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A German court acquits Abdelghani Mzoudi, the Moroccan man accused of assisting three of the 11 September hijackers.

Mr Mzoudi had admitted being a friend of the three men while they lived in Hamburg, but denied any prior knowledge of the US attacks in 2001.

He had faced charges of aiding and abetting the murder of several thousand people.

In December Mr Mzoudi was released from custody after a statement emerged from an unnamed source that was widely believed to be Ramzi Binalshibh, another alleged member of the cell currently in US custody.

US officials say they have uncovered what they believe is a plot by an al-Qaeda-linked militant to stir up sectarian violence in Iraq.

In a seized memo, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a suspected Jordanian militant laments the failure to expel US troops from Iraq, but suggests igniting a conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims could revive the resistance.

US officials say the message was contained on a computer disk confiscated during a raid on a Baghdad house in mid-January.

"There is clearly a plan on the part of outsiders to come into this country and spark civil war," spokesman Brigadier-General Mark Kimmit told a news conference in Baghdad.

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The secret war against al-Qaeda

An American soldier is charged with trying to pass military secrets to al-Qaeda.

Ryan Anderson faces two charges of attempting to supply intelligence to the enemy, and a possible death sentence if convicted. He was detained shortly before his unit, the 81st Armor Brigade of the National Guard, left for duty in Iraq.

Officials said Anderson, 26, converted to Islam within the past few years. It is thought he did not pass on any information, but may have tried to contact al-Qaeda through the internet.

The Pentagon announces the first charges against foreign detainees at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Two men, alleged to have been key al-Qaeda members, have been charged with conspiracy to commit war crimes.

The Pentagon named them as Ali Hamza Ahmed Sulayman al-Bahlul of Yemen and Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al-Qosi of Sudan. They will be tried by a military tribunal, but the US government will not seek the death penalty if they are convicted, Reuters news agency reported.

In a separate development, Pakistan announces the arrest of a number of suspected al-Qaeda and Taleban fighters near the Afghan border. The move comes as US forces in Afghanistan say they are stepping up the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and former Taleban leader Mullah Omar in the border region.

Next month: March


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