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Associate of two suspects sought info on water system
By Associated Press
AKRON, Ohio -- An associate of two men indicted in Detroit in the terrorist investigation did library research on a water system and animal-born diseases, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
The newspaper said in its Friday editions that the man, who had identified himself at the Stark County District Library last summer as an Egyptian, asked for detailed maps of Canton's city water system and books on parasites and diseases that can be passed from animals to people.
The librarian who talked to the man asked to remain anonymous, the newspaper said. The librarian and the FBI withheld the man's name. The librarian called the FBI after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks amid heightened concerns about public safety.
The man told the librarian he worked at a Winesburg chicken farm where Karim Koubriti, 23, and Ahmed Hannan, 33, also worked before moving to Detroit in March. Koubriti and Hannan, both natives of Morocco, had rented apartments in Canton. They were indicted last week in Detroit and have pleaded innocent to fraud and misuse of visas, permits and other documents.
The Egyptian lived for a time with Hannan and Koubriti in Canton in the past year or so, the librarian said, based on what the man had told a colleague of the librarian.
Other library staff members, who identified Hannan from pictures shown to them by the newspaper, said Hannan also had done research in the library, but they didn't know what he had checked. Library spokeswoman Ty Marshall said the library had turned over all documents sought by investigators. Canton Mayor Richard Watkins said the city's water system was secure.
Robert Hawk, an FBI spokesman, said he couldn't comment on the matter because it was part of a continuing investigation.
-- Martin Thompson (email@example.com), October 06, 2001