2nd material witness in FBI custody
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A second person whom authorities were seeking as a material witness in Tuesday's terrorist attacks is now under arrest and in FBI custody in New York, a Justice Department official said Saturday.
The man was one of 25 people questioned by the FBI while in Immigration and Naturalization Service custody on possible immigration violations. An arrest warrant had been issued earlier.
Also, in New Jersey, FBI officials were questioning two men. FBI spokeswoman Sherri Evanina said agents searched a Jersey City apartment whose address they got from two other people detained Friday in Texas. While searching the apartment, agents came across two other individuals, who are being questioned, she said.
"We did seize some evidence," said Evanina, who added that federal officials are still evaluating it.
The developments followed revelations earlier Saturday that two men suspected of hijacking the airliner that slammed into the Pentagon were under surveillance before the attacks because of their alleged associations with Osama bin Laden and the USS Cole bombing, according to sources.
One of the suspects, Khalid Al-Midhar, was seen on a surveillance tape from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, meeting with a man who U.S. officials suspect played a hand in the Cole's bombing last October.
Al-Midhar frequently visited Salem Alhamzi and his brother Nawaq in the brothers' San Diego, California, apartment complex, neighbors said.
Both Al-Midhar and Alhamzi were on an FBI watch list, according to intelligence sources.
Government documents released about the suspected hijackers indicate all three men joined Hani Hanjour, another suspected hijacker, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Hanjour received flight training at CRM Cockpit Resource Management in Scottsdale, Arizona.
All four are believed to have been aboard American Airlines Flight 77, the hijacked jet that slammed into the Pentagon.
Law enforcement sources said authorities were still operating under the assumption that additional attacks had been thwarted and new assaults remained a possibility. But Attorney General John Ashcroft said he was pleased, overall, with the investigation's progress.
"We are making the kinds of contacts and developing the information that allow us to describe this as proceeding with reasonable success," Ashcroft said Saturday from Camp David, before meeting with President Bush.
In addition to the alleged material witness arrested Saturday, one other man -- first detained Thursday at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport for allegedly possessing a false pilot's license -- has been charged in connection with the investigation.
Law enforcement officials said Friday they have issued at least 35 search warrants and hundreds of subpoenas, while interviewing hundreds more. A total of 12,000 photos have been taken of all the crimes scenes, officials said, and more than 5,200 calls have been phoned into the FBI's hot line.
The investigation -- the largest in U.S. history -- involves 4,000 special FBI agents and more than 3,000 support personnel.
Among the latest developments:
-- President Bush said there was "no question" Saudi multimillionaire Osama bin Laden was "a prime suspect" in Tuesday's attacks, saying America was prepared to do "whatever it takes" to root out those responsible.
-- Family members of Ziad Samir Jarrah -- who the FBI thinks helped hijack one of the planes used in Tuesday's attacks -- told CNN on Saturday that he spent some time recently in Afghanistan, the country accused of harboring bin Laden.
Some relatives called Jarrah an innocent passenger. They provided CNN documentation that that he went to a different school in Hamburg than two other suspected hijackers, contrary to reports Saturday from German authorities.
-- The owners of California-based King Aviation School said four FBI agents searched their company's records Friday, matching "one or more names" to a list of suspected hijackers.
-- Investigators said the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon were each taken over by five hijackers, with four people hijacking the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. All have been either directly or indirectly linked to bin Laden.
-- A defense official said two suspects may have attended U.S. military-run flight schools in Texas and Alabama.
-- The FBI said investigators have recovered information from the flight data recorder from American Airlines Flight 77, which slammed into the Pentagon. A damaged cockpit voice recorder was also found. The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder also have been recovered from United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania.
-- Ashcroft said Friday that the FBI has distributed a list of about 100 people who may have information that could assist in the investigation by law enforcement agencies across the U.S. along with the Federal Aviation Administration, airlines, U.S. Customs and the Border Patrol.
-- The Treasury Department established a task force to track the assets of terrorist groups and disrupt their fund-raising.
-- Sen. Joseph Biden told CNN on Friday that there is evidence that several terrorist cells worked together to plan and carry out Tuesday's attacks.
-- The international police agency Interpol issued a special alert for bin Laden and said it received tips from 40 nations that may aid in his apprehension.
-- CNN's Berlin Bureau Chief Bettina Luscher, Beirut Bureau Chief Brent Sadler, and correspondents David Ensor, Kelli Arena, Susan Candiotti and Mike Boettcher contributed to this report.
See related sites about US
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
U.S. TOP STORIES:
Report: SUVs pose danger
Title IX minority pushes enforcement
Robert Blake goes to court
Judge orders man's mouth taped shut
Chicago Mayor Daley wins fifth term
|Back to the top|