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Lawyer seeks delay for Moussaoui hearing

A lawyer for Zacarias Moussaoui asked a federal judge Wednesday to delay a hearing scheduled for today at which the accused terrorist has vowed to plead guilty to charges of conspiracy in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Frank W. Dunham Jr. filed the motion asking U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema to halt the pretrial proceedings so that Moussaoui can undergo additional mental competency examinations.

Dunham, chief public defender for the Eastern District of Virginia, is one of several lawyers serving as standby counsel for Moussaoui, who is acting as his own lawyer after Brinkema ruled that he is competent to mount his own defense. Moussaoui, 34, has refused to talk to Dunham or his other court-appointed lawyers and has informally enlisted the aid of a Muslim lawyer from Texas, Charles Freeman, in his defense.

Moussaoui, a French militant of Moroccan descent, has filed motions accusing the judge and defense lawyers of trying to kill him. Dunham said such motions, and other statements by Moussaoui, indicate that he is seriously mentally ill and not able to represent himself in court, much less plead guilty to charges that could result in his execution.

Brinkema has rejected Dunham's earlier requests to find Moussaoui mentally incompetent to represent himself.

Extremist charged in

consulate car bombing

KARACHI, Pakistan _ A member of an extremist group linked to al-Qaida was arrested Wednesday for allegedly financing and planning the June car bombing at the U.S. Consulate that killed 12 people, officials told the Associated Press.

Police and Interior Ministry officials, speaking anonymously, identified the suspect as Mohammed Ashraf, treasurer of the Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen al-Almi, whose two top leaders were arrested this month and who police say have confessed to roles in the June 14 car bombing in Karachi.

Fifty people were injured.

Prosecutors say suspect

has terrorism information

DETROIT _ A Jordanian-American arrested last week at the airport here with $12-million in fraudulent checks was held without bail Wednesday after federal prosecutors said he had offered to tell them about terrorism and had access to large sums of money.

Prosecutors also said that when Omar Shishani, 47, was stopped, he was carrying handwritten passages from the Koran that referred to genocide and martyrdom.

On Tuesday, Shishani was charged with possession of a counterfeit security and smuggling merchandise into the United States. In a federal court hearing Wednesday, his attorney entered a plea of not guilty.