National and world news briefs

Published: Saturday, January 11, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 10, 2003 at 10:05 p.m.

Suspect in alleged N.Y. terror cell pleads guilty

BUFFALO, N.Y. - One of six men charged with being part of a terrorist sleeper cell in western New York pleaded guilty Friday to supporting al-Qaeda by attending one of its training camps in Afghanistan before the Sept. 11 attacks.
Faysal Galab, 26, entered the surprise plea after a daylong series of negotiations with prosecutors. He is expected to testify against his five co-defendants.

Inmate pleads in plot to kill McVeigh's judge

AMARILLO, Texas - A Texas inmate with racist tattoos across his neck and knuckles pleaded innocent Friday to charges he tried to have the judge in the Oklahoma City bombing case killed.
Christopher Lee Bennett, 28, was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday. He was accused of soliciting two fellow inmates in January 2001 to kill U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch.
Investigators have not said why they believe Bennett would want Matsch dead or if anyone attempted to carry out the alleged murder plot. It was not clear how authorities found out about it.

FBI details toxin found in alleged plot in Britain

WASHINGTON - The FBI is warning local police about ricin and offering tips for recognizing and handling the deadly toxin, which was at the center of an alleged terrorism plot uncovered in Great Britain this week.
Although there is no imminent threat of a ricin attack in the United States, FBI officials said the bulletin sent nationwide Thursday is intended to familiarize police and emergency personnel with the poison's hazards, handling and symptoms in victims.
The bulletin follows the arrests this week in London of seven men allegedly connected with an Algerian extremist group. Police say the men were plotting to kill a small number of people with ricin in an attempt to terrify the London population.

Peruvian rescue teams search hills for plane

LIMA, Peru - Rescue teams struggled on foot through rugged mountains Friday searching for a missing Peruvian airliner with 46 people aboard as heavy fog and torrential rain kept reconnaissance helicopters from the skies.
TANS Airline flight 222 was three minutes from landing at the Chachapoyas airport when radio contact was lost with the plane at 8:43 a.m. Thursday. It was not raining when the plane disappeared but low-hanging clouds covered the mountains near Chachapoyas, meteorologists said.

Judge refuses to close hearing in sniper case

FAIRFAX, Va. - A judge Friday rejected a defense request that he close a preliminary hearing next week for 17-year-old sniper suspect John Lee Malvo.
Juvenile Court Judge Charles Maxfield said defense arguments that publicity from the hearing would hurt Malvo's right to a fair trial are merely speculative. At the hearing, prosecutors will outline much of their evidence against Malvo.

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