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CNN BREAKING NEWS

2 Arrested at Rest Stop Northwest of Washington

Aired October 24, 2002 - 13:11   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Let's take a closer look now at the military career of Mr. Muhammad. Our Barbara Starr is over at the Pentagon. She's following that part of the story. Talk a little bit about that, Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf.

What we can confirm, we've known since last night that is John Allen Muhammad did serve with the U.S. Army for a number of years on active duty. He did a tour on Fort Lewis, Washington, and he was a veteran of the Gulf War. But little else has been made public about his military career so far by law enforcement or the Pentagon. The Pentagon here today, very little information but perhaps not a whole lot of surprise behind the scenes. There had been concern here based on nothing in particular, but just concern always that possibly some former military person was involved in this.

At the Pentagon, officials, as I said, are now working very closely with law enforcement officials. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld speaking to CNN International just a short time ago spoke about all of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECY. OF DEFENSE: I don't have any information on him, but of course, millions of people in the United States have served in the military at any given time. But -- and I don't know whether he has or hasn't or anything about him to be perfectly honest.

We have been cooperating with law enforcement agencies, and my impression of what they've done is they've cooperated among themselves, the federal agencies and the state and local agencies, very successfully, and I certainly hope that they are successful. It's been a difficult time for the people of the Washington area.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STARR: But what pentagon officials are make very clear us to behind the scenes, they believe that this man was not sniper trained, not part of special forces. He had no particular special firearms training from the U.S. military, other than what any other U.S. Army soldier would have -- Wolf.

BLITZER: That training is very, very good for even a routine soldier.

Thanks Barbara Starr, for that reporting. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com



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