updated 10/10/2006 4:58:40 AM ET 2006-10-10T08:58:40

An Iraqi man suspected of spreading messages by al-Qaida leaders on the Internet was arrested in Germany on Tuesday, federal prosecutors said.

The 36-year-old, identified only as Ibrahim R., was arrested near the western city of Osnabrueck, prosecutors said in a statement. His apartment was searched.

He is accused of spreading audio and video messages by al-Qaida and al-Qaida in Iraq on the Internet and “in doing so of having supported these groups in their terrorist activities and aims.”

The prosecutors said the messages were from Osama bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri and former al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike north of Baghdad in June.

They did not elaborate on the man’s alleged activities.

The statement did not say whether the man was suspected of posting the messages on the Web, or only of having spread messages that already were there. It gave no details of the contents.

Regional investigators in Lower Saxony state declined to comment on the case.

The man was to be brought before a federal judge Wednesday for a decision on whether he could be held pending possible charges of supporting a terrorist organization.

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