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Man suspected of al-Qaida ties arrested

/ Source: The Associated Press

A man suspected of associating with al-Qaida and having knowledge of some of the activities of Zacarias Moussaoui was arrested Tuesday in Minneapolis, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

The man's name was not released. The Star Tribune of Minneapolis said it learned of the arrest from a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

FBI spokesman Paul McCabe would not comment on the report.

In Washington, federal law enforcement officials speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed the arrest of a suspect in a terrorism-related case under court-ordered seal in Minneapolis. But the officials refused to provide any further details about the suspect, his affiliation or acquaintances.

The Star Tribune source said the detainee had confirmed some of investigators' suspicions about Moussaoui, who was arrested while learning to fly a Boeing 747 jet at an Eagan flight school two years ago. The official told the newspaper that the jailed man described Moussaoui's activities at an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan several years ago.

Members of the FBI's local Joint Terrorism Task Force made the arrest after a long investigation, the official said. But the detainee's identity was kept off the public roster of inmates at the Hennepin County jail.

Roseann Campagnoli, a spokeswoman for the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, referred calls Wednesday to the U.S. attorney's office. U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press.

The Star Tribune's source said the suspect was served with an arrest warrant Tuesday and brought before U.S. Magistrate Judge Earl Cudd, but the proceedings were sealed.

Moussaoui, 35, was indicted on Dec. 11, 2001. He is charged with a broad conspiracy that includes — but is not limited to — the Sept. 11 attacks. His is the only U.S. criminal case spawned by the suicide hijackings.