Salvadoran Leader Links Suspect to Plot

The Associated Press
Friday, October 6, 2006; 10:46 PM

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- President Tony Saca charged Friday that a Cuban drug suspect deported to the United States was behind a plot to assassinate him.

He said the suspect, identified as George Nayes, was sent last month to the U.S., where he faced "drug trafficking and terrorism" charges.

Saca said his administration's fight against drug trafficking and gangs "is what drove these people to make an attempt on the president's life."

He did not elaborate in his comments to reporters on who he meant by "these people," or on the charges against Nayes. Saca's information could not be confirmed with U.S. officials Friday.

Detailing the alleged assassination attempt, Saca said investigators had found a ready-to-fire rocket launcher near the military school where his helicopter lands. "Fortunately, it didn't work, God was against it," he said.

Nayes' capture in El Salvador was the result of a lengthy investigation conducted with United States intelligence agents, Saca said.

Salvadoran Police Chief Rodrigo Avila said that in El Salvador Nayes allegedly worked to recruit people for private security jobs in Iraq.

He said authorities suspect that Nayes was using the job as a cover for other activities, such as searching for illegal weapons.

© 2006 The Associated Press