Belgian Terror Suspects Released After Being Deported By Egypt

By Beila Rabinowitz

December 11,2006 - San Francisco, CA ? - On December 6 officials of the Egyptian government announced that they had dismantled a terrorist network and deported two Belgians, and 8 French nationals who were "recruiting volunteers for Jihad." It remains unclear if the unnamed American was also deported.

The country's Interior Ministry revealed that the group was planning attacks with suspects from other Arab countries and was part of "an Islamic terror cell that had adopted extremist ideas and were living in Egypt under the guise of learning Arabic and pursuing Islamic studies."

Egypt is both home to and the leading exporter of members of the Muslim Brotherhood - the precursor of al-Qaeda.

Instead of being taken as evidence of the terrorist's bona fides however, the deportation appeared to be a free trip home for two Belgian/Moroccan dual nationals. The two jihad recruiters reportedly were questioned by police and had their apartments searched. They were then released, while Belgium authorities announced they might consider a future fact finding trip to Cairo.

The French counter terrorism agency announced they were beginning an investigation into the eight Frenchmen and the identity of the American has not been disclosed.

In other terrorism news, police in Turkey seized ten people in a raid. Among them is a lawyer who is believed to be the head of al-Qaeda in Turkey. The men were arrested at the start of Pope Benedict's trip to Turkey. Raids on apartments in three different cities uncovered bomb making equipment, a map of an oil refinery and a, "CD bomb which would explode when inserted into a computer."

The terror suspects had been tracked via emails which outlined attempts to get explosive materials. Some of those arrested are believed to be linked to the Great Eastern Warriors Front [IBDA-C], an al-Qaeda linked group which was responsible for bombing two Istanbul synagogues, a UK bank and the British consulate in 2003 killing over 50 people.

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