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Arrests us citizen { December 4 2002 }

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Israel Arrests U.S. Citizen Linked to Al Qaeda
Wed December 4, 2002 08:39 AM ET

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli security forces have arrested a U.S. citizen suspected of helping distribute funds to Palestinian militants on behalf of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda group, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office said Wednesday.
It said Khaled Nazem Diab, a U.S. citizen who had recently been living in Qatar, had been arrested in the past month after entering Israel to allegedly "distribute funds to groups linked to terror groups in general and al Qaeda in particular."

Sharon's office, which is in charge of the Shin Bet internal security service, said Diab would be deported from Israel once his interrogation was completed. It did not say why it was releasing the information of the arrest only now.

It said Diab, who was born in 1968, had previously been in Afghanistan where he was in contact with people connected to the Taliban and was also known for his involvement with activists in the militant Islamic group Hamas.

Israel has said it suspects al Qaeda was behind a suicide bombing last week at an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa that killed 16 people and a failed missile attack on an Israeli airliner that was taking off nearby.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Monday that the al Qaeda network had tried without success to infiltrate the Jewish state, but he gave no details.

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