Terror Fugitive Arrested in Belize
Belize police arrested a Denver native with Al Qaeda ties and handed him over to U.S. authorities, a local television station reported Monday.
James Ujaama, who was arrested in 2002 in connection with plots to poison water supplies and later pleaded guilty to dealing with Al Qaeda and providing various types of material support to the Taliban, was wanted for violating his parole.
"He entered Belize about 10 days or so ago using a Mexican passport," Assistant Police Commissioner Eduardo Wade told Belize's Channel 5 station.
"Police conducted an investigation and some time around midnight last night or earlier this morning this fugitive was apprehended here in Belize City."
Wade said the 41-year-old Ujaama, also known as Ernest James Thompson and Bilal Ahmed, had since been taken out of the country.
A spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy confirmed that Ujaama had been handed over to U.S. custody.
Deputy Chief of Mission Leonard Hill said that while Ujaama's immediate crime was a parole violation, he may face additional charges and is also a material witness in other terror-related cases.
In 2002, Ujaama was arrested in Denver after federal officials uncovered documents in his possession about how to poison the country's water supplies.
The government later obtained evidence that prior to Sept. 11, 2001, Ujaama acted as a courier delivering laptop computers to the Taliban.
At the time, sources said Ujaama and his brother Mustafa Ujaama were tied to a prominent radical Muslim cleric in London named Sheikh Abu Hamza Al-Masri. Al-Masri, a one-eyed mullah who often preached at Finsbury Park's North London Central Mosque, was later convicted of racial hatred and sentenced to seven years in prison.
Sources said Mustafa Ujaama, the founder of the now-closed Dar-us-Salaam mosque in Seattle, was believed to have tried to establish a terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore., sources said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.