View Full Version : al-Qaida Suspect Hid in Open in Japan

May 30, 2004, 09:42
Here is an article about Frenchman Lionel Dumont, a convert to Islam who used to live in Niigata, and is suspected to be an Al-Qaida member. He is now in jail in France for other violent crimes.

al-Qaida Suspect Hid in Open in Japan (http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-japan-terror-suspect,0,4028174.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines)

Dumont, according to police, may be the first al-Qaida operative to have infiltrated Japan since the Sept. 11 attacks. And he did it with amazing impunity, entering on a faked passport and repeatedly leaving and re-entering the country before slipping out again for good a year later.

Dumont's arrival in July 2002 should have raised red flags. He was put on an international wanted list in 1999 after escaping from a Sarajevo prison, where he was serving a 20-year sentence for the murder of a Bosnian policeman during a robbery. He was in Bosnia fighting alongside other Muslims.

Dumont also was convicted in absentia by a French court in 2001 for a string of violent crimes while a member of the Roubaix gang and was sentenced to life in prison.

Though he was arrested in December at a Munich, Germany, hotel, his case made headlines only last week when he was extradited to France.

Dumont, a convert to Islam, is now jailed in the northern French city of Douai, in the region where the Roubaix gang operated. He will be retried in keeping with French law on absentia convictions.

Why Dumont came to Japan remains a puzzle.

Scrambling to find answers, police this week raided several businesses in and around Tokyo and arrested five men allegedly contacted by Dumont after he left Japan. The five -- three Bangladeshis, an Indian and a Mali national -- were arrested for alleged immigration violations or the falsification of documents.

Dumont is suspected of trying to establish an al-Qaida cell to carry out a terrorist attack, Japanese media have reported, quoting anonymous police officials who called him a "senior al-Qaida member."

But French authorities say that is "largely exaggerated." Police contacted by The Associated Press confirmed only that they believe Dumont was linked to al-Qaida, but they refused to elaborate.

Japanese police also reportedly suspect Dumont might have been laundering money, noting he made several trips to Europe and Asia before leaving Japan for Malaysia in September 2003.

Dumont might have sought refuge here because entry is relatively easy for Westerners. As the bearer of a French passport, the blue-eyed Dumont would not have been as closely scrutinized as a Middle Eastern visitor.

This last sentence is quite annoying. That could lead the anxious Japanese authorities to suspect all Westerners (and who knows, even American officials :D ) as Al-Qaida terrorists.

Jun 2, 2004, 16:59
Yeah, that could get pretty annoying.

Bounty Hunter
Jun 2, 2004, 20:22
Hopefully Al-Qaida are not dumb enough to take on japan