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Former Australian Soldier Suspected of Appearing in Terrorist Video


A former Australian soldier is suspected of appearing in a videotaped terror message released this week, threatening attacks against the West.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Friday, that former army private Mathew Stewart is suspected of joining al-Qaida, although he has not been identified as the masked spokesman in the video.

Mr. Downer says the government has reason to believe Mr. Stewart is one of a number of Australians who have turned to al-Qaida.

Federal police have questioned Mr. Stewart's family, and his mother says he is not the man in the video.

Mr. Stewart served with the U.N. peacekeeping force in East Timor before he was discharged in 2001 and traveled to Afghanistan the next year. He has not been seen since.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.