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Homeland Security

France Links German Suspect to al-Qaida

Voice of America

VOA News
11 Jun 2003, 17:47 UTC

France says a German national arrested near Paris earlier this month is a top leader of the al-Qaida terrorist network.

French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said intelligence services know that the suspect, identified as German militant Christian Ganczarski, is a high ranking al-Qaida official with links to Osama bin Laden. Officials describe the suspect as an Islamic convert of Polish origin also known as Abu Ibrahim.

The French minister told parliament Wednesday that the suspect has been linked to the attack on a Jewish synagogue that killed 21 people last year in Tunisia. Mr. Sarkozy also said the 36-year-old suspect has spent time in Afghanistan and Bosnia.

French police arrested Mr. Ganczarski June 2. Last week he was placed under official investigation - a move one step shy filing formal charges against him.

French officials say a Moroccan national also arrested this month near Paris has reportedly linked Mr. Ganczarski to a planned attack on the French island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean.

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