Algerian enters not-guilty plea in Y2k bomb plot : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

January 1 had other risks associated with it in addition to Y2k.

Not-guilty plea in Y2K bomb plot

Suspect believed to help alleged bomber cross border


NEW YORK, Aug. 15  An Algerian man believed to be a key figure in a plot to detonate bombs at millennium celebration sites in the United States pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges he allegedly provided support to terrorists.

MOKHTAR HAOUARI, 31, appeared in Manhattan federal court after arriving from Canada where he been held since his arrest on Jan. 10. He waived extradition last month.

In May, President Bill Clinton accused Saudi exile Osama bin Laden of being behind the millennium celebration bomb plot. Bin Laden was previously indicted in New York for allegedly masterminding the bombing at two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998 which killed more than 200 people.

In the U.S. millennium plot, Haouari and a co-defendant, Abdel Ghani Meskini, were indicted for allegedly helping another Algerian man, Ahmed Ressam, cross into Washington state from Canada on Dec. 14, 1999 with a car full of explosives.

The six-count indictment filed in Manhattan federal court alleges that Haouari and Meskini provided and concealed material support to terrorists, transferred fraudulent identification documents, and trafficked and used fraudulent bank and charge cards. Meskini was arrested in Brooklyn on Dec. 30, 1999 and is awaiting trial.


Haouari was born in Arzew, Algeria, and arrived in Toronto in 1993, court papers said. When he entered Canada he used a French passport with a different name and claimed refugee status. That application was denied. Court papers also said he was convicted in Canada in 1997 of dealing in stolen and counterfeit credit cards.

According to court papers filed in Canada seeking Haouaris extradition, authorities intercepted a Dec. 25 telephone call between Meskini and an unidentified individual in Algeria. During the call Meskini stated that he and Haouri knew Ressam; Ressam was part of a well-organized group and that Haouari was part of the same network. After Meskini was arrested, he allegedly admitted to authorities that he considered Haouari to be a very important brother, who was knowledgeable about Jihad or fighting the enemies of Islam.

Meskini allegedly told Haouari about his desire to participate in Jihad, according to court papers. Haouari then told Meskini about Ressam, who had fought in the Algerian Jihad and who had contacts in London and Afghanistan. He allegedly referred to Ressam as Abu Reda.

In early December 1999 Haouari allegedly called Meskini and told him that Ressam was in Vancouver but would be coming to Seattle and would need Meskinis assistance.

Haouari allegedly said that Meskini could escort Ressam in the United States and translate for him. A few days after the conversation, Haouari allegedly told Meskini that he had given his number to Ressam.

According to court papers, Ressam contacted Meskini and said he wanted Meskini to met in him Seattle in mid-December. Meskini traveled to Seattle but the meeting never took place because Ressam was arrested on Dec. 14.


-- Thankful for a (quiet@January.1), August 16, 2000


'Clinton Says Bin Laden in Y2K Plot' (AP)

-- older (news@of.note), August 16, 2000.

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