June 24, 2003


Italy’s financial police launched a major swoop against a group it said was close to the Islamic extremist al-Qaeda network in the north around Milan, arresting six people. . . .

The suspects are accused of giving logistical help to a cell of the Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), a militant Islamic group waging a bloody civil war to overthrow the secular government in Algiers.

I keep harping on the Algerian connections, don’t I?

UPDATE: Reader Brian Reilly points out this story from 1999:

Five arrests made in Boston as part of bomb probe
By Catherine Ivey, Associated Press, 12/30/99
BOSTON – Five men, three of whom identified themselves as Algerian, were arrested Thursday by federal officials wanting to question them about their possible links to Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian arrested in Washington state on explosive smuggling charges.

He sends this link, to a related story, too:

Ghani told an associate he was angry that Ressam brought explosives to the United States, and also mentioned “that the situation was boiling in Algeria and that the United States and the CIA are running everything over there.” Algeria has been locked in a bloody civil war.

Despite the details of the arrest, Lewis Schiliro, head of the FBI in New York, acted to reassure New Yorkers as the new year approached.

“There are no specific and credible threats to any part of New York City or elsewhere and no explosives or explosive devices were found in connection with the investigation of Abdel Ghani,” he said.

There’s also this:

Government links Vermont, Washington border arrests

By Wilson Ring, Associated Press, 12/30/99

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Federal prosecutors today linked a Canadian woman arrested at a remote Vermont border crossing with an Algerian man taken into custody at the border in Washington state.

A prosecutor said in court documents that Lucia Garofalo and Ahmed Ressam were in the same cell of “a violent Algerian terrorist organization” known as GIA.

Amazing what you can learn on this Internet thingie.

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