Sudanese held in Belgium have 'no terror links'
12 July 2004, BRUSSELS - Two Sudanese men arrested at Brussels Zaventem airport at the weekend have been cleared of links to terrorist group Al Qaeda, it has emerged.
12 July 2004
BRUSSELS - Two Sudanese men arrested at Brussels Zaventem airport at the weekend have been cleared of links to terrorist group Al Qaeda, it has emerged.
The Belgian prosecutor leading the case on Sunday denied she had proof that the two men arrested during a passport check were part of Osama bin Laden's global network.
Belgian TV networks RTL-TVI and VTM had reported on Saturday that the detainees had terrorist links, a report denied by the prosecutor's office.
Prosecutor Berangere Haegeman later said they stood accused of using false Belgian identity documents, "but at this stage of the investigation we have nothing about a link with terrorism."
She told reporters that the men claimed to be from the crisis-stricken Darfur region of Western Sudan and that they were making their way to the UK as part of a people-trafficking ring.
According to television reports, the name of a known Al Qaeda member was found on a mobile phone carried by the men and a baggage search turned up photos of extremists who had carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Haegeman said she had no knowledge of these reports.
The men were picked up after arriving on a flight from Greece, on a route regularly used by people-traffickers.
Their case is being handled jointly by Haegeman and examining magistrate, Jeroen Burm, who has no specialist training in terrorism.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian News