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Arrest Linked To Embassy Bombing?

Tourists cover themselves from a sudden hail storm in front of the ancient Parthenon temple as they leave the Acropolis hill on Monday, March 26, 2007.
AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris
They're not sure who he is.

Authorities in Kenya are trying to identify a man who police arrested - under the assumption he's a suspect in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya.

The man was initially identified as Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan, whose name appears on a list of 22 "most-wanted" terrorists issued in October by President Bush.

But now, police say they haven't determined who the man is.

A police spokesman says "we may not know all his names or aliases, but I can confirm we have arrested a sheikh."

The man was arrested Saturday in Mandera, 500 miles northeast of Nairobi on Kenya's border with Somalia, spokesman Dola Indidis said.

Swedan's name and those of four other suspects are on a Dec. 16, 1998 U.S. indictment that accuses Osama bin Laden of masterminding both the Nairobi embassy bombing and a simultaneous attack on the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam in neighboring Tanzania. The State Department offered $5 million each for information leading to the arrests of the fugitives.

Indidis said the man was arrested "over concerns for the security of the country" but did not elaborate. He has not been charged and it was not clear whether he had been transferred to Nairobi.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair identified Swedan as one of two al-Qaida operatives who bought a truck used in the Aug. 7, 1998 Nairobi embassy bombing in which 219 people were killed, including 12 Americans.

The independent Daily Nation reported Monday that 18 people had been arrested in Mandera, including an unidentified Muslim cleric, apparently on a request from the FBI.

Police spokesman Indidis said the man was the only person arrested in Mandera. U.S. Embassy spokesman Tom Hart said Monday that the FBI was not involved in the arrest.

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