Flying in Europe? Bomb found at Paris airport


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Preacherman
December 30, 2002, 11:11 AM
From the Globe & Mail, Canada (http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/front/RTGAM/20021230/wbagg1230/Front/homeBN/breakingnews): 5:43 AM EST, Monday, December 30

Paris baggage handler found with bomb, guns

Agence France-Presse

Paris — A baggage handler at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris was arrested with an arsenal of weapons and explosives and had a bomb that was "ready to use," sources close to the inquiry told AFP Monday.

Abderazak Besseghir, a 27-year-old French citizen of Algerian descent, was apprehended by police at the airport late Saturday after a tip-off from a member of the public who spotted a weapon in his vehicle. They said he had no previous record.

The man's job as baggage handler gave him clearance to several zones at Charles de Gaulle, one of Europe's busiest airports and the point of departure late last year for confessed "shoe bomber" Richard Reid.

The sources said that Mr. Besseghir had five bars of plastic explosives and two detonators in the trunk of his car that were ready to use as a bomb, along with an automatic pistol and a submachine gun.

Police searched his apartment in the northeastern Paris suburb of Bondy and arrested his father, two brothers and a family friend, they said. All five men were still in custody early Monday and were being questioned by anti-terrorist officials.

Investigators also searched the home of one of Mr. Besseghir's friends in the Paris region.

Sources said investigators had not yet established a motive but were "seriously considering" whether Mr. Besseghir was about to launch a terrorist attack, although they had yet to identify an intended target. Other theories, including that of a more general criminal scheme such as gun smuggling or banditry, have not been ruled out, the sources said.

Mr. Besseghir has remained nearly silent since his arrest, telling police only that he did not understand why he had been detained. Police also said that statements by the other four men had not helped shed light on his possible motive.

The suspect is not known to be close to any Islamic group, but along with the weapons stash, police uncovered "documents that could be of an Islamist nature" in Mr. Besseghir's possession.

Authorities here have stepped up their investigation of suspected Islamic militants in France, arresting since mid-December nine alleged militants who have been accused of planning to attack the Russian embassy in Paris.

Security measures have been stepped up at Charles de Gaulle, located north of Paris, in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, in the United States and Mr. Reid's alleged attempt to blow up an airliner on December 22 last year.

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Blackhawk
December 30, 2002, 11:27 AM
The French penchant for providing a home and asylum for every stray person has led to their having millions of inhabitants with no love of France.

If people want to immigrate to a country, they should have a good reason in line with that country's interests.

It's kind of odd with France because they're so fiercely protective of their language and cultural history -- odd that they've been so willing to mongrelize their citizenry when they won't even allow "le hot dog" as a term to describe a hot dog.

2dogs
December 30, 2002, 11:43 AM
The man's job as baggage handler gave him clearance

There have been several stories concerning an Iraq connection to the Oklahoma City bombing- one connection being an ex Iraqi soldier who was in Oklahoma City at the time of the bombing and then went on to work (as a baggage handler, I believe) at Boston's Logan International Airport, the point of origin for several for the 9/11 hijackers, including Mohammad Atta.

Whether it's Paris or any other airport in the world- what kind of checks are being done on these guys?

4v50 Gary
December 31, 2002, 01:43 AM
The French also have a penchant for making people talk. Like the Germans & the Swiss, they don't play games. After all, C'est la guerre.

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