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Bosnia terror suspects could be sent to Cuba

Guantanamo, Cuba
U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay: The suspects could be flying in soon.  

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (CNN) -- Six Algerians accused of plotting an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia could soon be transferred to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, sources said Thursday.

The suspects, including at least one man with links to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, have spent the last three months in a Bosnian jail after Washington said it had intelligence, such as intercepted telephone conversations, linking the men to the attack.

However, attorneys for the men said Thursday they had obtained an order from a Bosnian human rights agency forbidding the suspects' extradition without further legal proceedings.

The lawyers said they have not seen their clients but have been assured by prison officials they were still in Bosnia.

The suspects claimed to have Bosnian citizenship, but Bosnian officials stripped them of their Bosnia passports, saying the documents were illegally obtained. Algeria said it does not want the six returned.

Under Bosnian law, the six would have to be set free by Friday unless they were charged.

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Bosnian officials said they lack evidence for a trial because the United States would not reveal the intelligence it gathered since doing so would reveal how it got the information.

Bosnian officials said if the six were wanted on U.S. warrants, they could be turned over to U.S. officials.

The U.S. Embassy refused to say whether warrants have been issued, but a senior U.S. source said the matter of warrants was a "formality."

One of the men, identified as Bensayah Belkacem, was believed to be the central player in the plot, sources said.

Belkacem worked for an Islamic charity, had a fake Yemeni passport, and was known to have called a bin Laden operative in Italy on a number of occasions, the source said.

The other five were identified as Mustapha Adir, Sabir Lahmar, Mohammed Nehle, Lakdar Bumedien, and Bubdeolah Hadz.


• Bin Laden suspect held in Bosnia
October 26, 2001

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