Two Danes charged with financing terror

Two members of the Danish branch of a Palestinian foundation with suspected terrorist links were charged Wednesday with financing terror, officials confirm.

The two members of Al Aqsa Foundation in Denmark had sent money to groups with ties to the Hamas militant group, Justice Minister Lene Espersen said. The suspects were not named.

They were the first suspects to be charged under Denmark's anti-terror laws after they were tightened following the Sept. 11 attacks, Espersen said.

Israel, the European Union and the United States consider Hamas a terror organization.

In June 2003, Rachid Mohammad Issa, the chairman of Al Aqsa's Danish branch, denied any terrorists links and said the organization sent money to charity.

Bjoern Elmquist, a lawyer who represents Al Aqsa, brushed off the allegations.

Denmark's Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic Crime has been investigating the Al Aqsa group since 2002. No date for a trial was immediately announced, the AP reports.

V.Y.