Barcelona, on a warrant from Garzon. The arrests were part of an operation in which Garzon jailed eight suspected terrorists preventively in November on charges of being al Qaeda members and taking part in preparations for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Bin Laden is the prime suspect in the attacks.
Arms, Ammo, and Forged Documents Found
Spain's Interior Ministry, which oversees national security, said the two suspects had lived in Madrid in an apartment belonging to Luis Jose Galan, one of the eight jailed in November.
Garzon said Galan had been trained at a camp run by bin Laden in Indonesia in July 2001. At Galan's house, police seized arms, ammunition, machetes and forged identity documents.
National Radio said the two suspects arrested Saturday told Judge Moreno that they thought Galan had permits for the weapons.
The pair apprehended Saturday had fled Madrid following the November arrests but were eventually traced to a relative's apartment in L'Hospitalet. Police said they confiscated documents and computer material at the apartment.
Authorities had been gathering evidence on Islamic terrorist suspects in Spain for nearly a decade.
Somalia Takes 20 Into Custody
Somalia, cited as a possible haven for bin Laden and his al Qaeda followers, has taken into custody around 20 people, including foreigners, for possible links to terrorism, Zakaria Mohamud Abdi, the Somali information minister, was quoted today as saying.
Abdi told the London-based, Arabic-language daily Asharq al-Awsat that some Iraqis were among the 20 in custody, although Somalia was no longer holding all eight Iraqis arrested last month.
"I cannot reveal the investigations or the nationalities of those being held but I can say that there are around 20 people from Somalia and other nationalities and we are questioning them on how they entered the country or on suspicion of illegal activities," Abdi told the daily.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.