Bin Laden, Albania Link Reported
LONDON (AP) _ The man accused of orchestrating the U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa operates a terrorist network out of Albania that has infiltrated other parts of Europe, The Sunday Times reported.
The newspaper quoted Fatos Klosi, the head of the Albanian intelligence service, as saying a network run by Saudi exile Osama Bin Laden sent units to fight in the Serbian province of Kosovo.
Bin Laden is believed to have established an Albanian operation in 1994 after telling the government he headed a wealthy Saudi humanitarian agency wanting to help Albania, the newspaper reported.
Klosi said he believed terrorists had already infiltrated other parts of Europe from bases in Albania. Interpol believes more than 100,000 blank Albanian passports were stolen in riots last year, providing ample opportunity for terrorists to acquire false papers, the newspaper said.
Apparent confirmation of Bin Laden’s activities came earlier this month during the murder trial of Claude Kader, 27, a French national who said he was a member of Bin Laden’s Albanian network, the newspaper said.
Kader claimed during the trial he had visited Albania to recruit and arm fighters for Kosovo.
U.S. authorities believe bin Laden, a Saudi exile and militant Muslim, masterminded the bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August that killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.
Three alleged co-conspirators are already jailed in New York.