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December 10, 2001
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Australian investigators say
Afroz is exaggerating

Neena Bhandari in Sydney

Australian investigators have downplayed claims of suspected Al Qaeda operative Mohammad Afroz Abdul Razzak even as media reports said the image portrayed by his Melbourne acquaintances does not fit that of a fanatical recruit ready to die for Osama bin Laden.

The federal government and officers of Australian Security Intelligence Organisation investigating the matter have dismissed the claims by Afroz as an "exaggeration."

Afroz, suspected to be a suicide trainee pilot and currently in a Bombay jail, was amongst a dozen other students, most of them Indians, who were to train at the Civil Flying School at Moorabbin airport.

He was a tenant with a Jewish woman, Gaynor Brunner, in middle-class Hampton.

The landlady said Afroz was "a very emotional boy."

Afroz would spend hours talking on the phone to his mother and Brunner had to force him out of bed and even drive him for his flying lessons.

Brunner, who cannot believe that he was training to be a terrorist, was quoted in the report as saying: "At times, he talked and cried for an hour."

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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