Six held on terror charges in Belgium

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The Independent Online

A Belgian magistrate has ordered six out of 14 people held on suspicion of links to al-Qa'ida to remain in custody, including a woman who has openly spread militant propaganda on the internet. The woman, Malika El Aroud, is the widow of one of the two men who assassinated the anti-Taliban Afghan rebel leader Ahmad Shah Masood two days before 9/11 in 2001.

She is well known to security officials as a propagandist on militant Islamist websites, although she denies involvement with weapons or bombings. "It's not my role to set off bombs, that's ridiculous," she told The New York Times last May. "I have a weapon. It's to write. It's to speak out. That's my jihad. You can do many things with words. Writing is also a bomb."

She and five men with ages ranging between 20 and 30 are charged with belonging to a terrorist organisation, a crime that could lead to a maximum prison term of 10 years. All those held have Belgian nationality. reuters