Monday, August 27, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Diplomat charged with bid to bomb US mission
Kavita Bajeli-Datt

New Delhi, August 26
A Sudanese diplomat, who served in India, has been charged with trying to bomb the US Embassy here on the orders of renegade Saudi billionaire Osama bin Laden, but the Sudanese Embassy has denied the charge.

The diplomat, Ismail Mohammad Ali Babikir, was said to be the key player in the conspiracy to blow up the US Embassy in the Indian Capital that was exposed in June.

Babikir and Bin Laden are among the seven persons against whom the Delhi police has filed a charge sheet in a city court for allegedly trying to car bomb the US mission. This was filed on August 14.

Four of those arrested in the case are a Sudanese student, Abdel Raouf Hawash, and three Indians. The others involved are Bin Laden, who lives in Afghanistan, Babikir, who has returned to Sudan, and a Yemenese, Abdul Rehman Al Safani, who has reportedly fled India.

Senior police officials said they had requested the Indian authorities to declare Babikir, who was the First Secretary at the Sudanese Embassy, persona non grata.

“When we wrote to the Indian government about his involvement, he somehow got to know about it and fled the country,” Assistant Commissioner of Police Rajbir Singh said.

But a Sudanese diplomat, Talib Juma, insisted that Babikir left India after his two-year tenure ended in June.

“These are baseless allegations and the police is trying to earn mileage out of it. There is no evidence against Babikir.”

The case first came to light on June 15 when the police announced that it had arrested Sudanese Hawash and Indian Shamim Sharwar for trying to bomb the US Embassy at the behest of Bin Laden. The police said it recovered 6 kg of RDX, detonators and timers from them.

The Yemeni had reportedly played a key role in the attack on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 in which around 200 persons died. Bin Laden is wanted by the US authorities for the same crime. IANS

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