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FBI request German flat raid

The hunt for the killers is crossing continents  

HAMBURG, Germany (CNN) -- Police officers searched a Hamburg apartment at the request of the FBI, seeking a connection to Tuesday's terrorism attacks in the United States.

A police statement said the apartment's residents are believed to have spent several months in Florida, from July 2000 to January 2001, and may have played a role in the attacks, a police statement said.

It is the first known operation outside the U.S. in the hunt for those responsible for the hijack attacks on the United States.

In the U.S. a number of people have been detained -- although they have not been arrested and have not been described as suspects.

The spokesman said agents found that the apartment, in the Harburg suburb of Hamburg, has been empty since February.

Several people, "probably five" who were "apparently from Arab descent" had been using the apartment, he said.

Agents are taking evidence samples from the apartment, the spokesman said.

The FBI had passed the request for the search -- along with names of the people connected to the apartment -- to its German counterpart, the BKA, the federal criminal agency.

The FBI also asked for a check of a second address, but police said the name given by the FBI did not match any of that apartment's present or past residents.

The police statement said the person sought was an acquaintance of "a person of Arab descent who was a passenger on one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center."

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