The September 11th attack
U.S. raises pressure on terrorists with 'Most Wanted' list
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President Bush today issued a list of the "most wanted" terrorism suspects. The 22 indicted suspects are the most dangerous terrorists, Bush said, "the leaders key supporters planners and strategists. They must be found, they will be stopped."
Osama Bin Laden
Abdelkarim Hussein Mohamed Al-Nasser
Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah
Muhsin Musa Matwalli Atwah
Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani
Ahmed Mohammed Hamed Ali
Fazul Abdullah Mohammed
Imad Fayez Mugniyah
Mustafa Mohamed Fadhil
Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan
Abdul Rahman Yasin
Fahid Mohammed Ally Msalam
Ahmad Ibrahim Al-Mughassil
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
Ali Saed Bin Ali El-Hoorie
Ibrahim Salih Mohammed Al-Yacoub
By John Solomon
WASHINGTON President Bush issued a new "Most Wanted" list today, stepping up pressure on 22 suspected terrorists, some of whom have been at large for years.
"Terrorism has a face, and today we expose it for the world to see," he said.
"We list their names, we publicize their pictures, we rob them of their secrecy," the president said at the FBI headquarters at the epicenter of the massive investigation into the Sept. 11 suicide hijackings that killed thousands in New York and Washington.
On the list of the most dangerous terrorists are Osama bin Laden, his two top deputies and members of his al-Qaida network implicated in earlier bombings against U.S. interests overseas.
"They have blood on their hands from Sept. 11 and from other acts against America in Kenya, Tanzania and Yemen," said Secretary of State Colin Powell, who announced a State Department program offering large bounties for assistance leading to arrest.
The 22 indicted suspects are "the leaders, key supporters, planners and strategists," Bush said. "They must be found. They will be stopped."
The White House was working with the TV show "America's Most Wanted" to put together a special broadcast on the list, officials said. And Attorney General John Ashcroft created a "9/11 Task Force" within the Justice Department to handle terrorism case prosecutions and focus on preventing further attacks.
The task force will be comprised of prosecutors from U.S. attorneys offices in New York and northern Virginia and from the department's terrorism and violent crimes unit. The aim is to centralize information and formulate indictments, said Justice Department spokeswoman Susan Dryden.
Attorney General John Ashcroft said the new list will boost global publicity for the manhunt and leave terrorists "no place to hide."
The Most Wanted list identifies only defendants indicted earlier, not suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks, for which "the FBI is still developing leads," said White House press secretary Ari Fleischer.
Listed just below bin Laden among those indicted for the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania are Egyptians Ayman al-Zawahri and Mohamed Atef, long identified as bin Laden's most trusted lieutenants.
Officials have said evidence gathered since Sept. 11 has connected both men to the hijacking.
The international police agency Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for al-Zawahri since the hijackings that alleges he "masterminded several terrorist operations in Egypt" and is "accused of criminal complicity and management for the purpose of committing premeditated murders."
Al-Zawahri, a doctor by training, is former head of the Egyptian al-Jihad terrorist group that merged in 1998 with bin Laden's al-Qaida network. Al-Jihad had been linked to terrorist activities dating to the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in the 1980s.
Atef, a former police official, has been identified by U.S. authorities as a key military strategist and training director for bin Laden.
Others who made the list were identified last week by British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a speech laying out evidence against bin Laden's network:
- Ahmed Khfaklan Ghailani and Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan. Blair said they were al-Qaida operatives who bought a truck used in the U.S. Embassy bombings in August 1998.
- Mustafa Mohamed Fadhil. Blair said the al-Qaida operative was implicated in the embassy bombings.
- Saif al Adel. Blair identified him as a senior member of al-Qaida believed to have provided training to tribes in Somalia, where U.S. troops were attacked and killed in 1993.
- Ibrahim al-Yacoub and Abdel Karim al-Nasser, named as suspects in the federal grand jury indictment issued in the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. servicemen.
Others listed are suspects in the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and a foiled 1995 plot to bomb airliners in the Far East.
As the investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks continued around the globe, law enforcement officials said they were beginning to narrow their focus to a much smaller group of the estimated 600 collaborators, mostly Middle Easterners, who have been arrested or detained. An additional group of about 200 continue to be sought for questioning.
Meanwhile, federal law enforcement authorities were awaiting the results of laboratory tests to learn whether the strain of anthrax that killed a tabloid newspaper editor in Florida was manmade or natural.
Authorities said yesterday they thought the bacteria was manmade, but later said test results had not been completed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The officials said no link has been found yet to terrorism, but they suspect it might have involved criminal activity.
Tests in Florida have not found any other workers at the tabloid newspaper building who were infected, or additional spores of the bacteria, which turned up on the computer keyboard of the victim who died last week, officials said.
For the complete "most wanted" terrorists list, along with details about each suspect, visit FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists Web site.