New Terror Arrest in Canada

Sep 13, 2007 5:36pm

Authorities in Quebec, Canada have arrested an alleged terrorist linked to an Austrian online bomb threat, the Blotter on ABCNews.com has learned. Authorities say the Canadian arrest was carried out in conjunction with the arrests of three other suspects in Austria yesterday. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) made the arrest Wednesday at the suspect’s home in Trois Rivieres, Quebec, in a joint operation with Austrian authorities, law enforcement officials said Thursday. A senior law enforcement told ABC News the man arrested in Quebec was allegedly linked to the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), an al Qaeda propaganda group that has been linked to terrorist operations. Austrian officials told reporters that one of the three arrested there was director of GIMF’s Austrian operations. Law enforcement sources said the suspect in Austria and the suspect in Quebec had communicated regularly over the Internet and for several months that communication had been monitored by law enforcement. Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage. Austrian Interior Ministry spokesman Rudolf Gollia and Canadian officials said Thursday that the Canadian suspect was allegedly getting ready to leave Canada when he was arrested. He is being held on criminal, not terrorism, charges in Canada where he has permanent residence. They said Austrian and Canadian authorities had worked together for several weeks on the case. In a written statement, the RCMP said, "The Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) arrested an individual residing in Maskinongé, Mauricie, on September 12, 2007. Said Namouh, 35, was charged under the Criminal Code of Canada of conspiring for the purpose of delivering, placing, discharging or detonating an explosive in a place outside Canada."  On Wednesday, Austrian Interior Minister Guenter Platter (pictured above) said three alleged al Qaeda sympathizers — two men and a woman who are all Austrian citizens in their 20s and of Arabic origin –  were arrested in connection with a video that surfaced in March threatening to attack Germany and Austria unless the two countries withdrew their personnel from Afghanistan. Those suspects had been under surveillance for several months and were arrested as they got ready to leave Austria, officials there said. The Austrian interior minister told reporters Wednesday there was no discernible plot in the works to carry out an attack in Austria, though he said the prime suspect had looked into acquiring explosives. He said the prime suspect wanted to leave the country in the coming days to go on a honeymoon trip with his new wife, the woman in the trio. The tickets had been issued, he said. According to a report published Thursday by SITE Intelligence Group, an organization that monitors al Qaeda propaganda, one of the man at the center of the operation allegedly used the alias Gharib al-Diyar. He worked to translate and distribute al Qaeda videos to German speakers through his Web site, Jabha.info, SITE reported. "The same individual also worked closely with the group responsible for kidnapping BBC journalist Alan Johnston earlier this year in Gaza, aiding Jeish al-Islam in producing and disseminating video footage of Johnston as well as in negotiating his release," SITE said.  Click Here to Register to Receive Blotter Alerts.

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