Friday, January 27, 2006


Colombian Terror Ring Busted

Colombian authorities have arrested 19 people, including two active agents of the DAS secret police force, in breaking up a ring that provided Colombian passports to members of Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organizations.

Deputy Attorney General Jorge Armando Otalora told reporters in Bogota that eight of those arrested are wanted for extradition to the United States for alleged collaboration with terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda and Hamas.

The suspects were arrested in coordinated raids in seveal Colombian cities, Otalora said. Besides the two active agents of DAS, another man who used to work for the intelligence agency was among those nabbed.

A woman who works for the National Registry of Civil Status, which issues documents attesting to Colombian citizenship, was also among those arrested, the official said.

Otalora said the ring provided national identity cards and passports to Arab and Muslim individuals "who traveled throughout Europe as if they were Colombians, but they were not." The identities of those arrested was not immediately provided.

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