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RESPONSE TO TERROR | TALIBAN OPPOSITION

Malaysia Tells of Anti-American Plot

November 02, 2001|Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Thursday that a local group linked to Afghanistan's Taliban regime conspired to attack U.S. sailors in this Southeast Asian country but that the plans fell through.

In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp., Mahathir said members of the group studied in Pakistan and traveled to Afghanistan, where they became involved with the Taliban militia and what the Malaysian leader called "the Osama bin Laden group."

Mahathir did not identify the local group. But during the past three months, Malaysian authorities have detained at least 16 men accused of being part of a local militant organization allegedly planning to turn this mostly Muslim country into a hard-line Islamic state. Mahathir gave few details.

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