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US freezes Swedish terror suspect's assets

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23:36 CET+01:00
A Swedish citizen of Moroccan origin is one of five men to have their assets frozen by the US Finance Department. The man is suspected of supporting the al-Qaida terrorist network and other groups.

The US Finance Department has not presented any evidence, but claims that the Swede was trained in an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan in the 1990s.

According to the Finance Department's report, the 41 year old was a member of the "inner circle" around the former al-Qaida leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in an American air attack in June.

It is claimed that the Swede was a representative for al-Zarqawi in Europe on matters concerning chemical and biological weapons. He is described by the American authorities as having been an "undisputed leader for an extremist group" associated with a Muslim community south of Stockholm.

Sweden's security police, Säpo, confirmed to TT that there had been an exchange of information with the US authorities "at a number of levels".

"The USA has asked that this Swedish Moroccan citizen be put on the list and the UN has approved," said Anders Thornberg, information director at Säpo.

According to Swedish records, the man has been resident at four different addresses in and around Stockholm in the last two years.

One of the other suspects was said to be a militant Kurdish mullah in Oslo.

The US sanctions against the five men mean that no Americans may have economic relations with them.

André Mkandawire at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press office said that Sweden did not oppose the decision of the UN Security Council to put the man on the sanctions list. He confirmed that the sanctions committee's decision is binding for Sweden.

Mkandawire was not able to say whether the man was in custody.

"We have no details on that," he told TT.

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