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6/13/03 - AL-QAIDA ARRESTS - 2003-06-13

The roundup of suspects involved in global terrorism continues. Authorities in France have arrested a German citizen suspected of involvement in last year’s bombing of a Tunisian synagogue. The terrorist attack killed twenty-one people, including fourteen German tourists. Christian Ganczanski is believed to be a senior al-Qaida recruiter in Germany. He may also be linked to the Hamburg cell that helped organize the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

French police also detained Karim Mehdi, from Morocco. French officials say that Mr. Mehdi admitted he was planning a terrorist attack on the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, off southeastern Africa. According to news reports, Mehdi was linked to Ziad Jarrah, one of the terrorists who hijacked the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11th, 2001.

In Yemen, four Yemenis and a Saudi Arabian citizen have been arrested on suspicion of terrorist activities. All told, more than three-thousand suspected terrorists have been arrested throughout the world since September 11th.

As President George W. Bush said, “We’re sending a clear message to the enemies of freedom”:

“America and coalition countries have uncovered and stopped terrorist conspiracies targeting the American embassy in Yemen, the American embassy in Singapore, a Saudi military base, ships in the Straits of Hormuz and the Straits of Gibraltar. We’ve broken al-Qaida cells in Hamburg, Milan, Madrid, London, Paris, as well as Buffalo, New York. We have the terrorists on the run. We’re keeping them on the run.”

Against terrorists, the U.S., its friends and allies have only one option –- to go after terrorists. Terrorists will be tracked down and punished for their murderous actions.