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UNIDENTIFIED gunmen shot and killed a brother-in-law of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a raid on his home in Madagascar, his brother said.
Malek Khalifa told Dubai-based Al Arabiya television that the aim of the killers appeared to have been to rob his brother, Jamal Khalifa, who mined and traded precious stones in Madagascar.
Mr Khalifa said a gang of 20 to 30 gunmen broke into his brother's bedroom, shot him dead "in cold blood" and stole his belongings.
Arabiya said the businessman was staying at a precious stones mine he owned in Madagascar when he was killed.
"We still don't have a complete picture of the incident," Mr Khalifa said from Saudi Arabia's Red Sea port of Jeddah.
Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, a brother-in-law to bin Laden, is arrested in the US. Khalifa, who financed the Abu Sayyaf militant group in the Philippines, has recently been sentenced to death in Jordan for funding a group that staged a series of bombings in that country. The FBI finds and quickly translates literature in Khalifa’s luggage advocating training in assassination, explosives, and weapons, bombing churches, and murdering Catholic priests. Over the next weeks, they discover his ties to funding bin Laden’s activities, as well as to Ramzi Yousef and other Operation Bojinka plotters
Yet, in January 1995, Secretary of State Warren Christopher writes to Attorney General Janet Reno asking for Khalifa’s deportation to Jordan for the sake of international cooperation against terrorism. By April, Khalifa’s conviction in Jordan is overturned, and the evidence of his ties to Islamic militancy is growing. For instance, US media accounts in April allege he “bankrolls a network of Arab terrorists” including Ramzi Yousef, plus “violent Muslim extremists” in the Philippines, the Mideast, Russia, Romania, Albania, and the Netherlands. It is noted that he denies “any nefarious link with his brother-in- law, Osama bin Laden, who financed Arab volunteers to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 4/18/1995; Associated Press, 4/26/1995] Yet the US government’s attempt to deport him to Jordan continues. Khalifa is sent to Jordan in May 1995. In a later retrial there, he is set free. Says one expert working at the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center at the time, “I remember people at the CIA who were ripsh_t at the time. Not even speaking in retrospect, but contemporaneous with what the intelligence community knew about bin Laden, Khalifa’s deportation was unreal."