Thursday, February 01, 2007

Brother-in-law of Bin Laden killed

Bahrain Times: Published: 1st February 2007 ANTANANARIVO: Gunmen shot dead a brother-in-law of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a raid on his home in Madagascar.Malek Khalifa told Dubai-based Al Arabiya television that the aim of the killers appeared to have been to rob his brother, Jamal Khalifa, who mined and traded in precious stones.Malek said a gang of 20 to 30 gunmen broke into his brother's bedroom, shot him dead "in cold blood" and stole his belongings. Al Arabiya said the businessman was staying at a precious stones mine he owns in Madagascar when he was killed early yesterday. "We still don't have a complete picture of the incident," Malek said. "I don't think it was politically motivated," he added.A police official in Madagascar said the attack took place in Tulear, about 650km southwest of the capital Antananarivo. He said there were 10 attackers who stole a computer and a briefcase in the assault at Jamal's house, named in the police report as Jamal Hamed. The Philippine Daily Inquirer, in what it said was the last interview given by the leader of the Abu Sayyaf group before his death, quoted Khaddafy Janjalani as saying that his group had received funds from two men close to Bin Laden, identifying one of them as Jamal Khalifa.But CNN reported that Jamal called reports he had funded the Abu Sayyaf group in return for volunteers to fight in Afghanistan "completely false"."I have never given any money to any group or persons that include the Abu Sayyaf," CNN quoted Jamal as writing in an e-mail.Malek also denied his brother was involved in political activity, and said that apart from family ties, Jamal had no links to Bin Laden.A Saudi foreign ministry source said Riyadh had contacted authorities in Madagascar through its embassy in Tanzania to find out the circumstances of the killing. The source did not say Khalifa was related by marriage to Bin Laden, but said the embassy in Tanzania was in contact with the victim's family to facilitate the repatriation of his body. The US named Jamal as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing in New York, and arrested him the following year on a visa violation in San Francisco. But he was deported without standing trial.

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