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Investigation: Detained man dies in jail

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Attorney General John Ashcroft speaking at a recent news conference.  


In New Jersey, a 55-year-old Pakistani man initially detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service on September 20 for questioning in the investigation into terrorist attacks against the United States died Tuesday in jail of unknown causes.

In Germany, a terrorist cell operating out of Hamburg, Germany, since at least 1999 included three of the hijackers and three accomplices who are being sought in connection with the September 11 attacks on the United States, Attorney General John Ashcroft said.

Meanwhile, in Berlin, a man was arrested trying to board a plane to Iran with baggage containing a "holy war" manual and camouflage clothing.


A federal official said the Pakistani man who died Tuesday in jail was found to have no connection to the September 11 attacks and was being held because his visa had expired. (Full story)

He died Tuesday in his cell at the Hudson County Jail, county officials said. An autopsy was ordered by the Regional Medical Examiner's office in Newark and was expected to be conducted later Wednesday. His identity was not disclosed, pending notification of relatives.

A federal government official told CNN the man was taken into custody "as a result of a lead into the September 11 investigation."

Ashcroft said the three fugitives, Said Bahaji, Ramsi Binalshibh and Zakariya Essabar, are sought for planning the attacks. German authorities previously issued international arrests warrants for the three. (Full story)

"Their connections to the hijackers are extensive," said Ashcroft, appearing at a news conference with German Interior Minister Otto Schily. He identified the three hijackers as Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, the suspected pilots of the hijacked planes that crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, and Ziad Jarrah, suspected of flying the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania.

Ashcroft said the three hijackers were roommates in Hamburg while attending school there in the 1990s. He said Binalshibh and Atta started a Muslim prayer group in Hamburg and Essabar went to Florida in February at a time when both Atta and al-Shehhi were known to be there. And Essabar, Jarrah and al-Shehhi all appeared in a video of Bahaji's wedding, he said.

In Germany, federal prosecutors detained the man, named only as Harun A, a Turkish citizen, at Frankfurt International Airport on October 17, officials revealed in a statement on Tuesday. (Full story)

The 29-year-old was arrested on suspicion of planning murder attacks and being a member of an Islamic terror organisation, the statement said. The statement from the Karlsruhe prosecutor's office said: "Border police found items in his luggage including a balaclava, camouflage clothing, a chemical weapons protection suit and materials to produce an explosive detonator.

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Attack on America
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CNN's Lisa Barron reports that since the September 11 attacks more companies are verifying credentials of potential business partners (October 21)

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


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


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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