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Nigerian ‘al-Qaeda’ man in court

ICC Note

The al-Qaeda suspect is from Northern Nigeria where Islamic sharia law is applied and Christians face persecution from extremist Islamic groups.

January 24, 2008 Nigeria (BBC News)-An Islamic scholar accused of being al-Qaeda’s link to Nigeria has appeared in court in the capital, Abuja .

Muhammed Ashafa from the northern city of Kano , claims he was tortured into confessing to a planned attack on American interests in the country.

But two agents from the State Security Services told the court on Wednesday he had signed a statement voluntarily.

He was arrested in Pakistan in 2004. Security services there deported him back to Nigeria over a year ago.

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Prosecutors for the government say the Pakistani security services arrested him “on reasonable suspicion”. They say he associated with two known al-Qaeda operatives and received money to execute attacks in Nigeria .

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Last November, five men were arrested and charged with terrorism offences. They were accused of going to a terrorist training camp in Algeria .

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