LAX plot suspect may be freed in Britain

June 29, 2008 at 1:44 AM
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LONDON, June 29 (UPI) -- An Algerian suspected of planning to bomb Los Angeles International Airport may soon be released from a British jail, court records show.

A court recently ordered the man's release, although authorities can set strict conditions, the Los Angeles Times reported. The man has not been charged in Britain after seven years under arrest, and the courts have said he cannot be deported to Algeria because of the possibility he would be tortured there.

In a 2001 indictment in the United States, the man was charged under the alias Abu Doha, and prosecutors said his real name was unknown. In court proceedings in Britain he is referred to as U.

U.S. security experts say he is a key al-Qaida operative. He was identified by Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian caught with a carload of explosives trying to enter the United States from Canada.

But Ressam later refused to testify against the man, blocking his extradition. The suspect was originally arrested in February 2001 because of allegations he planned an attack in Strasbourg, France, one of the seats of the European parliament.

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