Dutch arrest Somali terror suspect wanted by US

AP News
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Posted: Nov 10, 2009 7:38 PM

Dutch prosecutors said Tuesday they have arrested a 43-year-old Somali man wanted by U.S. authorities for allegedly financing Islamic extremist terrorists.

Prosecutors said in a statement the man lived in Minneapolis before leaving the United States in November 2008; he arrived in the Netherlands about one month later.

The identity of the man, who was arrested Sunday at an asylum seeker's center in Dronten about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northeast of Amsterdam, was not released in line with Dutch privacy laws.

The statement by the national prosecutors office said American authorities asked for the man's arrest and have sought his extradition.

E.K. Wilson, an FBI spokesman in Minneapolis, said: "We're aware of this individual and of this arrest, and it is related to our ongoing Minneapolis investigation."

Wilson said the FBI was working closely with Dutch authorities through its legal attache office in Brussels, and is also coordinating with the Department of Justice Office of International Affairs.

As many as 20 young Somali men left the Minneapolis area over the last two years to go to Somalia and possibly fight with terror groups. At least three men have died, including one who carried out a suicide bombing in the semiautonomous Puntland region in October 2008.

Three others have pleaded guilty in federal court in Minneapolis to terror-related charges. A fourth man has pleaded guilty to perjury, and a fifth has pleaded not guilty to lying to the FBI.

The Dutch statement says U.S. prosecutors suspect the man arrested Sunday of bankrolling the purchase of weapons for Islamic extremists and helping other Somalis travel to Somalia in 2007 and 2008.

The suspect was ordered held for 60 days at a hearing Tuesday before an investigating judge in the city of Rotterdam.

Prosecutors did not immediately return after-hours calls seeking more details.

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Associated Press Writer Amy Forliti contributed to this report from Minneapolis.