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Mexican Cops Arrest Wanted Suspect

April 14, 2001

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Mexican police have arrested an Austrian terrorist suspect described by Interpol as one of its five most-wanted suspects in the world, the attorney general’s office said.

In coordination with Austrian and German police, Mexican authorities detained Bassam Al Taher and his wife, Beate Graf, early Thursday in the Pacific coast town of Tonala in Chiapas state, where the couple was living illegally.

The 36-year-old Vienna-born man is wanted for nearly half a dozen alleged terrorist acts carried out mostly against companies in his homeland from 1988 to 1995. He is aligned with various radical leftist group including Vienna-based Anarchy and the Palestinian Group of the Radical Left, the attorney general’s office said in a statement Friday.

In April 1995, Al Taher allegedly used homemade bombs to blow up an electricity pylon in the city of Ebergassing in protest of a proposed plan by Western Europe to buy cheap, nuclear energy from Eastern Europe, according to the statement.

Al Taher is also charged in connection with the deaths of his accomplices, Peter Konicek, 31, and Gregor Thaler, 30, who were killed while allegedly helping him lay the bombs.

In addition, Al Taher allegedly blew up equipment and facilities of several companies across Austria, including destroying nine cars at the Motor Car company in Vienna and demolishing the train tracks of Radfel railroad company in Tirol.

Al Taher was taken to Mexico City, where he will be held while officials await word on a possible Austrian extradition request.

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