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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 July, 2004, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Libya 'threat' on terror suspect
Amari Saifi, a former paratrooper known as Abderrazak the Para
German prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for Saifi
Libya has threatened to bomb Chad rebels unless they give up a key terror suspect, the rebels say.

Ammari Saifi - known as Abderrezak - is accused of leading a group which kidnapped 32 European tourists in Algeria last year.

"The Libyan secret service gave us 48 hours to hand [him] over ... or said we will suffer the full wrath of Libya's armed forces," a rebel spokesman said.

There has been no comment on these claims from Libya.

Mr Saifi allegedly leads the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), which is blamed for abducting the tourists, many of them Germans, and which is also allegedly linked to al-Qaeda.

The Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad (MDJC) say they arrested him in March but have no means of handing him to the West.

Ransom demand

Since September 2003, Mr Saifi has been the subject of an international arrest warrant issued by Germany.

The warrant accuses him of kidnapping, extortion, membership in a foreign terrorist organisation and attempted blackmail of the German government.

Germany is reported to have paid a ransom for the hostages, but the government has refused to confirm or deny this.

The tourists were captured in small groups during a spate of kidnappings in the Sahara desert.

All but one of the hostages - a German woman who died of heat stroke - were freed.

'Hostage-taker arrested' in Chad
18 May 04  |  Africa
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20 Aug 03  |  Photo Gallery

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