- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2003

NEW ZEALAND
'September 11' group threatens diplomats
WELLINGTON A group calling itself "September 11" sent terror threats to the U.S., Australian and British embassies in New Zealand, warning that it has 55 pounds of cyanide to use against American interests if Iraq is attacked, police said.
The letters, addressed to the ambassadors of the United States, Australia and Britain, said the group aimed "to challenge the actions of the great Satan America and resist its imperialist ambitions in the Islamic world."
Copies of the letters, some of which contained cyanide, were intercepted by postal staff before they reached the diplomatic posts.

SAUDI ARABIA
Terror crackdown nets seven youths
RIYADH Saudi Arabia has arrested seven youths suspected of having links with terror network al Qaeda, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef announced yesterday.
"The arrests were made a few days ago in Makkah. These individuals are being interrogated to determine if they had links with Al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organization," he said in a press release.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia announced that it has referred 90 terrorism suspects to the courts to stand trial.

BRITAIN
Three detained men charged in terror plot
LONDON Three men recently arrested on suspicion of terrorism were charged yesterday with plotting to produce a chemical weapon.
Rabah Kadre, 35, Mouloud Sihali, 26, and David Aissa Khalef, 30, appeared in court only to confirm their names, ages and addresses during a 20-minute hearing. They face charges of conspiring to develop the weapon between Jan. 1, 2002, and Jan. 20, 2003.
The judge ordered the three men detained until their next court appearance March 3.

COLOMBIA
23 suspected killed in army chopper crash
BOGOTA An army helicopter crashed yesterday on a counterinsurgency mission in the mountains of northern Colombia, apparently killing all 23 persons aboard, officials said.
The helicopter went down near the town of Pailitos, 290 miles north of Bogota. It was traveling with two other choppers when bad weather caused the pilots to lose contact, the army said.
The helicopter was carrying six crew members and 17 soldiers.

IRAQ
Suicide bomber hits Kurdish area
IRBIL An Islamic militant detonated a bomb at a military checkpoint in northern Iraq yesterday, killing himself and three others, Kurdish officials said.
Officials of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, which rules the eastern half of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, blamed the bombing in the northeastern city of Halabja on the militant Islamic group Ansar al Islam, which has links to al Qaeda.
The Patriotic Union and the militant group have been fighting for two years for control of villages and hilltop positions near Halabja, scene of the 1988 nerve gas attack by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's forces. Thousands of Kurds were killed in that attack.

AFGHANISTAN
Senior official gunned down
KANDAHAR Assailants gunned down a senior government official leaving a mosque in southwestern Afghanistan in what police said may have been an attack orchestrated by the ousted Taliban regime to discourage Afghans from working with the government.
No one claimed responsibility for the killing yesterday of Habibullah Jan, a district administrator in Nimroz province. His bodyguard was wounded in the attack in Dilaram, 135 miles northwest of Kandahar.


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