- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 28, 2005


New wanted list names 36 terrorists

RIYADH — Authorities issued a new list of 36 wanted terrorists yesterday, many of them young operatives who may already have fled abroad — possibly to Iraq — amid a fierce crackdown on al Qaeda’s network in the kingdom.

Saudi authorities have claimed success in their efforts to uproot militants who carried out a series of bloody attacks two years ago. Security forces have killed or captured 23 of 26 figures on the first wanted-terrorist list issued in December 2003.

One of the most significant figures on the new list is Mohsen al-Fadhli, 24, whom Washington considers a leader in the al Qaeda network in the Persian Gulf region. It was the first word that al-Fadhli, a Kuwaiti, was believed to have been in Saudi Arabia and involved in attacks here.


Muslim Brotherhood eyes political alliance

CAIRO — Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood said yesterday it is inviting opposition groups to a conference to set up a permanent alliance to push for political reform in the Arab world’s most-populous nation. It wants the alliance to organize joint demonstrations, believing this would dissuade the government from mistreating demonstrators.

The conference tomorrow could form the basis for the broad opposition front the Brotherhood has been trying to build to campaign for political freedoms and enable the Brotherhood, probably the country’s largest opposition group, to play a full part in national politics.

The government refuses to recognize the Muslim Brotherhood or allow it to compete in elections as a political party.


Opposition leader denies forgery

CAIRO — Egypt’s leading opposition candidate for president pleaded not guilty to forgery charges in a stormy opening to his trial yesterday. Hundreds of his supporters swarmed the court building, denouncing the case as a government attempt to eliminate a rival.

The prosecution of Ayman Nour has caused tension between Egypt and the United States as Washington presses its closest Middle East ally to allow greater democratic change. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Mr. Nour among a group of pro-reform politicians during a visit to Cairo last week.

Mr. Nour denied forging signatures to get his opposition Al-Ghad Party registered last year. The session then degenerated into arguments between Mr. Nour’s attorneys and those of six other co-defendants, two of whom told the court that they forged signatures on Mr. Nour’s orders. Mr. Nour says he has never met five of the co-defendants and accuses the government of framing him.

Weekly notes

Yemeni authorities are investigating the records of six Yemenis killed in clashes between the Algerian army and Islamist gunmen last week. The Daily al-Rai, the newspaper of the opposition Abnaa Yemen party, yesterday quoted Yemen’s ambassador in Algiers, Hamed Hamadi, as saying Yemeni authorities were checking if the slain gunmen had valid — non-forged — passports. … Two journalists from the Algerian daily Liberte were sentenced yesterday to six months in prison for offending President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, according to their attorney. Political cartoonist Ali Dilem was convicted for one of his drawings deemed offensive, and editor Farid Alilat got the same sentence for being responsible. Mr. Dilem had also been sentence to six months in prison for a cartoon about army officers.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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