Arrested Moroccan Has Ties to 9/11 Figure

The latest news in the Spain bombing investigation is that one of the three Moroccans arrested yesterday has ties to the leader of an Al Qaeda cell who figured into the 9/11 attacks and who has been in custody in Spain for some time.

A Sept. 17, 2003 indictment calls Jamal Zougam - arrested in Thursday's attacks - a "follower" of Imad Yarkas, the alleged leader of Spain's al-Qaida cell who was jailed for allegedly helping plan the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. Yarkas, whose alias is Abu Dahdah, remains in Spanish custody. The indictment targets Yarkas and 34 others, including bin Laden, for terrorist activities connected to al-Qaida. Zougam, 30, was not indicted.

Friends of two of the jailed Moroccans think they are not involved:

Friends of the Moroccans said the Madrid store where they worked sold cell phones but they insisted that the men would not have been involved in planning or carrying out the attacks. "People shouldn't be put in jail for selling cell phones. They are hard workers," said Karim, who works in a phone shop near the now-shuttered store where the arrested Moroccans worked. Karim did not want to give his last name.

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