UPI : Belgians arrest widow of Massoud assassin

Friday, December 12, 2008

Belgians arrest widow of Massoud assassin

December 11, 2008

BRUSSELS, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- The widow of one of the men who assassinated Afghan leader Ahmed Shah Massoud was one of 14 people arrested Thursday in Belgium, officials said.

Investigators described Malika el-Aroud as "an al-Qaida living legend," CNN reported.

Massoud, known as "the lion of the Panshir," was a leader in the fight against the Soviet Union and later against the Taliban. He was killed two days before the terrorist attacks of 2001 by two men posting as journalists.

Belgian investigators said they believed Malika el-Aroud was planning to travel to Afghanistan to support the Taliban insurgency.

Aroud had been open about her support of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida.

"Most Muslims love Osama. It was he who helped the oppressed. It was he who stood up against the biggest enemy in the world, the United States. We love him for that," she told CNN then in a 2006 interview."It's the pinnacle in Islam to be the widow of a martyr. For a woman it's extraordinary."

Meanwhile, raids at 16 addresses in Brussels and and one in Liege came a few hours before the start of a European Union summit in Brussels, the BBC reported.

Johan Delmulle, the federal prosecutor, said one of the targets had been given permission for a suicide operation, although he said investigators were unsure whether the attack was planned for Europe, Afghanistan or Pakistan.

"He had said goodbye to his loved ones, because he wanted to enter paradise with a clear conscience," Delmulle added.

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