Three linked to Al-Qaeda held: Norway police

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Three people with links to Al-Qaeda were arrested Thursday in Norway and Germany for planning terror attacks, Norway's security police service said.

"Three people suspected ... of preparing a terrorist act and who have links to Al-Qaeda have been arrested today," Janne Kristiansen, the head of Norway's Police Security Service (PST), told reporters in Oslo.

Two people had been arrested in Norway, while one had been apprehended in Germany, she said.

National prosecutor Jan Glent meanwhile told the press conference the three had been "charged with having entered into a partnership to commit a terrorist act."

"We consider this case very serious," he said, adding there was a high level of suspicion against the three, meaning there was more than a 50 percent chance that they were guilty of the crime they were suspected of.

"We also think they have links to Al Qaeda and to similar attempts (at terror attacks) in New York and Manchester," he said.

Police and the prosecutor did not divulge where the suspected planned attacks had been set to take place.

"They are suspected of committing terrorist crimes, period," Kristiansen said.

The names of the three were not given, but Kristiansen said one was a 39-year-old Norwegian citizen of Chinese Uighur origin.

Another was a 37-year-old Iraqi Kurd and the third, in his early 30s, had come to Norway as an asylum-seeker from Uzbekhistan. Both the foreign nationals had legal resident permits in Norway, she said.

© 2010 AFP

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