- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 23, 2001

From combined dispatches
BRUSSELS Investigators discovered large quantities of chemicals that could be used to make a bomb and that were linked to a Tunisian arrested on suspicion of plotting attacks on U.S. interests in Europe, officials said yesterday.
The 220 pounds of sulfur and 13 gallons of acetone were found in an apartment above a North African fast-food restaurant in central Brussels late Thursday, said Laure Wynands, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office.
The chemicals were mentioned in documents found at the home of the unidentified Tunisian, one of two men arrested last week and suspected of planning anti-U.S. attacks.
"At face value, it is suspect," she said. "It is rare to have [220 pounds] of sulfur and acetone at home, especially in a snack bar."
Investigators stressed that they have not established a link to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or to the chief suspect in those attacks, Osama bin Laden.
The Tunisian, however, was suspected of having connections with a radical Egyptian Islamic organization linked to Afghanistan-based groups.
Police did not provide any details on the second person arrested last week.
The disclosures were the latest in a Europe-wide clampdown on terror.
France was holding seven suspects in custody as part of a probe into potential attacks against U.S. interests on its territory, police officials said yesterday.
The seven men and women were picked up in dawn raids in the Paris suburbs on Friday after a tip-off from a militant Franco-Algerian Islamist, Djamel Beghal, arrested in Dubai in July.
The seven could be held for up to four days and are being interrogated by counterintelligence officers who began an inquiry on Sept. 10 one day before the U.S. attacks into a possible attack against the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
The anti-terror dragnet has been extended in Germany, with reports saying links have been established between some suspects in custody and people close to bin Laden.
The German weekly magazine Der Spiegel reports in its issue to be published tomorrow that one of the suicide pilots in the U.S. attacks has been shown by investigators to have had contacts with a Syrian suspected of belonging to bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization.
According to Der Spiegel, Marwan al-Shehhi, 23, named by the U.S. authorities as the pilot of United Airlines Flight 175 that crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center, had contacts with a 43-year-old Syrian living in Hamburg.
Germany's Federal Criminal Investigation Office (BKA) first came across the Syrian in connection with the arrest of bin Laden's finance chief near Munich in 1998.
The same Syrian also has been determined by U.S. authorities to have links to Wadih al-Hage, a Lebanese-American convicted in the United States in May in connection with bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

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