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Sunday, 16 September, 2001, 01:07 GMT 02:07 UK
FBI makes its first arrest
FBI Director Robert Mueller and Attorney General John Ashcroft
FBI director is heading the biggest manhunt in history
US law enforcement officials have made their first arrest in connection with Tuesday's terror attacks in the United States, apprehending an unidentified man in New York.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says he may have useful information on the hijacking of aircraft used in attacks on New York and Washington.

The BBC's Nick Bryant in Washington says it is not clear whether the FBI consider him a suspect or part of the terrorist network believed to span the country.

A second material witness arrest warrant was issued by federal prosecutors in New York on Saturday - but the person named on the warrant has not yet been detained.

Investigators expect to issue additional warrants, perhaps as soon as Saturday evening, said Justice Department spokeswoman Mindy Tucker.
German police
Police across Europe are following up leads

Two other men are reported to have been picked up in Fort Worth, Texas, and flown to New York for questioning.

Investigators have identified 19 men they say carried out the attacks, which destroyed the World Trade Center and badly damaged the Pentagon.

(Click here to see where hijackers were on planes)

The FBI said most of the suspects, all presumed dead, had addresses in the US and a number of them were qualified pilots.

Since Tuesday, the bureau has been alerted to more than 36,000 potential leads and has interviewed hundreds of people.

Much of the early evidence is said to point to Saudi militant Osama Bin Laden, whom federal officials believe masterminded the attacks.

Four thousand FBI agents are now working on the investigation, and there is concern that more terrorists are already in the country planning further attacks.

Pittsburgh crash site
The flight voice recorder from the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania has been recovered
A list of more than 100 names has been circulated to airlines, police departments and border patrols.

Our correspondent says that such is the level of anxiety that flights at a Chicago airport came to a standstill when two men with names similar to those on the list were stopped by police.

Some 25 people questioned in connection with the attacks are still in custody suspected of immigration offences, Reuters news agency reports.

Those held are among the list of more than 100 people the FBI believes could help with its investigation.

In a separate development, a group of Chinese journalists is reported to have been expelled from the US for applauding when they saw Tuesday's attacks on television.

"On September 14, we curtailed the visit of a group from China under the International Visitor Program," a State Department official told the AFP news agency.

It is not known where the journalists were when the incident occurred.

German authorities say two of the men named by the FBI as hijackers were one-time Hamburg residents, while in Switzerland the authorities say they are searching for evidence that the hijackers may have used the country as a transit point.

Omani 'on plane'

The National Security Adviser of the Philippines, Roilo Golez, has revealed that one of three Omani nationals arrested last week for photographing the US embassy in Manila was a passenger on one of the hijacked planes.

The Omanis were released, but their hotel room was later found to contain traces of explosives.

Belgian prosecutors have arrested a man described as belonging to a "radical Islamic movement" on suspicion of attempted attacks on US interests in Europe.

In a related operation, Dutch police made four arrests of suspected Islamic militants in Rotterdam.

(click here to return)
The BBC's Tom Carver
"Dozens of people have been temporarily detained for questioning"
The BBC's Richard Lister
"We can expect to see more arrests in the next few days"
See also:

15 Sep 01 | Americas
Worldwide hunt for hijack plotters
14 Sep 01 | Americas
Nineteen hijack suspects named
13 Sep 01 | Americas
Evidence trails lead to Florida
14 Sep 01 | Sci/Tech
FBI probes ISPs for clues
14 Sep 01 | Americas
Q&A: Learning to fly a plane
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