- The Washington Times - Monday, February 17, 2003

500 deported had links to al Qaeda
TEHRAN Iran said yesterday it had arrested and deported more than 500 people suspected of links to al Qaeda since the collapse of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in late 2001, but that it was unaware of the presence of one of Osama bin Laden's sons.
Citing unnamed Rome-based sources, the Arabic Asharq al Awsat newspaper last week said bin Laden's eldest son, Saad, who is thought to be a leader of al Qaeda, was spotted recently in Iran.
"We do not have information about him being in Iran. But if he is in the country we definitely will arrest him," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said at a news conference.
CIA Director George J. Tenet last week said al Qaeda members fleeing Afghanistan had established a presence in Iran and Iraq.

President, rebels cite progress in talks
JOHANNESBURG Burundian President Pierre Buyoya and rebel leader Pierre Nkurunziza made progress in talks but did not clinch an implementation plan for a cease-fire in the central African country, mediator South Africa said yesterday.
"They made progress on the implementation plan in talks in Pretoria on Saturday, but they didn't finish so they must meet again," said Lakela Kaunda, a spokeswoman for South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma.
She gave no further details and said the date for the next round of talks had not been set.

U.S. 5th Fleet base seen as likely target
MANAMA, Bahrain Authorities are investigating whether the U.S. 5th Fleet base in this Gulf kingdom was the target of suspected terrorists arrested in recent days, government officials said yesterday.
Officials said Saturday that five Bahraini men, including at least one member of Bahrain's military forces, had been arrested for plotting terrorist attacks on the tiny island. Officials did not reveal a specific attack plot.
One line of investigation was whether the group was planning to attack U.S. interests in Bahrain, including the 5th Fleet base, the officials said yesterday.

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