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Saturday, 29 September, 2001, 19:06 GMT 20:06 UK
Fresh arrests in anti-terror drive
Police operation in Valencia, 26 September
Suspected Islamic militants were also arrested in Spain
By the BBC's Malcolm Brabant

Three alleged Islamic fundamentalists have been arrested in Germany as part of the worldwide hunt for supporters of Osama Bin Laden and those involved in the attacks on New York and Washington.

A man said to be linked to Bin Laden has been detained in the West African state of Mauritania.

In London, police continue to question an Algerian pilot whom the American authorities have described as one of the biggest catches in the case so far.

Lotfi Raissi
Mr Raissi has been remanded in custody until 5 October
During an extradition hearing in London on Friday the pilot, Lotfi Raissi, was alleged to have given flying training to four of the hijackers.

Staff at a flying school in Phoenix, Arizona, say they recall Mr Raissi bringing a group of men with him to a flying simulator late at night when there was more available time and fewer people around.

The simulator manager remembers Mr Raissi accompanying a man called Ziad Jarrah, who was one of the hijackers of United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania.

During the extradition hearing in London, it was alleged that Mr Raissi also trained Hani Hanjour who was on the flight that smashed into the Pentagon.

Mr Raissi's lawyer says he adamantly denies being involved.

Attempts to extradite the 27-year-old Algerian pilot to the United States could last up to three years, unless, as is being mooted, the British Government introduces new legislation to speed up the process.

Deportation

One of the suspects detained in Britain as part of this worldwide sweep has been deported to France.

Kemal Daoudi who was arrested in central England earlier this week is suspected of being part of what a Paris court called a terrorist conspiracy in France.

French intelligence believe he and seven others, now under arrest, were planning to attack American targets, including the US Embassy in Paris.

The British authorities did not need to go through a lengthy extradition procedure with Mr Daoudi because he had entered the county illegally and so could be expelled.

German link

There have been more arrests in Germany where it is thought that as many as 100 members of Osama Bin Laden's secret army are waiting to be activated.

One Turk and two Yemenis were detained in the central city of Wiesbaden and charged with possession of weapons and forging documents.

Police at Frankfurt international airport
Germany is thought to be home to large numbers of Bin Laden supporters
They were picked up after police were tipped off that the Turkish man, identified only as Talip T, ran an extremist internet website which helped to raise money for the Taleban and military training for what was described as "the fight".

Investigators believe Bin Laden supporters based in Germany played a crucial role in the attacks on America.

It has been disclosed that German intelligence intercepted a celebratory phone call after the suicide hijackings in which alleged co-conspirators talked about the involvement of 30 people.

Nineteen hijackers were killed in the four plane crashes, which suggests 11 other would-be hijackers or members of support teams need to be traced.

The FBI is convinced that five or six planes were supposed to have been seized on 11 September.

Mauritanian arrest

In other developments, secret police in the West African state of Mauritania have reportedly arrested a 31-year-old computer expert.

He is alleged to have connections with Bin Laden through links to one of the 27 names on Washington's most wanted list.

In Britain, a 44-year-old man arrested in Birmingham a week ago, has now been released.

He was held for the maximum seven days allowed under the Anti-terrorism Act.

A police spokesman said the man would face no charges and was not on police bail.

See also:

28 Sep 01 | Americas
The hijack suspects
21 Sep 01 | South Asia
Bin Laden's options
29 Sep 01 | England
Terror suspect deported to France
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