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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 April, 2004, 09:49 GMT 10:49 UK
Canadian 'linked to British plot'
Mohammed Momin Khawaja
Mohammed Khawaja: Charged under new anti-terror laws
Canadian police have confirmed that the arrest of a man on terrorist charges in Ottawa is linked to a series of similar arrests in the UK.

Mohammed Momin Khawaja has been charged with helping a "terrorist group" in Canada and the UK since last November.

In London, nine men are still being held by anti-terrorism police in connection with a suspected bomb plot.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they were confirming the link because of speculation in the media.

"Recent developments in the case permit us to confirm that the actions taken in the arrest and charge of Mr Khawaja of Ottawa are related to the arrests in the United Kingdom," said a police statement.

Mr Khawaja, a 24-year-old Canadian software developer of Pakistani descent, was arrested at work on Monday.

He appeared in court in Ottawa via video-link from a detention centre on Friday, and faces a bail hearing on Wednesday.

The BBC's Lee Carter in Toronto reports that Mr Khawaja's lawyer says even his client has not been told about the evidence against him, although he has been shown some of it by the prosecution.

The suspect's younger brother, Qasim Khawaja, has alleged that the family's phone lines and computer e-mails have been monitored since February.

Father 'arrested'

He insisted the family had no links to extremist groups.

Qasim Khawaja added that he had reason to believe that their father Mahboob had been arrested in Saudi Arabia.

Mahboob Khawaja, a university professor born in Pakistan and based in Saudi Arabia, has published several works on conflict resolution in which he calls for better understanding of Islamic fundamentalism.

Canada's department of foreign affairs said it has no information on Mahboob Khawaja's whereabouts.

Mohammed Khawaja is the first person to be charged under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act, which came into effect in December 2001.


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