- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 30, 2006

SWITZERLAND

Officials suspect CIA of using air space

GENEVA — Switzerland suspects the CIA of using Swiss air space while transporting Abu Omar, an Egyptian imam reportedly abducted by the U.S. spy agency in 2003, the Swiss Justice Ministry and police said yesterday.

Justice Minister Christoph Blocher “last week informed the government that an investigation has led to suspicions concerning the transport of Abu Omar,” the minister’s spokesman, Livio Zanolari, told Agence France-Presse, noting that the investigation was not finished.

Known as Abu Omar, Osama Mustafa Hassan was formerly the imam of the Milan, Italy, mosque, who was reportedly abducted by a CIA unit three years ago and flown to Cairo.

FRANCE

Illegal aliens deported to Romania

PARIS — France yesterday deported 74 Romanian nationals found to have no valid travel documents, airport officials said.

A plane chartered by the Interior Ministry left Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport in the evening, but officials did not give the flight’s Romanian destination.

Police squads have deployed across the Paris subway system in recent months, systematically checking the identity of foreign-looking individuals as part of a government drive to step up expulsions of illegal aliens.

POLAND

Cold War spy agency officially shuttered

WARSAW — Poland officially disbanded the Polish Military Intelligence agency, accused by the conservative government in power of being a dangerous, communist-era vestige, a top defense official announced yesterday.

Two new military intelligence agencies will replace the now-defunct organization, known in Poland by its acronym, WSI.

Abolishing the agency has been a priority of President Lech Kaczynskis’ ruling Law and Justice Party.

RUSSIA

Troop withdrawals from Georgia halted

ROSTOV-ON-DON — Russia said yesterday it has suspended plans for further withdrawal of its troops from Georgia because of worsening relations between the two neighbors.

Tensions exploded after the arrest in Georgia on Wednesday of four Russian military officers accused of spying.

Gen. Alexander Baranov, the commander of Russia’s North Caucasus military district, told reporters in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don yesterday that Moscow was suspending plans for further military withdrawals.

Russia has been gradually withdrawing equipment and troops from its two military bases in Georgia, which it had planned to close completely by the end of 2008.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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