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Investigation: Senator cites 'intelligence failure'

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SUMMARY:

While the investigation is being driven by probes in many parts of the world, Sen. Robert Torricelli, a New Jersey Democrat, is calling for a board of inquiry at home. He wants a panel to look into what he describes as intelligence failures prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

At least four of the 19 suspected hijackers implicated in those terrorist attacks trained at camps in Afghanistan run by suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, an intelligence source familiar with the federal investigation said Saturday.

Three men suspected of belonging to a terrorist group that had planned attacks in Germany were arrested by German authorities, the government said Saturday. In a statement, the German prosecutor general said there is no evidence linking the men to the September 11 terrorists attacks against the United States, but the investigation continues.

In the United States, Secret Service agents on Friday arrested a man wanted in connection with the nation's terrorist attack probe. Youssef Hmimssa is being held for the U.S. Marshal's Service in Linn County, Iowa.

U.S. officials continue to seek the extradition of an Algerian pilot arrested in London. He's alleged to have instructed four of the hijackers involved in the attacks on New York and Washington.

UPDATE:

Torricelli, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN Saturday that the inquiry board is to be made up of "distinguished Americans who understand law enforcement, understand national security but are independent." He said President Bush and the congressional leadership would make appointments to the panel. (Full story)


  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

Investigating agencies say evidence is mounting in Europe of an extremist terrorist network with close links to bin Laden. A series of police raids and more than 20 arrests in recent days have shed more light on alleged links between groups thought to be at work, from the Netherlands to Spain. Key figures thought to have controlled various terrorist cells have been arrested in Belgium, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). (Full story)

The men arrested in Germany -- identified as Talip T., a 27-year-old Turkish citizen; Wadee al-A., a 24-year-old Yemeni citizen; and Shahab al-A., a 26-year-old Yemeni citizen -- were detained Thursday in Wiesbaden, the government said Saturday. The men were arrested on charges related to violations of weapons and documents laws, according to the statement. (Full story)

Elsewhere, Youssef Hmimssa was indicted by a federal grand jury in U.S. District Court in Michigan on Thursday on two counts of document fraud, along with Karim Koubriti, 23, and Ahmed Hannan, 33 -- both Moroccan nationals. According to the indictment, between January 1 and September 18, the three possessed a Social Security card in the name of Michael Saisa, a document knowingly "stolen or produced without lawful authority." (Full story)

Prosecutors at an extradition hearing Friday said Lotfi Raissi, an Algerian pilot arrested in London, instructed four of the hijackers involved in the attacks on New York and Washington. The man's attorney denounces the allegations as false. (Full story)

KEY QUESTIONS:

How viable are fears about more terrorist attacks? Click here for more.

How will the expansion of law enforcement powers affect Americans' civil liberties? Click here for more.

How are people identified as terrorists communicating with each other? Click here for more.

How are law enforcement authorities using technology such as encryption tools to hunt terrorists? Click here for more.

What groups are U.S. investigators focusing on, and what are their aims? Click here for more.

How would law enforcement authorities go after financial assets of people identified as terrorists? Click here for more.

How did the September 11 attackers evade U.S. intelligence? Click here for more.

WHO'S WHO:

George W. Bush: U.S. president

Colin Powell: U.S. secretary of state Click here for more

Condoleezza Rice: National security adviser Click here for more

John Ashcroft: U.S. attorney general

Robert Mueller: FBI director Click here for more

George Tenet: CIA director. Click here for more

Osama bin Laden: U.S. authorities have named bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi exile living in Afghanistan, as the prime suspect in masterminding the September 11 attacks. Click here for more

IMPACT:

Information gained from the investigation could lead to fundamental changes in U.S. security and intelligence systems, as well as surveillance laws.



 
 
 
 



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