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CNN BREAKING NEWS

FBI Questions Pakistani Jewelers in Terror Link Probe

Aired June 27, 2002 - 18:15   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.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

LOU DOBBS, HOST, "LOU DOBBS MONEYLINE": This just in to CNN, a late-breaking story tonight out of Washington, D.C. It involves the FBI, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and dozens of Pakistanis being questioned in connection with money laundering related to terrorist operations.

Our Justice Department correspondent Kelli Arena has the report from Washington -- Kelli.

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Lou, a nationwide sweep is currently underway. It started about 1:00 p.m. this afternoon.

In a joint FBI-INS investigation, at least five dozen Pakistani nationals who operate jewelry kiosks in malls have been detained for questioning. Now some have been taken into custody for INS violations.

Government officials say investigators are looking into a possible terror connection, including whether money is being sent back to Pakistan to fund possible terror operations. But no criminal charges have been filed, Lou.

Now the sweep is mostly in the Northeast, according to sources, in cities including Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Atlanta.

That's what we've got, Lou. Back to you.

DOBBS: Thank you very much.

Kelli Arena reporting from Washington, D.C.

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