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US says it has al Qaeda members in custody

US says it has al Qaeda members in custody

Author: Agencies
Publication: www.expressindia.com
Date: November 29, 2001
URL: http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=4988

Washington, November 28: Members of the al Qaeda network the US government blames for the September 11 terror strikes may have been caught in a dragnet by US law enforcement agencies, Attorney General John Ashcroft has revealed.

"We believe we have al Qaeda membership in custody," Ashcroft told reporters. "A number of the individuals that are being detained... Are suspected terrorists." He said, however, that for security reasons he was not going to release the names of the detainees suspected of association with the network led by Saudi-born, Afghan-based extremist Osama bin Laden.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies have detained over 1,000 people in the aftermath of the attacks that toppled the World Trade Center in New York and left part of the Pentagon outside Washington in ruins, according to Justice officials.

More than 4,000 people have been killed or remain missing as a result of the attacks, in which 19 hijackers rammed passenger planes into the buildings. Ashcroft said 104 of the detainees had already had criminal charges filed against them, while another 548 individuals were being held for immigration violations. He said the Federal government would not pay for legal counsel provided for those held on suspicion of terrorist activity.
 


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