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Terror Suspect Appears in US Court

August 14, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ An Algerian man accused of conspiring to support an alleged bombing plot in the United States pleaded innocent Monday.

Mokhtar Haouari, 31, entered the plea before U.S. District Judge John F. Keenan. His lawyer, Daniel J. Ollen, said he had only spoken to him briefly and could not yet discuss the case.

When he waived extradition in Canada last month, Haouari said through his lawyer there that he did not believe there was evidence to convict him.

Haouari is charged in an indictment with conspiring to provide and conceal material support to terrorists. He faces a prison term of up to 80 years if convicted.

Authorities have accused Haouari of joining with another Algerian, Abdel Ghani Meskini, to help a third Algerian, Ahmed Ressam, who was arrested in December as he crossed the border from Canada into Washington in a car packed with bomb-making equipment.

U.S. officials have said Ressam was involved in plans to bomb millennium celebrations in the United States.

Haouari has said he knew Ressam and Meskini but denied any involvement in a terrorist plot.

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