|Al-Ahram Weekly On-line
25 June - 1 July 1998
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
Anti-terrorism treaty bears fruit
Two months after the signing of the Arab Anti-Terrorism Treaty, which provides for close security cooperation between Arab states, an unnamed Arab country has extradited to Egypt a suspected member of the underground Jihad organisation. The suspect, identified by security sources as Said Sayed Salama, was described as being a close aide to Osama Bin Laden, believed to be behind several bomb attacks against American military personnel in Saudi Arabia.
Another suspected member of Jihad, Abdel-Fattah Fahmi, was arrested upon his arrival from Jordan at the Red Sea port of Nuweiba. Security sources said Fahmi attempted to enter the country using a fake Egyptian passport.
In line with the terrorism treaty, a list of most-wanted terrorist suspects whose extradition is sought by Egypt has been submitted to a number of Arab countries, a security source said.
Salama, who was remanded in custody for 15 days, was said to have worked for years with Bin Laden, who is reportedly residing in Afghanistan, conveying his instructions to followers living in several countries, among them Sudan, Yemen and Italy. Security sources believe Bin Laden is involved in commercial ventures in these countries and uses these enterprises as a cover-up for terrorist activities. Salama was also said to have been involved in organising para-military training camps for Egyptian militants in Afghanistan.
Both Fahmi and Salama were said to have been active as Jihad militants in the southern province of Beni Suef in the early 1990s before leaving the country to avoid the same fate that befell their emir, Ahmed Youssef, imprisoned since.
State Security Prosecutor Hisham Saraya told Al-Ahram Weekly that both Fahmi and Salama face charges for joining an illegal group that works to undermine the state's interests. They also face charges that they received para-military training abroad, Saraya added. Fahmi was also remanded in custody for 15 days.
In the course of his interrogation, Salama denied the charges against him, insisting that he had no ties with Bin Laden.