Sunday, September 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Sept 11 attack suspect held in Pak

Ramzi BinalshibhWashington, September 14
A fugitive suspected of helping to organise last year’s September 11 attacks in the USA was captured in a deadly shootout in Pakistan, US officials said.

Ramzi Binalshibh, the former roommate of hijacker Mohamed Atta who is suspected of planning to be the 20th hijacker in last year’s attacks, was captured in Pakistan nearly a year after he became one of America’s top terror targets, US officials said yesterday.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Binalshibh was captured earlier this week in a joint raid by Pakistani forces and US intelligence officers in southern coastal city of Karachi. The raid ended in a deadly shootout.

Separately, officials said five men of Yemeni descent, most believed to be US citizens, were arrested in Lackawanna, outside Buffalo, on suspicions they were operating as a terrorist cell on the U.S. soil.

Officials declined to describe many of the details of the case and said they may make an announcement in Washington this weekend to provide more details.

The officials said the men lived a few blocks from each other in the USA for years. Recent investigations showed the men were communicating with suspected terrorist locations overseas and that they might have attended a terror training camp linked to Osama bin Laden, the officials said.

Before September 11, Binalshibh was frustrated in his attempts to receive a visa to enter the USA in 2000, where as US officials allege, he planned to join the other 19 hijackers. Instead, he provided financial support to the other hijackers, the officials said.

Binalshibh, 30, was born in Yemen. He was being sought by the German government for his role in the September 11 attacks.

He is considered an aide to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, believed to be the mastermind of the September 11 suicide hijackings that left nearly 3,000 dead, officials said. Mohammed is still at large.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Saturday that it had arrested 12 foreigners, including two high-level Al-Qaida suspects, and killed two more in a series of raids in the port city of Karachi this week. AP, Reuters

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