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Wednesday, March 30, 2005
  Syria training terrorists
AP Wire | 03/29/2005 | Hamas recruit says he was trained in Syria: "ASHKELON, Israel - A 20-year-old Palestinian recruited from a mosque in Gaza by Hamas militants told The Associated Press in a jailhouse interview Tuesday that he received weeks of military training in a Hamas camp in Syria this year.

The allegations by Osama Mattar, now in Israeli custody, mark the first time a Palestinian has spoken publicly about being trained in Syria, and contradict repeated Syrian denials.

The training base outside Damascus was far from secret and was once even inspected by Syrian intelligence agents, Mattar said.

'They know very well about the presence of Hamas,' he said. 'What they may not have known about was the presence of a guy from Gaza coming to train at the training camp in Syria.'

Israel has long accused Syria of allowing Palestinian militants to train there and offered up Mattar - arrested March 2 as he tried to cross back into Gaza - as proof."
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