Captain Moonlight: Mohamed Mahjoub Haroun

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AND now some details about Mohamed Mahjoub Haroun, the man who, earlier this week, gave the cosy Khartoum apartment retreat of Carlos 'The Jackal' the Hello] treatment in the Guardian.

'Other than a barlock across the back door, there was nothing unusual about the terrorist's lovely home. Two bedrooms, a large hall, study, kitchen, spacious bathroom, and a living room decorated in the grotesquery of Italian-modern. No telephone,' he writes. 'One bedroom had been changed into an Arab-style bar with a big mattress on the floor. On a bookcase stood Carlos' large supply of Johnnie Walker Red Label and Tuborg beer - normally smuggled from Eritrea because sharia law prohibits its sale in the Sudanese capital.'

What, pray, is an Arab-style bar? And normal smuggling?

Carlos was assiduous in keeping up with world affairs, Mr Haroun said. When he wasn't reading, he would dress in a long blue robe and wander across to the Meridien Hotel. Saluting the waiters with a cheery ''Salamat', Carlos would order a croissant, a Danish pastry and a cup of his favourite cappuccino.

Surely this can't be the same country that systematically spies on its citizens, detains and tortures people at will, chops off their hands for petty theft, and subjects anyone suspected of possessing alcohol to a public flogging.

But perhaps Mr Haroun has an interest in portraying Sudan as an ordinary country, with an open and friendly government. Mr Haroun came to Britain on a Sudan government scholarship and now edits Sudan Focus, a strongly pro-government newsletter.

Mr Haroun is also a respected member of the government's 'popular committees', whose members promise by the Koran to hand over all their information to the government. He is an official of the National Islamic Front, the fundamentalist group behind the regime. In 1991 he was arrested in London under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and served with a 'notice of intention to deport'. He was not deported. But members of the Sudanese opposition in Britain say he is a man 'to be feared'.

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