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Monday, 17 September, 2001, 20:09 GMT 21:09 UK
Net closing on terror suspects
FBI agent at alleged terrorist's apartment in Florida
FBI agents are chasing up more than 50,000 leads
President George W Bush said on Monday that the United States wants Osama Bin Laden, the prime suspect in last Tuesday's terror attacks, "dead or alive".


It is becoming clear with each passing hour, with each passing day that it is the al-Qaeda network that is the prime suspect... all roads lead to the leader of that organisation, Osama bin Laden

Colin Powell
Speaking after a meeting at the Pentagon with Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to discuss the mobilisation of US reserves Mr Bush also warned Afghanistan's ruling Taleban they will be held accountable for helping Bin Laden.

"We are going to hold the people who house them accountable and the people who think they can provide them with safe havens... and the Taleban must take my statement seriously," he said.

As the investigation into the attacks proceeds US Attorney General John Ashcroft warned that US law enforcement agencies believe that associates of the hijackers may pose a continuing threat.

Agents on planes

"Associates of the hijackers that have ties to terrorist organisations may be a continuing presence in the United States," he said.

In order to ensure passenger safety Mr Ashcroft said more armed federal agents will be placed aboard commercial airliners.

George Bush
Bush: Bin Laden dead or alive

US Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Monday "all roads" in the investigation into last week's attacks led to Bin Laden.

"It is becoming clear with each passing hour, with each passing day that it is the al-Qaeda network that is the prime suspect, as the president has said, and all roads lead to the leader of that organisation, Osama bin Laden," Mr Powell said.

More detainees

On Monday FBI Director Robert Mueller said that 49 suspects have now been detained in connection with the attacks for immigration violations - nearly double the number at the beginning of the weekend.

These included two men seized at a train station in Fort Worth, Texas on Thursday.

Identified as Ayub Ali Khan and Mohammed Jaweed Azmath, they were reportedly carrying $5,000 in cash and knives similar to those used in the hijacking.

Ayub Ali Khan, suspect taken from Fort Worth train
Some suspects have been transferred to New York for questioning

Mr Mueller said that warrants have been issued for two more potential material witnesses, although he gave no details on the warrants.

Two other individuals are already under arrest as material witnesses and are being held in New York.

Another four people have also been transferred to New York for questioning, authorities said.

The FBI are currently trying to track down 170 people for questioning.

Appeal for agents

As the investigation fans out across the globe the FBI have received more than 50,000 e-mails and phone calls offering tips.

Mr Mueller has directed the US Marshals Service to assign more than 300 deputies to assist about 4,000 FBI agents already working on the investigation.

Demonstrating the difficulties facing the investigators Mr Mueller publicly appealed for people with a "professional level in Arabic and Farsi" to come forward.

German police
Police across Europe are following up leads

Police and anti-terrorist experts Belgium, France, Germany and The Netherlands met in Brussels to discuss progress so far in EU investigations into the attacks.

In Germany a special police unit probing connections to three suspects in the attacks on the United States has searched a further four apartments, two in the northern city of Hamburg and two in the western town of Bochum.

Global effort

Italian stock market authorities said on Monday that they were investigating abnormal movements in share prices on the Milan stock exchange prior to the terrorist attacks on the United States.

News of the investigation comes after Defence Minister Antonio Martino said in an interview that he suspected that terrorists had speculated on the markets.

The Russian internal security service says it has found a computer compact disc during a raid in Chechnya which contains instructions for piloting Boeing aircraft similar to those hijacked for the attacks in the United States last week.

The chief spokesman of the Federal Security Service, Alexander Zdanovich, said it was found during a raid on a group which had contacts with Osama bin Laden.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Paul Reynolds
"Mr Bush repeated his warning to governments harbouring terrorist organisations"
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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