Al Qaeda leader financed terror from jail

28th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

The Al Qaeda leader may stand trial again for financing Islamist terrorism even when he is in jail.

28 April 2008

MADRID - Imad Eddin Barakat, the convicted leader of a Spanish Al Qaeda cell, did not stop financing Islamist terrorism even after he was imprisoned in November 2001, evidence compiled by High Court Judge Ismael Moreno suggests.

Barakat, a 45-year-old Syrian-born Spanish citizen who is currently serving a 12-year sentence for membership of a terrorist organisation, may stand trial again over alleged payments made while he was in prison in 2006 and 2007 that investigators claim went to finance terrorism.

Judge Moreno has charged Barakat and two alleged accomplices, Mohammed Ghaleb Kalaje and Bassam Dalati, with collaborating with a terrorist group for a second time.

The judge claims that the three used relatives to strip Kalaje's real estate firm of its assets, cashing 33 checks worth EUR 2.4 million over the course of two years.

Some of that money, Moreno argues, ended up in the hands of terrorist groups.

Of particular interest are two checks for EUR 48,000 and 3,080 cashed in the name of Barakat in December 2006.

In testimony before Moreno, Barakat, who until his arrest in 2001 had worked as a door-to-door salesman, said they were repayment from Kalaje for an old debt, though he offered no proof.

"The funds have been used in part for financing terrorist cells," Moreno concludes.

[El Pais / Jose Maria Irujo / Expatica]

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