Ski shop owner: Osama bin Laden rented skis from me
The owner of a ski-rental shop in the High Tatras mountains said on January 22 that Osama bin Laden, the man allegedly behind the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, had recently rented downhill skis from his shop.
"It was a day like any other, although I don'r remember exactly what day it was," the store owner said.
"These two men came into my shop and said that they wanted to rent skis. I served them like I'd serve any customer, and I didn't think there was anything unusual about them. When I asked under what name the skis would be rented, one of them said Komisarov [meaning Commissioner]."
The store owner said he did not think about the men again until later, when he read an article in a magazine which had a photograph of Osama bin Laden with a description of how he may now appear in disguise.
"I looked in the magazine and saw this photo. And it was him, the one who said he was named Komisarov," the man said.
"Both of the men spoke very good Russian. When they returned the skis, I asked the other man if his friend wasn't that terrorist in the magazine. He responded that I shouldn't say things like that because something could happen to me," the store-owner added.
Cottage robbed during night
During the night of January 21, an unknown perpetrator broke into a cottage in the village of Švedlár and stole goods worth nearly Sk40,000 ($835). The thief forced his way in by breaking a window and then reaching through and opening one of the cottage doors. Once inside the vacant cottage, the culprit made off with kitchen appliances, bed linings and blankets, electrical heaters, a stereo system and a colour television.
Sidewalk attacker arrested by police
Local investigators arrested 22-year-old Miroslav T. on January 22 for an earlier attack on a 26-year-old woman, identified as M.G. The altercation occurred on Andy Warhol Street in Medzilaborce, where the culprit assaulted his victim from behind, tackling her on the sidewalk and trying to bind her hands with cable.
His plans were thwarted, however, when a passer-by saw the attack and chased the perpetrator away.
The victim was treated in local hospital for shock and minor wounds. Attending doctors said the woman would require 10 days for a full recovery.
Robbers steal 19 cases of beer
During the night of January 21, unknown culprits broke into a Jednota grocery store in the eastern Slovak town Smižany, near Slovenský raj (Slovak Paradise) national park, and stole 19 cases of beer. The thieves forced their way into the store through a side door. The director of the store said that total damages, including repairs to the door and the lost cases of beer, would be around Sk2,000 ($42).
Local forests raided for fire wood
The state-owned forests around this eastern Slovak city have this winter been repeatedly raided by residents illegally cutting down trees for fire wood. On January 22, forest rangers said that they had discovered another violation, committed by two men between the ages of 28 and 40.
The men took a tree estimated to have been 21 metres tall and 70 centimetres thick. The wood was valued at Sk2,500 ($53).
Brave dog tracks down cow and rustlers
A 62-year-old man reported that his 300-kilo cow had been stolen on January 22.
A police dog named Sorbon managed to track down the animal inside a house some 300 metres from the cow's original home. With the help of Sorbon, police also arrested two locals who stole the cow, one near the house where they hid the animal and the second in the local cemetery.
The men explained that they had gotten drunk in the local pub and on their way home had heard the cow moo, whereupon they decided to take it home with them.
Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports
28. Jan 2002 at 0:00