Sunday, October 17, 2004

Bin Laden bought ship ‘for terror’

The Sunday Times - World

October 17, 2004

SPANISH authorities are seeking the extradition of a German-based Syrian businessman suspected of helping Osama Bin Laden buy a ship, write Peter Conradi and Justin Sparks.
Marmoun Darkanzali, 46, believed to have been close to several of the hijackers on September 11, 2001, is alleged to have helped the Al-Qaeda leader with the purchase of a freighter. A source close to German intelligence named the ship as Jennifer and said it had been bought in 1993.


Spanish authorities claimed Darkanzali had been an important figure, providing logistical and financial support to Bin Laden in Britain, Spain and Germany since 1997.

Darkanzali was first arrested in 2001 but released. He has been under investigation for some time by German federal prosecutors. He was arrested in Hamburg on Friday on a Spanish international warrant.

It was not clear to what use Bin Laden would have put the vessel but there has long been speculation that Al-Qaeda has been amassing a fleet to raise money and for use in attacks.

German prosecutors said Darkanzali will contest the extradition. In the past he has denied any links with Al-Qaeda. He faces up to 12 years in jail in Spain if convicted of charges of membership of a terrorist organisation.






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