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Czechs Study Attack Suspect’s Trips

October 19, 2001

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) _ Suspected suicide hijacker Mohamed Atta may have traveled to the Czech Republic several times under an assumed name, police said Friday.

Police chief Jiri Kolar reiterated that Atta visited the Czech Republic in June 2000, but said his force was investigating the possibility of additional visits.

During the June trip, Atta spent less than 24 hours in the Czech capital before boarding a flight to Newark, New Jersey.

Czech officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said earlier this month that Atta met in Prague several times with Iraqi diplomat Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir Al-Ani.

Kolar told the British Broadcasting Corp. in an interview broadcast Friday that there were indications of further trips ``but we don’t have it confirmed.″

At a news conference later, Kolar declined to provide further details, saying, ``if he was here under a different name, we cannot rule it out.″ Kolar said a full report on the Atta investigation would be available next week.

Investigators were also looking into possible business ties Atta may have had in the Czech Republic.

The FBI has identified Atta, an Egyptian who studied in Hamburg, Germany, as being on American Airlines Flight 11 that was hijacked from Boston and slammed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.

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