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Israel: ‘Bin Laden’ Items Seized

September 11, 2002

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JERUSALEM (AP) _ Israel announced on Tuesday the seizure of shipping containers headed for the Palestinian Authority with weapons and cigarette lighters depicting Osama bin Laden.

The containers, marked ``toys,″ were found during a random customs check at Israel’s port in Ashdod in June, according to a government statement. Instead of toys, the containers carried guns, binoculars and cigarette lighters depicting bin Laden alongside the World Trade Center as airplanes slam into the towers, the statement said.

A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the information was not released earlier because the shipment was still being investigated. But Israel decided to time the disclosure with the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Palestinian officials were not immediately available for comment.

``The planned distribution of these lighters in the Palestinian Authority was designed to be yet another expression of support for the terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaida,″ the government statement said.

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