FBI searches Jersey City apartment; 2nd man held as witness
(CNN) -- Investigators in pursuit of the plotters of Tuesday's devastating attacks on New York and Washington were moving on several fronts late Saturday, taking a second man into custody as a material witness and searching a New Jersey apartment.
As New York raised its estimate of those missing and held services for three leading fire officials killed in Tuesday's destruction of the World Trade Center's twin towers, President Bush labeled suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden the "prime suspect" in the terror attacks.
The man held as a material witness Saturday night had been in Immigration and Naturalization Service custody, one of 25 people who had been questioned by the FBI while being held by the INS over immigration matters. (Full story)
And FBI spokeswoman Sherri Evanina said agents were evaluating evidence collected during a search of a Jersey City, New Jersey, apartment Saturday afternoon. Evanina said bureau investigators also were questioning two people they came across during the search Saturday night.
Agents obtained the Jersey City address from two other people who were detained Friday in Texas. Those individuals are being taken to New York for questioning, Evanina said.
Earlier Saturday, sources told CNN that two of the hijackers on the American Airlines jetliner that slammed into the Pentagon had been under surveillance by U.S. intelligence and one was connected to last October's attack on the USS Cole.
Khalid al-Midhar and Salem Alhamzi -- two of the men believed to have crashed the hijacked jetliner into the Pentagon -- had been placed on a "watch list" by U.S. authorities, and the FBI had been notified that they were suspected associates of Islamic militant leader bin Laden, the sources told CNN.
U.S. intelligence had al-Midhar and Alhamzi under surveillance, and one source confirmed that Al-Midhar was seen on a surveillance tape in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, meeting with a man suspected in the October 12 attack on the Cole, a U.S. destroyer moored in Yemen. Bin Laden has also been linked to the Cole attack, which killed 17 U.S. sailors. (Full story)
Bush, in remarks Saturday, said the United States was prepared to do "whatever it takes" to root out those responsible for crashing a hijacked jetliner into the Pentagon in Washington and two commandeered airliners into the WTC's twin towers in New York. Hijackers also took over a United Airlines jet that eventually crashed in rural Pennsylvania, possibly after passengers fought back against the terrorists.
"They will try to hide, they will try to avoid the United States and our allies, and we won't let them," Bush said from Camp David. "We will smoke them out and get them running." (Full story)
During his weekly radio address, the president told the nation that "those who make war against the United States have chosen their own destruction" and that the nation's response to the attacks would "be sweeping, sustained and effective." (Transcript)
The Pentagon on Saturday dubbed the U.S. military's increased role in homeland defense and support for civil authorities "Operation Noble Eagle." The operation includes Navy ships protecting both Coasts; fighter overflights protecting airspace over the Northeast Corridor; and the call-up of 35,000 reserve troops to aid with those missions and assisting in recovery efforts in New York and Washington.
Officials in New York raised the number of people unaccounted for after Tuesday's destruction of the World Trade Center to 4,972, about 200 higher than previous estimates. New York firefighters -- who suffered heavy casualties in the attacks on the World Trade Center -- held services for three of their slain comrades, including Fire Chief Pete Ganci. (Full story)
In Washington, the Pentagon lowered the estimate of those unaccounted for in that attack to 187, including 64 aboard the American Airlines jet that crashed into the building. Authorities also, for the first time, released the name of one of those killed -- Aerographer's Mate First Class Edward Thomas Earhart, 26, of Salt Lick, Kentucky. Buses brought several family members of the Pentagon victims to the scene Saturday, where they laid flowers and balloons at the site.
The foreign ministry of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban said it would consider forming an invasion force to attack any neighboring country that aided the United States in the use of military force against Afghanistan. Afghanistan is considered a possible target for any retaliation because terrorist suspect bin Laden reportedly operates from the Afghan mountains. (Full story) (Full story)
Bush worked the phones Saturday in an effort to build an international coalition against terrorism, reaching out to President Vicente Fox of Mexico and Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of Spain. A senior administration official said Bush will continue to make the case "over and over" that his campaign against terrorism would not end quickly. "This is not going to be an overnight solution," the official said.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani cabinet and security council voted unanimously to "help the international community fight terrorism." The U.S. government has asked Pakistan to close its border with Afghanistan, stop fuel supplies to the Taliban and, if requested, grant U.S. warplanes access to Pakistani airspace. (Full story)
Iran has ordered its border with Afghanistan closed in preparation for possible American retaliatory strikes on Afghanistan, the country's Interior Ministry announced. Iran already houses nearly 2 million refugees displaced by two decades of war and famine in Afghanistan. (Full Story)
Boston's Logan Airport, the point of origin for two of the hijacked planes Tuesday, reopened Saturday, while Continental Airlines announced layoffs and schedule cutbacks that were "a direct result" of the aftermath of the attacks. (Full Story)
The Justice Department tells CNN that the tape in the cockpit voice recorder from the hijacked jet that plowed into the Pentagon was badly damaged. Officials hope to get some usable information from the other so-called black box, the flight data recorder, which was also recovered overnight Thursday. Searchers have also found both recorders from the Pennsylvania crash.
German officials confirmed German connections for Ziad Samir Jarrah, who U.S. authorities believe may have been at the controls of the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. In Belgium, two men believed to have been planning an attack on American interests in Europe were charged with possession of weapons of war.(Full story)
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