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Two white suspects in bin laden probe

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Two white suspects in bin Laden probe
By Chris Hastings, David Bamber and Rajeev Syal
(Filed: 21/10/2001)

DETECTIVES are investigating two white people in Britain who they suspect of aiding Osama bin Laden's terror network.

Secret Scotland Yard documents, obtained by The Telegraph, name two men - one of whom is understood to be a computer expert - as assisting al-Qaeda's network in this country.

It is the first time since September 11 that white non-Muslims have been accused of involvement in Islamic extremism.

The documents reveal that a special unit has been established at the Yard to carry out "Operation Full Circle", to monitor the two white men and 22 other suspects. All are being investigated to establish whether they have committed terrorist offences.

The Telegraph cannot name the two for legal and operational reasons. One of the two white men on the list, the computer expert, is believed to have assisted bin Laden operatives with website activities.

He is named in the document as also being linked to Francis Etim, who has been charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Etim, who lived in Greenwich, south-east London, was born in Britain, converted to Islam after marriage and changed his name to Sulayman Zain-Ul-Abidin.

Also on the list is a white man with a French name. Little is known of him, except that he has adopted several aliases. He is believed to be wanted in connection with Algerian plots to attack France.

The list of suspects, which is headed "Alleged Islamic Extremists", is believed to have been compiled by the FBI in conjunction with MI5 and then passed to Special Branch officers at Scotland Yard.

A dozen officers have been seconded from other duties to investigate names on the list.

For the first time, the anti-terrorist squad, Special Branch, the surveillance and public order unit and the racial and violent crimes task force will be working together.

The list indicates that white European or British people may have been involved in supporting terrorist activity.

The leaked documents also make clear that, as part of the operation, Special Branch detectives have been "monitoring" mosques and Muslim meetings.

Two on the list are being investigated for their alleged association with Zain-Ul-Abidin. They are: Hoammed Jameel and Adam Moussa.

Moussa is in his thirties and is an associate of Abu Hamza, an extremist Muslim cleric. Friends of the cleric said last night that Moussa was in Nigeria.

Six of the men on the list are Algerians arrested in a three-day crackdown by British anti-terrorism police in February and charged with conspiring to commit fraud and planning terrorist acts. The charges were eventually dropped.

Another on the list is Abu Doha, also known as Amar Maklulif, who is wanted in connection with a planned attack on Los Angeles airport on New Year's Eve,

Known as "The Doctor", Doha was officially named this year by a New York grand jury as being involved in the plot. He is being held in prison in London, fighting extradition.

Abu Hamza, the extremist imam of Finsbury Park mosque in north London, is also on the list. He said last week that he was aware that he was being monitored by the security services but denied involvement in terrorist activities since coming to Britain.

He said: "I am not guilty. I have followed my beliefs, that is all."

Andrew Dismore, the Labour MP for Hendon, said last night: "I welcome the fact that the net is widening. There are many on the far-Right who are attracted to the extreme Islamic cause because of its anti-Semitic nature."

He added: "At the same time I think the police could have acted against some of the names sooner. It is a shame they only acted in the light of what happened on September 11."

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