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Al Qaeda names match those under U.S. surveillance

'Chatter level' intensified since Mohammed's arrest

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is pictured shortly after his capture Saturday during a raid in Pakistan.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is pictured shortly after his capture Saturday during a raid in Pakistan.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- About a dozen names discovered at the house where al Qaeda operations chief Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was arrested match names of individuals under surveillance in the United States, U.S. government officials told CNN Tuesday.

Officials stressed the preliminary nature of the information, and cautioned that the numbers are likely to change -- and said the names will require further investigation.

One official emphasized that even though some names match, it does not mean arrests are imminent.

"There may be intelligence value in continuing the surveillance," the government official said. "Also, just because you find a name that would indicate possible links to al Qaeda doesn't mean you have the sufficient basis for making an arrest."

Officials have said hundreds of names were found in the Rawalpindi, Pakastan, home where Mohammed was captured Saturday. Many were found in a computer, while others were found on pieces of paper. Authorities are investigating to see just how many might be connected to al Qaeda.

Referring to Mohammed's arrest, President Bush said in a speech Tuesday, "the man who masterminded the September 11 attacks is no longer a problem to the United States of America."

FBI Director Robert Mueller on Tuesday told the Senate Judiciary Committee "We will never know the number of lives saved by taking this man into custody."

The "chatter level" has intensified since Mohammed's arrest. Sources say it's unclear if the increased communication is of al Qaeda operatives talking about moving locations, them conversing about the arrest or possible plans for a fresh attack.

Officials: Al Qaeda paymaster in custody

Also nabbed in Saturday's raid were suspected al Qaeda paymaster Mustapha Ahmed al-Hawsawi and Ahmed Abdul Qadoos, a member of Pakistan's largest religious political party, who is said to be of little importance, according to U.S. officials.

Al-Hawsawi sent cash to lead September 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta through bank accounts in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, the officials said.

Al-Hawsawi has been named as a co-conspirator in the indictment of Zacarias Moussaoui, who is accused of engaging in the "same preparation for murder" as the 19 hijackers who commandeered four U.S. jets and crashed them into the World Trade Center, Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

Mohammed is talking

One U.S. official said Mohammed "has moved away" from citing verses from the Koran to interrogators and "is talking some," but "not providing much."

U.S. officials said they have evidence Mohammed had been in touch with bin Laden since the terror attacks on New York and Washington, but they declined to say whether they believe he has had recent contact with the al Qaeda leader.

Mohammed also has been linked to the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000; Richard Reid's foiled attempt to blow up an airliner with a shoe bomb in 2001; last April's bombings at the El Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia; and the Bali bombings in October. (Life of terror)

U.S. officials confirmed Tuesday the search for Mohammed yielded another arrest, Muhammed Rahman, the son of a Muslim militant jailed for his involvement in a conspiracy to bomb buildings and structures in New York.

The arrested man's father, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, known as the "blind cleric," is serving a sentence in the United States in connection with the conspiracy.

Another son of the "blind cleric" had been seized by the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan back in November of 2001. Ahmed Omar Abdel Rahman, 35, was a high-profile figure in bin Laden's training camps in Afghanistan.

CNN correspondents Terry Frieden, Kelli Arena and Pam Benson contributed to this report.


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