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US Authorities Question Terrorist Suspect in Malaysia

Investigators of the September 11 attacks in the United States have questioned a man imprisoned in Malaysia for alleged links to international terrorism. Agents of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, on Monday spent two hours with the suspect and his lawyer.

The three investigators were seen Monday driving into the Kamunting prison in northern Malaysia in a vehicle bearing U.S. diplomatic license plates. They did not speak to reporters when they left, but the lawyer representing the suspect said he attended the meeting.

The suspect is a former colonel in the Malaysian army, Yazid Sufaat. The U.S. agents questioned him in an effort to build a stronger case against terrorist suspect Zacarias Moussaoui. Mr. Moussaoui is charged in the United States with helping plan the September 11 attacks.

Yazid Sufaat, a businessman, was detained during a crackdown in December of last year. He is suspected of providing a letter of employment to Mr. Moussaoui that helped him obtain a visa to the United States.

Mr. Moussaoui denies involvement in the September 11 attacks, but admits to supporting the al-Qaida network that planned them.

Yazid Sufaat also is accused of allowing two of the hijackers in the September attack to stay in his apartment during a visit to Malaysia nearly three years ago. He reportedly did so at the request of Riduan Isamuddin, who is wanted in connection with the bombings in Bali, Indonesia, last month and other terrorist attacks in Southeast Asia in recent years.

The governments of Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines say Mr. Riduan, also known as Hambali, is a senior leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah group that is reportedly allied with al-Qaida.

Malaysian authorities also say Yazid Sufaat, at the request of Hambali, bought four tons of agricultural chemicals that could be used to make explosives. They think the material was to be used in a series of bomb attacks on Western embassies in Singapore last year. That plot was foiled in part because of documents found by allied troops in an al-Qaida house in Afghanistan.

Yazid Sufaat's lawyer says his client's relationship to Mr. Moussaoui is a business one and had nothing to do with terrorism. Yazid Sufaat is being held under Malaysia's Internal Security Act, which allows detention without trial.