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Spain charity terror link alleged

From CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman


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MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Spanish police have accused 10 Islamic charities -- some of them based in Saudi Arabia -- of providing funding and other support for al Qaeda terrorist activities, Spain's largest newspaper reported on Sunday.

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The police report, based on information gathered before the September 11 attacks, has been added to the case against one of a dozen al Qaeda suspects in Spanish custody since the September 11 attacks, El Pais newspaper reported.

The 10 charities, according to the Spanish police report, are:

•  International Islamic Relief Organization, a Saudi-based group being sued by families of the victims of the September 11 attacks, also listed as one of the most active in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime and believed to be a principal sponsor of terrorist training camps in the country.

•  Al Haraeim Islamic Foundation, also being sued by the families.

•  Ittehad-e-Islami, based in Afghanistan and considered to be the most-subsidized of the charities by Saudi government.

•  Muslim Aid, created in London by singer Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam), which used funds to send mujahadeen fighters to Bosnia.

•  Afghan Support Committee, said to have given refuge in Afghan training camps to Arabs who were expelled from Pakistan after an attack on the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad in 1995.

•  Al Kifah Refugee Center, said to have sent weapons, fighters and money to Bosnia. Leader listed as Kamer Eddine Kherbane.

•  Hizb-e-Islami, based in Afghanistan, accused of managing military training camps, created armed group called Hizb-ul-Mujahadeen.

•  Human Concern International, based in the U.S. with representatives in Pakistan, accused of financing Algerian Muslim rebels.

•  Global Relief Foundation (Foundation Secours Mondial), lead by a man named Nabil Sayadi, who lives in Belgium, reportedly linked by U.S. authorities to Osama Bin Laden, which he has denied.

•  Maktab-ul-Khedamat, accused of supporting humanitarian activities in Afghan camps, also known as the "Afghan Support Committee."

Nearly 20 suspected Islamic radicals have been arrested in Spain since the September 11 attacks, most of them are suspected of being al Qaeda operatives.

Authorities have told CNN that Spain was a support base used to provide financing, housing and recruitment for bin Laden's al Qaeda group.



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