Judge: Al-Qaida 'management' in Iran

Al-Qaida has been restructured and has a "board of managers" in Iran, a prominent Spanish judge told a newspaper on Sunday.

    Garzon has issued an arrest warrant for Usama bin Ladin

    Baltasar Garzon,

    who investigates "terrorism linked to Islamic fundamenatlism"

    ,

    told

    El Periodico that although Iran's al-Qaida cell did not necessarily issue orders, it did coordinate operations.

    He said: "Currently there is coordination, a series of objectives clearly

    established (by al-Qaida), but there is no need for an order for an

    act to be executed ... It's diffused terrorism."

    Garzon issued an

    international arrest warrant last September for

    Usama bin Ladin in the framework of an

    inquiry into a Spanish al-Qaida cell.

    He also hit the headlines in Spain this week as the presiding

    judge in the case against a Spanish al-Qaida suspect, extradited from

    the US prison at the Guantanamo naval base in Cuba.

    "Currently there is coordination, a series of objectives clearly

    established (by al-Qaida), but there is no need for an order for an

    act to be executed ... It's diffused terrorism"


    Judge Baltasar Garzon

    Iranian denials

    Although Iran has admitted it is detaining al-Qaida suspects, it denies allowing the network to operate from its territory.

    Tehran said last December it had arrested 130 suspected members of al-Qaida and was ready to extradite some of them.

    President Muhammad Khatami said: "those who have committed crimes in Iran will be judged in Iran and the others will be extradited to their country of origin ...

    "There is no place for al-Qaida, no place for any terrorist, for those who act against peace in the world."

    Khatami added al-Qaida was "very hostile" to the Iranian government.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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