Al Jazeera Too Close to Terror?

The indictment details Alouni's relationships with many al Qaeda members. Documents, mostly seized phone records, show that he was in frequent contact with Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, also known as Abu Dahdah, the leader of al Qaeda's activities in Spain. The indictment also maintains that both men were involved in recruiting and supporting a young group of extremists in Granada, where Alouni lived before moving to Madrid in 2000, and that after moving to Madrid, Alouni kept in frequent contact with the group in Granada.

According to the indictment, Yarkas helped Alouni with passport and visa renewals, and he also handled the documents to obtain Alouni's permanent resident status in Spain. The indictment also says Alouni often received money from Yarkas in order to support members of the group in Granada.

Alouni was also close to Mohamed Zaher, another defendant and member of the al Qaeda cell in Spain, the indictment says. After moving from Madrid to Granada in April 1999, Zaher often acted as Alouni's assistant — for example, he drove Alouni to the airport whenever Alouni traveled out of Spain. Alouni made numerous calls from Zaher's home, often before he traveled to Qatar, Pakistan, or Afghanistan. According to the indictment, both Alouni and Yarkas help Zaher get permanent residence in Spain and Alouni even allowed Zaher to use his home address on all his documentation.

Alouni also helped Mohammed Bahaiah, also known as Abu Khaled and a member of al Qaeda, get permanent residency in Spain, the indictment maintains. Bahaiah attended al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, but also stayed with both Yarkas in Madrid and Alouni in Granada. Alouni also allowed Bahaiah to use his mailing address on his immigration forms.

Finally, the indictment says that when Alouni started working for al Jazeera in Afghanistan in January, 2000, he brought money from Yarkas to Bahaiah, who was at the training camps.

Not About Racism

The Paris-based Arab Commission for Human Rights is organizing a large-scale campaign in support of Alouni, including establishing a defense team made up of several French lawyers and one Spanish lawyer.

Haitham Mannagh, the organization's representative, told ABCNEWS he knew Alouni personally and that if the group had any doubts about his innocence they would be the first to ask for his trial. Mannagh also said Alouni had criticized al Qaeda and the Taliban in the past.

Mannagh explained it is common for Arabs to carry money to deliver to relatives and family when they are traveling, while also pointing out that the amounts carried were too small to help fund any terrorist operations.

But Arestegui claimed the charges against Alouni are not about racism "or anti-Arabism or anti-Islamism," he said. "We're doing this because an independent judge of this country has found out that this man is directly connected to a terrorist cell that was directly connected to the most outrageous, horrible and bloody terrorist attack in the history of mankind."

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