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Spanish Judge Questions al-Jazeera Correspondent


A Spanish judge has questioned a correspondent for al-Jazeera television arrested on suspicion of links to Islamic terrorist organizations.

Anti-terrorism judge Baltasar Garzon questioned journalist Tayseer Alouni in a probe of the operations of Islamic militant organizations in Spain, including al-Qaida. The investigation involves the case of Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, also known as Abu Dahdah, who is being held in Spain on terrorism charges.

Spanish police picked up Mr. Alouni last week in the southern Spanish city of Granada and transferred him to Madrid. Al-Jazeera has strongly protested the journalist's arrest. His colleagues at the network insist he is not guilty of any wrongdoing.

News reports identify Mr. Alouni as a Syrian with Spanish citizenship. They say al-Jazeera had sent him to Spain to check into the possibility of assuming the post of the network's correspondent in that country.

Mr. Alouni covered the fall of the Taleban in Afghanistan and interviewed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.

Spanish authorities have detained several dozen terrorism suspects since the 2001 attacks, though none has yet faced trial.

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