Australian Trained by Al Qaeda Captured
CANBERRA, Australia – An Australian man who trained with Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist network has been captured in Afghanistan, the government said Wednesday.
The 26-year-old, whose name was not given, appears to be the second Westerner to have been captured by the Northern Alliance. American John Walker was seized Dec. 1 after a prison uprising by captured Taliban troops at a fortress near Mazar-e-Sharif.
The Australian was seized over the weekend and is being held by Northern Alliance forces, Attorney-General Daryl Williams said.
Williams said the man appeared to be more involved in Al Qaeda than Walker, having undergone more training.
He said the man had also fought in Yugoslavia with the Kosovo Liberation Army before moving to Afghanistan last year.
"He entered Afghanistan ... in 2000, and he has actually undertaken extensive training" with Al Qaeda, Williams said in a statement.
Williams said Australian Federal Police and intelligence officers spoke to the captured man's family Tuesday night.
He would not reveal where the man was being held.
Williams refused to say if charges would be brought against the man. He said Australian authorities were consulting with the United States and other countries.
Williams said there was no information to suggest the man planned terrorist attacks in Australia.
"He has no known criminal record and has not previously come to notice in a security context," he said.