French man held in Masood killing probe

20th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 19 (AFP) - A French man in his 30s has been taken into custody in connection with a French probe into the 2001 assassination of Afghan resistance leader Ahmad Shah Masood, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday.

PARIS, Nov 19 (AFP) - A French man in his 30s has been taken into custody in connection with a French probe into the 2001 assassination of Afghan resistance leader Ahmad Shah Masood, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday.

Sarkozy told parliamentary deputies that the man had been arrested on Monday, adding: "He is currently in preventive custody. He is linked with those who assassinated commander Masood."

The minister did not say where the man was being held, but court sources said he was in custody at the Paris headquarters of France's counter-intelligence service (DST).

Masood, revered as a hero of the struggle against the Soviets and then the Taliban in Afghanistan, died September 9, 2001 when two Tunisians posing as journalists detonated a bomb hidden in the camera as they pretended to interview him.

His death, just two days before the September 11 terror attacks in the United States, has been linked by US officials to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

Court sources said the suspect may not be directly linked with Masood's assassins, but that he might have connections with a group that participated in terror training exercises in the Fontainebleau forest outside Paris.

Investigators believe that Willie Brigitte, a French national being held in a prison outside Paris on suspicion of planning a terror attack in Australia, was also part of the group that trained at Fontainebleau from 1998 to 2001.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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