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Turk held in French probe of Casablanca bombings

PARIS, April 9 (AFP) – A Turkish man who was one of 13 people picked up by French counter-espionage agents earlier this week in an investigation into the Casablanca bombings of May 2003 has been place under judicial investigation on terrorist charges, officials said Friday.

Attila Turk was detained on Sunday at Charles De Gaulle airport as he prepared to board a flight for Turkey. He faces possible charges of “criminal association in relation with a terrorist enterprise,” officials said.

Of the other 12 people arrested in round-ups Monday in and around Paris seven have now been set free, and the other five were to be presented to a magistrate Friday.

The suspects are believed to belong to the the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group – commonly known by its French acronym GICM – the organisation blamed for the Casablanca bombings on May 16, 2003 and the prime suspect in last month’s attacks in Madrid.

Three were said by officials to have been named in international arrest warrants issued by Rabat.

Investigators have said that the most important arrest was that of the cell’s alleged leader, Moustapha Baouchi, a Moroccan electrician born in 1975 who spent two periods in armed camps in Afghanistan, where he learned to handle weapons and explosives.

The swoops were part of a French investigation into the Casablanca bombings, in which three French citizens were among the 45 people killed.

                                                                 Subject: French news