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Brazil Frees Man Misidentified as Al-Qaida Suspect


Authorities in Sao Paulo, Brazil have released a Lebanese man who was arrested three weeks ago for operating a web site that authorities suspected could be linked to terrorists.

Federal prosecutor Ana Leticia Absy says a court ordered the unidentified man's release this week after investigators found no evidence that linked him to terrorist groups.

In a statement, Absy says the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) initially alerted Brazilian authorities after the man posted inflammatory anti-U.S. comments in Arabic on his Internet site.

His arrest was reported Tuesday by U.S. and Brazilian media organizations who identified him as a possible member of al-Qaida.

Brazil is home to a large Arab population. U.S. officials say that some members of the community who live in the tri-border region that straddles Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay have long been involved in fund raising for terrorist groups in the Middle East like Hezbollah and Hamas.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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