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U.S. Forces Hold 19 Al Qaeda Suspects in Iraq

U.S. military forces in Iraq are holding 19 al Qaeda suspects among 248 foreign fighters captured there, the U.S. administrator of the troubled country said on Friday. “The number is 19 to be precise,” Paul Bremer told reporters. The United States has said that foreign fighters moving into Iraq to oppose U.S.-led coalition forces have become a major “terrorist” problem. Bremer said in response to questions at a Pentagon news conference that he did not have the nationalities of the al Qaeda suspects. But he said a total of 248 foreigners were being held, among them 123 Syrians and a large number of both Iranians and Yemenis. “That’s been a matter that has come out in their interrogations or in their documents,” he responded when pressed on how he knew the 19 prisoners in question were members of al Qaeda, the guerrilla group led by fugitive Osama bin Laden and accused of the September 2001 attacks on America. Full Story

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