Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

A burglar in Germany makes an al Qaeda discovery.

One small house in a middle-class neighborhood presented an especially inviting target. Judging from the waist-high grass in the front yard, the home evidently had been untended for some time.

Nothing about the place, the burglar said later, offered a clue that it might be some kind of al-Qaida safe house, or at least a records repository for business transactions investigators strongly suspect were conducted for the benefit of Osama bin Laden.

At first, the 31-year-old burglar said, it was just in and out - look around quickly, grab a television set or something equally easy to sell and then leave. As the realization dawned that nobody was living in the house, the burglar's visits grew longer, sometimes extending overnight.

It was on one of those occasions, he recalled in a recent interview, that he discovered three cartons filled with documents stashed beneath the eaves.

According to the burglar, the documents included anti-Semitic and anti-U.S. tracts in Arabic and English, copies of Iraqi newspapers with Saddam Hussein's picture on the front page and architect's drawings of what appeared to be a synagogue and a hospital with markings showing where explosive charges could be placed.

Of more interest to investigators are the reams of files reflecting business dealings by Mamoun Darkazanli, a 44-year-old Syrian-born Hamburg export broker with ties to al-Qaida and the Sept. 11 hijackers.

Sources familiar with the documents say they concern Darkazanli's role in several business transactions, including the purchase of an ocean-going cargo freighter that investigators say was "probably" procured on behalf of Osama bin Laden.

< email | 3/05/2003 03:53:00 PM | link

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