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MALAYSIA: Dark Twist in WTC Scraps' End

Associated Press
September 9th, 2002

In a twist of commercial fate, metal chunks from the World Trade Center are being melted down and recycled at a Malaysian factory -- an hour's drive from a spot where some of the Sept. 11 hijackers plotted. At the huge mill in Banting, outside Malaysia's largest city, Kuala Lumpur, shredded pieces of the fallen twin towers are among scrap headed for furnaces to be rolled into coils of flat steel used to make automobile panels and pipe, among other products.

Tons of metal from the towers were sold to scrap yards in New Jersey, which sold the debris to other U.S. recyclers and in India, Japan, South Korea, China and Malaysia.

About 25 miles from the mill, in the town of Kajang, is an apartment owned by a former Malaysian army captain, Yazid Sufaat, a member of Jemaah Islamiyah, an Islamic group that allegedly plotted to bomb the U.S. Embassy and other targets in Singapore.

Sufaat let senior Al Qaeda operatives use the apartment for a January 2000 meeting that included Khalid Amihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, who 20 months later hijacked the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.

Linking Malaysia and the Sept. 11 attacks is a sensitive topic in this moderate, predominantly Muslim country that is home to the world's tallest skyscrapers, the Petronas Twin Towers.

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