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Man Arrested on al-Qaida Ties Identified

December 12, 2003

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ The man arrested in Minneapolis on suspicion of associating with al-Qaida has been identified as a Canadian citizen and college student of Somali descent, a newspaper reported.

The man arrested Tuesday was Mohammed A. Warsame, the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune reported on its Web site early Friday, citing law enforcement officials who requested anonymity.

Warsame is suspected of having knowledge of some of the activities of Zacarias Moussaoui _ who is accused of being a Sept. 11 conspirator _ when he was in Minneapolis.

The newspaper said Warsame had been arrested as a material witness, but did not disclose whether he would testify against Zacarias Moussaoui or others.

Warsame, 30, was also described as knowledgeable about Moussaoui’s activities in an Al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan. The indictment against Moussaoui, 35, who was arrested in Eagan shortly before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, alleges he trained at Al-Qaida’s Khalden Camp in April 1998.

Warsame’s wife, Fartun Farah, 28, described her husband as a responsible man. ``He is not a terrorist,″ she told the newspaper through a translator.

She said she has no knowledge of any connection between her husband and Moussaoui.

``He loves the United States just like his home country of Canada,″ Farah said.

She said her husband is an honest and hard-working student at Minneapolis Community Technical College, where he had attended the college for about two years, hoping to pursue a career in computer sciences.

Farah has since spoken to her husband’s public defender. She said that she has tried to see her husband but that authorities won’t let her.

Moussaoui was arrested while learning to fly a Boeing 747 jet at an Eagan flight school two years ago and now is the subject of the only U.S. prosecution related to the Sept. 11 attacks.

About the same time, the Treasury Department froze the assets of several Twin Cities money-transfer firms used by Somalis to send cash to relatives in their homeland, alleging some of the funds were being siphoned to al-Qaida.

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