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Swedish terror suspect: allegations are political

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18:54 CET+01:00
The Swede being held in the Czech Republic on suspicion of planning terrorism has accused the domestic US intelligence agency of "manufacturing" a case against him, adding that it was "politically directed against Islam".

"The whole thing against me has been manufactured by organs of the FBI" said the 39-year old in a statement released by his Czech lawyer, Jan Cervenka.

"This is a political thing, when the United States wants to embarrass the Swedish and Czech governments. It is politically directed against Islam," he added.

The man, the subject of an international arrest warrant for allegedly abetting terrorists, and wanted by Interpol, was arrested as he stepped off a plane at Prague airport on Sunday evening on his way from Stockholm to Beirut.

The US indictment against him charges him with conspiring to set up a "jihad" (holy war) camp in Oregon in the northwest United States that would offer military weapons training for Muslims interested in fighting in Afghanistan.

But the 39 year old rejected the charge.

"I was never in Oregon, I never even considered that I would set up some sort of training camp in the US.

"I went there with my wife and children as a tourist on the basis of a valid visa. If I had allowed myself to be involved in some sort of illegal actions, I do not understand why I was not immediately detained.

"I do not understand why these alleged crimes are being discussed after six years," he said.

Cervenka said his client is being held on his own in Prague's Pankrac prison. He had been flying to Lebanon to see his mother in Beirut and also to get medical treatment, he added.

The Czech lawyer said he was trying to contact the 39 year old's lawyer in Sweden to find out if evidence in court cases there could be used to help defend him against extradition to the US.

Sweden has never agreed to extradite the man, who originates from Lebanon and has Swedish citizenship.

AFP

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