Suspected Terrorist Captured

The wild ride of Abdelkader Belliraj ended at the Hotel Fashion.

The Moroccan-born Belgian had quite a resume: accused terrorist kingpin, assassin, gangster, double agent and hotelier. He visited from Belgium now and then to oversee the hotel, a three-star inn with a sidewalk cafe where men sip tea and watch a parade of whining scooters, dusty taxis, sunburned tourists and veiled Berber women.

Moroccan police allege that the salmon-colored Hotel Fashion, on a downtown corner near a Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop and the train station, was a den of outlaws. In February, they arrested the burly, moon-faced Belliraj, 50, and three dozen suspected members of a network he is accused of arming for a terrorist campaign.

Belliraj’s intrigues over the last quarter of a century chart a singular history of Muslim radicalism, from a meeting with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1981 to a meal with Osama bin Laden just 10 days before the Sept. 11 attacks.


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