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Sunday, 14 July, 2002, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
Swedish terror suspects cleared
White House, Washington DC
The issue soured relations between Sweden and the US
The United States has decided to remove two Swedish citizens from a list of people suspected of links with Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh
Lindh: Sweden will keep fighting for a third citizen under investigation
The move comes after strong pressure from the Swedish Government.

The two men, both Swedish citizens of Somali descent, had their assets frozen by the United Nations sanctions committee after demands from Washington last autumn.

The men were involved with the financial services company al-Barakaat, which the US administration suspected of laundering money for al-Qaeda. Al-Barakaat officials have strongly denied the US allegations.

Third suspect

"It feels very good not having to be on this list. At the same time, one must remember that we have been singled out as guilty of this for eight months. Our names are branded," said one of the Swedes, Abdirisak Aden.

"However, this means that I hopefully can try to live a normal life again," he told Swedish radio.

The case soured relations between Washington and Stockholm, and Sunday's decision by US authorities to drop the case is seen as a victory by the Swedish Government.

It had been fighting to strengthen the rights of individuals facing investigation by sanctions committees in the UN and the European Union.

The Swedish Foreign Minister, Anna Lindh, said a long and difficult time for the two was now over.

However, the Swedish Government would continue to fight for a third Swedish citizen who remains under investigation by Washington, she added.


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17 Mar 02 | Africa
08 Nov 01 | Africa
09 Nov 01 | Country profiles
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