Honduras on Alert Due to Supposed Presence of Al Qaida Members
By Dialogo April 26, 2011 The Honduran authorities declared an alert at land and airport customs posts as a result of a warning from the United Nations that two Afghan members of Al Qaida might enter or have already entered the country, the director of migration, Venancio Cervantes, confirmed to AFP on 16 April. The retired general explained that the United Nations Security Council advised the Honduran delegation to verify whether the Afghans Khalil Al-Rahman Haqqani and Said Jan Abd Al-Salan, members of Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaida network, had entered Honduras or to look out for an attempt by them to enter. “Three weeks ago, I received that correspondence from the foreign ministry, and we’ve already issued a circular to all our border posts, and the files have also been checked, and as of now, we haven’t found anything under those names,” he indicated. He acknowledged that members of the network “use several names, so we’ve sent alerts about these individuals to the airports, the land border posts also, that if they enter, they should inform the police so that they can take appropriate measures with the public prosecutor’s office, so that the latter, in turn, can take appropriate measures in its area.” The Afghans, who pass themselves off as businessmen, are believed to be moving around Central American countries under other names. Khalil Al-Rahman Haqqani was born on 1 January 1966, while Said Jan Abd Al-Salan was born on 5 February 1981. On 15 April, Honduran Security Minister Oscar Alvarez had announced that investigations of Al Qaida members were continuing, but “since these are very sensitive issues, we hadn’t revealed what we are investigating,” although he said that “this doesn’t meant that there’s a presence” of the group in Honduras. But “with international and national intelligence units, we’ve been following up on this information that has come in from sources in our country and outside the country,” he added. “I don’t think that Honduras would be an objective for Al Qaida, but rather that it could be something like a transit location, a platform from which to be able to access the United States” or act against some American objective in the country, he emphasized.