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U.S. Officials Make Arrest Two People Possibly Involved in Terrorism

Aired April 17, 2002 - 15:03   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.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: We want to go to Miami where Susan Candiotti is standing by. Evidently some new arrests made in the investigation of terror. Susan, what can you tell us?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, this indeed is a very intriguing arrest of two people. We are hearing this, CNN is, from U.S. government officials. It involves the arrest of two people just two days ago in Apex, North Carolina.

U.S. government officials tell CNN that one of the two individuals was arrested after his name was discovered by intelligence sources in Afghanistan when his letter was found on a letter found in a cave in Afghanistan -- a letter that was congratulating him for completing U.S. flight training and obtaining a U.S. pilot's license in the United States.

According to go U.S. government officials, this man was identified as a man in his early 40s, a Tanzanian national, by the name of Wusiad Nambo (ph) , that he actually was arrested and is being held on immigration charges because he had over-stayed a student visa.

According to the officials he had entered the United States in May of 2001, and his visa was said to expire a few months later in August, but he allegedly over stayed his visa. So this man and the man living with him are in custody now in North Carolina, and we understand that he is under criminal investigation for allegedly holding onto a counterfeit Social Security card, as well as another counterfeit card.

So this investigation goes on, we understand that this would be the very first time, according to our sources, that anyone has been arrested after their name was found on documents in Afghanistan and needless to say, the FBI the INS who tracked him down in North Carolina are very heavily involved in this investigation to see whether there are any links to the al Qaeda terrorist network, and whether he may have been a part of the September 11th attacks. It is not known at this time.

PHILLIPS: Two quick questions, Susan, when you say he, tell me again to whom you are referring?

CANDIOTTI: I am talking about a Tanzanian national by the name of Wusia Nambo who is in his early 40s, and he is the one who is under arrest along with someone who is also living with him in North Carolina. That is who we are talking about. It was his name that was found on the letter in the cave in Afghanistan, a letter congratulating him for completing training in Florida -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Thank you for clarifying this, and this letter, was that retrieved when soldiers went to clear the caves in Afghanistan, for example Operation Mountain Lion?

CANDIOTTI: We do not know how long ago the letter was recovered. We know, of course, as you do, that U.S. special forces have been conducting on going investigations during their efforts in Afghanistan. And it was during that time that they found this letter, and were able to track the letter, passed on from intelligence sources to the FBI, to the INS who in turn located this man, living in North Carolina.

PHILLIPS: All right. Susan Candiotti live in Miami with that breaking news. Thank you Susan. We will continue to follow the story.

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