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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Al Qaeda Plot in Singapore That Targeted U.S. Navy Personnel Broken Up

Aired January 11, 2002 - 09:25   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: We have got some breaking news. Apparently, they have broken up an Al Qaeda plot in Singapore that targeted U.S. Navy personnel. There are 17,000 Americans on station in the Singapore area. The intelligence that allowed the breakup of this Al Qaeda planned attack on Americans was apparently some of that computer equipment and cell phone records that were captured in Afghanistan.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is on top of the story. It's just breaking. Let's go to Pentagon and get the latest -- Barbara.

BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, good morning.

Yes, we are learning details this morning of a very interesting story that has come out in small bits since December, but has now come together here this morning.

Back in December, Singapore arrested more than a dozen suspected Al Qaeda terrorist. There was very little information at that time. But we're told that the U.S. government, and the Pentagon specifically, is now ready to acknowledge today that those arrests occurred because of information, intelligence information, that the U.S. gained while searching some of those Al Qaeda hideouts in Afghanistan.

Now this would be the first time that we know of that some of this intelligence gained in Afghanistan led specifically to the breakup of an Al Qaeda terrorist network in another country. And what is of such great concern is the information was that the Al Qaeda was specifically targeting the U.S. Navy in Singapore.

The information that the Singapore government gained was that the Al Qaeda was targeting U.S. Navy warships and U.S. Navy personnel in Singapore, and it appears this morning that that ring has now officially been broken up, and the Pentagon will talk about it more later today.

ZAHN: Thank you very much. Barbara Starr at the Pentagon.

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