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US terror suspect arrested in Malaysia

Oct. 8, 2002 at 4:16 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- A suspected American militant wanted in the United States for alleged al Qaida ties has been arrested in Malaysia, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Tuesday.

Ahmed Ibrahim Bilal, 24, faces immediate deportation to the United States. "I've been told that he has been arrested as he has no travel documents anymore," Abdullah told the state-run Bernama news agency.

He said since Bilal no longer holds a valid passport, his student visa to study in Malaysia will be automatically revoked, clearing the way for his return to the United States. The two countries do not share an extradition treaty, so Bilal is being deported to the United States for immigration violations, not terrorism charges.

Bilal reportedly surrendered Sunday to security officials at the International Islamic University in Kuala Lumpur where he had been studying.

Bilal was one of six people charged Friday by the U.S. Justice Department with conspiracy to wage war against the United States by fighting on the side of al Qaida and the Taliban in the months after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Three of the accused were arrested in Portland, Ore., while another was indicted in Detroit. The sixth accused conspirator remains at large outside the United States.

The indictment charges Bilal and four of the other five men of attempting to travel to Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001, to join forces with the Taliban and al Qaida. None of those arrested Friday had actually made it to Afghanistan.

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