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PAKISTAN Police arrest suspect in USS Cole bombing



Published: Wed, April 30, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Police seized 330 pounds of explosives along with arms and ammunition.

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) -- Pakistani police have arrested six men suspected of being linked with Al-Qaida, including a Yemeni man wanted in the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, an Interior Ministry official said.

Waleed Mohammed Bin Attash, who also is known as Khalid al-Attash, is wanted in the suicide bombing of the American destroyer USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors, the official said today.

The arrests were made Tuesday in two raids conducted in southern Karachi by Pakistani authorities.

"This is a big catch. Al-Attash is wanted in the USS Cole bombing," Brig. Javed Iqbal Cheema said. "I think he is very important."

The identities of the other men were not immediately disclosed.

All six suspects still are in Pakistan.

U.S. law enforcement agencies have not yet questioned the suspects, Cheema told The Associated Press in the capital, Islamabad.

More details

The raids "were solely a Pakistani operation," Cheema said. "We didn't say anything before now because we wanted to see whether we could make more arrests."

Pakistani authorities also recovered 330 pounds of explosives and a large quantity of arms and ammunitions "intended to be used for terrorist attacks," said a statement by Cheema's National Crisis Management Cell, which oversees Pakistan's anti-terrorist activities.

"The recovered items indicate the magnitude of the terrorist attack it was implementing," the statement said.

The USS Cole was rammed Oct. 12, 2000, by an explosives-laden dinghy while refueling in the Yemeni port of Aden. The attack was attributed to Al-Qaida.

In October, a similar suicide attack on a French oil tanker off the coast killed a Bulgarian crew member.




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