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Al-Qaida Suspect on Trial in Spain Denies Supporting Bin Laden


Police photo of suspected terrorist Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas
A suspect on trial in Spain for allegedly helping al-Qaida plan the September 11 attacks on the United States has denied being a follower of Osama bin Laden.

In response to prosecutor's questions, Syrian-born Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas told the Madrid court Tuesday he is not a supporter of bin Laden's doctrines and he has never met the al-Qaida leader.

On Monday, Mr. Yarkas denied arranging a July 2001 meeting allegedly attended by suspected September 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta and al-Qaida operations chief Ramzi bin al-Shibh. He denied ever meeting the two, and said he has no involvement in terrorist groups.

Mr. Yarkas is one of 24 al-Qaida suspects who went on trial in Spain on Friday, and is one of three defendants charged with helping plan the September 11 attacks.

He faces life in prison if convicted.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

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