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A British computer specialist tried to set up a terrorist training camp in Arizona, where he met with Islamic radicals who claimed ties to Osama bin Laden, a government attorney alleged Wednesday. Babar Ahmad, who is being held in London on charges he ran terrorist fund-raising Web sites, met in Phoenix in 1998 with Yaser Al Jhani, a member of the Islamic mujahedeen militia, and others who claimed to have access to bin Laden, said John Hardy, a British lawyer representing the U.S. government. “He expressed an interest in developing a training system in Arizona,” Hardy told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from London. “That is, a training system, in effect for the mujahedeen to visit and train to fight abroad.” Details of the Phoenix trip were outlined in a report by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Appleton, who would prosecute the case in Connecticut because one of the Web sites Ahmad ran was hosted there. The report has not been released to the public, but Hardy summarized it and plans to present it as evidence at Ahmad’s extradition hearing, which began Wednesday in London. There was no evidence in the report that Ahmad successfully set up the camp, but he practiced using some firearms while in Phoenix, Hardy said. Ahmad was indicted in October on charges of supporting terrorism, conspiring to kill Americans and laundering money through the Web sites he operated. He is accused of recruiting al-Qaida, Taliban and Chechen fighters and outfitting them with gas masks, night-vision goggles and camouflage gear. Federal prosecutors in Connecticut declined to comment on the case, including whether Ahmad’s alleged efforts to establish a training camp will lead to more charges. British police arrested Ahmad, allegedly for terrorism offenses, in December 2003, but released him a week later without charging him. His lawyers have said he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after being assaulted during that arrest. A police officer has been charged with misconduct over the incident. In London, scores of Ahmad’s supporters demonstrated outside the courthouse Wednesday, calling for him to face trial in Britain. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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