RealNews

Trial Opens for al-Qaida Link Suspects

Twenty-three suspects charged with links to al-Qaida went on trial Thursday in Belgium, and two of the defendants lunged at each other after giving conflicting testimony about a phony passport ring. The two, Mohamed Fethi and Abdelhouaid Aberkan, are among 12 suspects accused of being part of the al-Qaida-linked passport ring. They jumped at each other and had to be separated by security guards. They were charged with assault and battery and threatening behavior, said Lieve Pellens, a spokeswoman for the federal prosecution office. There are two sets of defendants on trial, those charged in the passport ring, and 11 others accused of planning an attack on a U.S. air base at Kleine Brogel in northwestern Belgium that is believed to house tactical nuclear warheads. About 100 U.S. Air Force personnel work there. One key defendant, Tarek Maaroufi, is charged in both cases. Full Story

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