Terrorist stayed with al-Qaeda suspect

A convicted terrorist entered Japan in April 1999 and lived with a Frenchman allegedly linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, the National Police Agency said Thursday.

The man, in his 30s and a suspected member of an Islamic extremist group, was allegedly involved with the mujahedin in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He entered Japan on a valid Bosnia-Herzegovina passport and was expelled in 2000 for overstaying his visa, the NPA said.

During his stay in Japan, he lived with Lionel Dumont, 33, in Isesaki in Gunma Prefecture.

Dumont was arrested in Germany in December and is currently in French custody. He stayed in Japan for about a year on a fake passport until last September.

The NPA said the man from Bosnia-Herzegovina is not a member of al-Qaeda.

The man was put on an international wanted list by French authorities in August 2000 on suspicion of being involved with a terrorist organization, it said. He was arrested in Bosnia, and was tried and convicted in France of being involved in terror-related activities and has already served his prison term.

He registered himself as an alien resident in Japan and submitted as his own the address of an Algerian resident of Japan who is suspected of having links to al-Qaeda.

The Algerian was arrested by French authorities in a Paris suburb on Sept. 1 as part of investigations into Dumont.

The Algerian reportedly ran a used car business in Japan for about a decade, and allegedly employed Dumont in 2002.

The Algerian has reportedly told police that he was unaware of Dumont’s background.