- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Al Qaeda militants offered amnesty

JIDDA — Saudi Arabia offered an amnesty yesterday to al Qaeda militants not directly involved in recent killings and bombings, but said those with blood on their hands could expect no leniency.

“Those who surrender voluntarily within no more than one month from the date of this speech … will be treated according to God’s law,” de facto ruler Crown Prince Abdullah said in a speech on behalf of King Fahd on state television.

A Saudi security source said the prince’s message was aimed at persuading lower-level sympathizers of Saudi-born Osama bin Laden to leave his al Qaeda network before they committed acts of violence.

But he said militants involved in the attacks of the past few months — directed at government institutions and the Western expatriate workers on whom the economy relies — could not escape trial by Islamic Shariah courts. Under the kingdom’s strict Shariah law, murderers are beheaded.


War-crimes court begins probe

THE HAGUE — The International Criminal Court is launching an investigation of war crimes committed during conflicts in Congo — the court’s first formal case since its creation two years ago, the chief prosecutor said yesterday.

The court would investigate accusations of atrocities among warring tribes and insurgents from neighboring Rwanda, including charges of summary executions, cannibalism and torture.

Rwanda and Congo fought a 1998-2002 war in Congo that embroiled the armies of at least four other African nations, split Africa’s third-largest nation and killed an estimated 3.3 million people, mostly through famine and disease.


U.S. device seen at nuclear site

VIENNA, Austria — A radiation-monitoring device spotted in Iran at a razed site where Washington suspects that Iran conducted covert atomic bomb-related research was made in the United States and sold directly to Tehran, sources said.

A Western diplomat and an independent nuclear scientist who follow the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency said the radiation detection device — called a “whole body counter” — was identified as having been made by the Connecticut-based firm Canberra Industries Inc. It was seen at Lavizan, near a military installation in Tehran.

The counter was sold directly to a university or hospital in Iran in the early 1990s with a U.S. export license.


Arms cache found on truck from Iraq

ANKARA — Turkish border guards have seized guns, hand grenades, mines and explosives in a tanker truck that entered the country from Iraq, a senior local official said yesterday.

The Turkish driver of the vehicle was detained, and police began an investigation into the incident.

The cache, discovered in the truck after it entered Turkey from the Habur crossing point, included 28 firearms — among them 20 Kalashnikov rifles and four Kanas-type rifles usually used in assassinations — as well as “a great number” of hand grenades, mines, bullets and explosives.


25 arrested in terror plot

CAIRO — Egypt arrested 25 men in the Cairo area on charges of belonging to a militant organization and planning to kill security officials and attack government buildings, a judicial source said yesterday.

The source said the 25 were from the jihad group in the Giza governorate in the greater Cairo area.

Egypt last year released 400 Al-Gamaa members from jail after they renounced violence. Those freed included leading member Karam Zuhdi, who spent 20 years in jail for his involvement in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981.

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