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World Briefs: WikiLeaks has data from 2.4 million emails

- - Thursday, July 5, 2012

SYRIA

LONDON — The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said Thursday it was publishing material from 2.4 million Syrian emails - many of which it said came from official government accounts.

WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison told journalists at London's Frontline Club that the emails reveal interactions between the Syrian government and Western companies, although she declined to go into much further detail.

Ms. Harrison quoted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as saying that "the material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria's external opponents."

WikiLeaks posted only a handful of the documents to its website Thursday.

GREECE

Terror suspects vanish in middle of trial

ATHENS — Two suspected members of a Greek domestic terrorist group have gone missing in the middle of their trial, officials said Thursday, prompting orders for a judicial investigation and the suspension of an Athens police official.

Nikos Maziotis and his wife, Panagiota Roupa, have been on trial since October with six other people as alleged members of Revolutionary Struggle, a group best known for firing a rocket-propelled grenade into the U.S. Embassy in Athens in 2007.

The group, which first appeared in 2003, has claimed responsibility for numerous bomb attacks in Athens, including against the Athens Stock Exchange, as well as for planting a massive bomb that failed to explode outside Citibank offices.

The couple - who have admitted being members of the group - were arrested in April 2010 but were released in October last year after spending the maximum 18 months in pretrial detention. They had been ordered to appear at a police station in Athens three times a month, but authorities said Thursday they had missed their last two appointments, one June 15 and one Sunday.

WEST BANK

Aide: Palestinian leader wants more on Arafat

RAMALLAH — An aide said the Palestinian leader wants more information from a Swiss lab before deciding whether to dig up the remains of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat.

Doctors at the lab said they found elevated levels of the radioactive agent polonium-210 on clothing reportedly worn by Arafat before his death in November 2004.

The lab said the findings don't prove Arafat was poisoned. Experts are divided over whether an autopsy, sought by Arafat's widow, could clear up a lingering mystery surrounding the cause of Arafat's death.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he is willing to exhume the body. But Abbas aide Nimr Hamad said Thursday the Palestinian leader first wants to send experts to Europe to learn more from the Swiss lab and to the French military hospital where Arafat died.

UNITED KINGDOM

Cops nab 6 in terror raids

LONDON — British police used smoke grenades and a stun gun in an early morning swoop Thursday on a home close to London's Olympic Park, rounding up six terror suspects in a series of raids across the city.

Officers said the five men and one woman were detained following an operation to monitor their activities and insisted their alleged plans to stage attacks had no link to London's upcoming Summer Olympics, which begin July 27.

Police didn't identify the suspects, who range in age from 18 to 30. But Mizanur Rahman, who is involved with a Muslim activist group, said all those arrested are British Muslims.

Three of the men were detained in Newham, the London borough that contains the Olympic Park. Officers said a 24-year-old suspect was hit by a Taser gun during his arrest but did not require hospital treatment.

Mr. Rahman said the three men are brothers.

GERMANY

Spy chief admits mistakes in neo-Nazi probe

BERLIN — The head of Germany's domestic spy agency admitted Thursday that his office made mistakes that allowed a small neo-Nazi group to operate under the radar on a seven-year spree in which they are suspected of killing nine immigrants and a policewoman.

Heinz Fromm, who already has submitted his resignation over the case, told a special parliamentary commission there were serious shortcomings in the investigation.

"This is a serious defeat for the German security services," said Mr. Fromm, who steps down at the end of this month.

The National Socialist Underground is suspected of killing eight Turkish men and a Greek from 2000 to 2006 and a policewoman in 2007 in attacks across the country. For years, authorities suspected organized crime rather than racist violence.

Mr. Fromm said information was not shared well enough between the state and federal offices of his agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

He also said the group's activities did not fit traditional patterns of right-wing violence, and his office failed to see their attacks for what they were.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports