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2 Linked to Extortion Threat Nabbed

March 11, 2000

MONTREAL (AP) _ A man accused of issuing threats to try to force Israel to free Lebanese prisoners was ordered held without bail for a week Friday on charges of possessing explosives.

Ayman Bondok, 23, a Canadian citizen, allegedly possessed the explosives discovered in the Montreal apartment of an Egyptian man arrested over the weekend.

Bondok was accused of making a threatening telephone call to Israel’s consulate in Montreal demanding freedom for Lebanese prisoners held by Israel.

While police refused to disclose details of the March 1 call, prosecutor Helene Di Salvo indicated the threat involved explosives.

``I can’t give you more details but you know there’s a bomb involved,″ Di Salvo said.

Police were unaware of any links between Bondok and known terrorist groups, and believed Bondok acted on his own in making the telephone threat, said Sgt. Normand Houle of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Police detained Bondok and Kim St. Louis, 31, also a Canadian citizen, on Thursday. St. Louis was released on bail, while Bondok had his bail hearing set for March 17.

Sgt. Houle said the explosives were found in a false ceiling in Tarek Adealy Khafagy’s Montreal apartment last weekend.

Khafagy was arrested on charges of possessing explosives and counterfeit money also found in the apartment, but he denies any knowledge of how the illegal materials got there. His bail hearing has been set for March 22.

Houle said even though Bondok and Khafagy, a 30-year-old Egyptian refugee claimant, knew each other, Khafagy could be released because the ``investigation found out his role was not as important as we thought.″

A supervisor at the bakery where Khafagy works said earlier this week that other people stayed at Khafagy’s apartment when he worked an overnight shift.

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