Belgian Police Nab Female al-Qaeda 'Legend'

EU Summit bomb plot foiled
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2008 7:08 AM CST
Tunisian Moez Garsallaou and his wife Malika El Aroud. Belgian police say they have detained 14 suspected Islamic extremists, including El Aroud, with links to the al-Qaeda terror network.   (AP Photo/Karl Mathis, File)
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(Newser) – Belgian police have arrested a woman described as "a living legend" of the al-Qaeda network, CNN reports. Malika El-Aroud, the widow of a suicide bomber, is alleged to be a recruiter for al-Qaeda in Europe. She is one of 14 suspects arrested as police foiled a terror attack coinciding with the EU summit in Brussels.

El-Aroud described the "love" she and her late husband felt for Osama bin Laden in a 2006 interview with CNN. "It's the pinnacle in Islam to be the widow of a martyr. For a woman it's extraordinary," she said. El-Aroud’s husband was one of two assassins who killed a key Taliban opponent days before the Sept. 11 attacks, in a suicide strike ordered by bin Laden.