Related topics

Belgium Arraign Massood Suspect

March 1, 2002

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ A Tunisian-born Belgian citizen was arraigned in a court here Friday for his alleged role in the September assassination of Ahmed Shah Massood, the main anti-Taliban leader in Afghanistan.

Mohammed Sliti, alleged to be a member of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network, is one of five people who have been arrested in Belgium in connection with Massood’s killing, along with others in France and Britain.

Sliti was extradited from the Netherlands late Thursday, said Jos Colpin, spokesman for the Brussels prosecutor’s office.

``He was charged with various offenses relating to international terrorism,″ Colpin said, adding that he was being held at the same jail as other suspects related to the Massood case.

Belgian authorities issued an international arrest warrant for Sliti, claiming he was connected to passport theft and was wanted for criminal association and forgery.

Massood was blown up Sept. 9 at his northern Afghan headquarters by two men posing as journalists who carried false Belgian passports. He died of his wounds several days later.

The Belgian government said the passports found on the bodies of the two suicide bombers were stolen from the Belgian consulate in Strasbourg, France, and the Belgian embassy in The Hague, Netherlands, in 1999.

Sliti was among more than 100 refugees detained when crossing the border between Afghanistan and Iran earlier this month.

Update hourly