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SITE In The News
SA keeps eye on 'Bin Laden's banker'
By Alameen Templeton and Staff Reporter
Published in: The Star
August 2, 2005

The man accused by the US of being Osama bin Laden's banker, Ibrahim Abubaker Tantouche, says he is under 24-hour surveillance by South African security agencies.

The 38-year-old Libyan national yesterday told The Star in Fordsburg, Joburg, there was no way he would be "getting up to nonsense".

As if to underscore his point, a stranger in plainclothes suddenly appeared and demanded to know why The Star was talking to him.

He refused to identify himself and when Tantouche said he worked for national intelligence, the man denied this, saying he was a Muslim, and then disappeared.

Tantouche, who manages a stall in Fordsburg Square, said the intelligence services monitoring his movements were his best witnesses that he had nothing to hide.

He emphasised that he still had the same cellphone he had bought when he entered South Africa.

Tantouche is on bail fighting extradition to Libya. He will appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on November 28.

Until then, he has to report to the Brixton police station once a month and is prohibited from leaving Gauteng or going to airports or harbours.

The Libyan government wants to try Tantouche for the theft of an undisclosed amount of gold in the 1980s, allegedly to fund al-Qaeda activities.

He was arrested in 2004 in Pretoria for allegedly being in the possession of a fraudulent SA passport. He was granted R8 000 bail. -
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