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Monday, 17 September, 2001, 05:31 GMT 06:31 UK
More arrests in US terror probe
Forensic investigator
Forensic teams are hunting for clues
Four people are now being held as "material witnesses" as the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) continues its huge investigation into Tuesday's terror attacks.

Details of the latest arrests are not clear, but it is understood they relate specifically to the attack on the World Trade Center in New York.

Man arrested as a material witness at JFK airport, New York, in possession of a false pilot's licence
Man arrested at apartment in New Jersey, across the Hudson river from Manhattan
Two other people arrested as material witnesses to the attack on the World Trade Centre
In addition to the arrests, 25 other people have been taken into custody on alleged immigration violations. The FBI has about 4,000 agents working on 40,000 leads.

The arrests come amid reports that the FBI had been searching for two of the men named as hijackers for three weeks before the raid on the Pentagon.

On Saturday, an unidentified man was taken into custody in an apartment in New Jersey across the Hudson River from New York, said Jersey City Police Director James Carter.

No details of any charges have been disclosed, but the man was detained on a similar "material witness" warrant to a man arrested on Friday in connection with the attacks.

German police
Police across Europe are following up leads
Investigators say the suspect arrested on Saturday, described as a man of "Middle Eastern origin", may have useful information on the hijacking of aircraft used in the New York and Washington attacks.

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.

According to the Los Angeles Times, FBI agents acting on a tip from the Central Intelligence Agency, began looking for two of the Pentagon hijackers on 21 August.

FBI Director Robert Mueller
FBI Director Robert Mueller is overseeing the biggest manhunt in US history
The San Diego office, in whose area the men had been living, was, however, not informed until a day before the attack was carried out, the newspaper says.

Other reports say one of the men had been seen at a meeting in Malaysia with people suspected of being involved in the attack on the USS Cole warship, which was bombed in Yemen last year, killing 17 US servicemen.

That attack has been blamed on Osama Bin Laden, also America's chief suspect in the attacks on New York and Washington.

A list of more than 100 names has been circulated to airlines, police departments and border patrols.

About 25 people questioned in connection with the attacks are still in custody suspected of immigration offences.

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

Worldwide hunt

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.

The National Security Adviser of the Philippines, Roilo Golez has revealed that one of three Omani nationals who had been arrested 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 have arrested suspected Islamic militants in Rotterdam.

(click here to return)
The BBC's Tom Carver
"The FBI is frantically trying to unravel the hijacker's network"
Ron Wyden, Democratic Senator
"We need to do more to keep these groups from building an empire"
See also:

15 Sep 01 | Americas
Worldwide hunt for hijack plotters
17 Sep 01 | Americas
Bush ponders hits on terror chiefs
15 Sep 01 | Europe
Europe hunts for US clues
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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