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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Seven People Taken into Custody in U.S.

Aired June 27, 2003 - 08:41   ET

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

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, some breaking news for you. This just in to CNN. Indictments forthcoming against several suspects accused of giving aid to terrorists.
Kelli Arena joining us now live on the phone from Washington.

Kelli, give us some details, please.

KELLI ARENA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there were seven men taken into custody altogether, three in Virginia, three in Baltimore, one in Philadelphia, all of them allegedly participating in so-called Jihad training, and some with weapons violations. Now all of these documents pertaining to these individuals remain under seal at this time. But government sources have told CNN that they fully expect the charges against these individuals would fall under that statute of providing material support to a terrorism organization. In this case, a terrorism organization, known as Loshkar I Taibee (ph), designated a terrorism organization by the U.S. after the September 11th attacks. The group is involved in the fighting over Kashmir over Pakistan and India.

CNN has done some reporting on this group of men. They all studied under a Muslim scholar here in the Washington area by the name of Ali Altamini (ph). We know that this investigation has been going on for as many as six months, and It seems to be the culmination of at least a dozen search warrants, many interviews and appearances before grand juries.

The men also, interestingly, participated in a biweekly paintball game before September 11th. Investigators have alleged, before today, that they thought that may have been part of some sort of terrorist training that the men were engaged in.

After September 11th, several of the men that were being looked at -- they were looking at least 13 at last count -- had left the United States. Some of them came back. We are also told the indictments may include some individuals who did not return to the United States, but remain overseas.

Once these documents are unsealed, we expect we will hear something publicly from the U.S. attorney in Virginia, Paul McNulty. Nothing official yet, but that is the expectation at this point.

Back to you.

O'BRIEN: CNN's Kelli Arena on the line with a breaking story we'll be following for you all day today. As details come in, we'll get them to you.

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