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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sleeper Cell in Europe?

Intelligence Online: According to our sources, Cambodian intelligence agencies recently identified a new terrorist sleeper cell in Europe.

They began their probe in May, 2003 when 28 foreigners attending the Al Mukara Koranic school located 30 km east of Phnom Penh were arrested and expelled from Cambodia. Run directly by the Saudi foundation Om al Qura, the madrasa in Cambodia was home to Riduan Isamuddin between September, 2002 to March, 2003. He is better known under the nom de guerre Hambali, leader of the Jemaah Islamia and head of Al Qaeda’s operations in south-east Asia. In contact with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged organizer of the September 11 attacks, Hambali was arrested a few months later, in August 2003, in the town of Ajutthaya some 75 km north of Bangkok in an operation carried out jointly by Thailand’s intelligence service and U.S. and Cambodian agencies.

After his arrest, Hambali was transferred to Jordan in a detention center run by the CIA and then to Camp Delta at Guantanamo. But before beginning that journey he told interrogators during sessions attended by Cambodian intelligence operatives that he had had the intention of using Cambodia as an operational base to organize a series of assaults against sensitive Western targets not only in the region but also in Europe, particularly Italy and France. A source close to Cambodian intelligence said information gleaned from Hambali and from investigations still underway pointed to the existence of a Cambodian sleeper cell in Europe, most of whose members had attended the Al Mukara school. The cell could be activated to carry out attacks at any point, and the Cambodians say Italy is potentially one of the prime targets.
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