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CNN BREAKING NEWS

FBI Arrests British Natl. on Weapons Charges

Aired August 12, 2003 - 16:25   ET

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

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news of an arrest, we are told, of a British citizen apparently in an apparent terror investigation.
We get this development now from our national security correspondent, David Ensor -- David.

DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, we understand from U.S. government sources that the FBI has made an important arrest today in the United States of a British citizen. This involves -- the citizen was apparently involved in some kind of an arms deal, we are told, and sources say the arms deal included an attempt to sell surface-to-air missiles. These are the shoulder launched missiles that have been much discussed in recent weeks that can attack aircraft.

So this is an important development, if it turns out that this was, indeed a plot to get shoulder-launched missiles into the United States and use them against aircraft. Again, the FBI, in a sting operation today, arrested one British citizen here in the United States suspected of involvement in an arms deal involving shoulder launched missiles -- John.

KING: Obviously, David, law enforcement officials sensitive to discuss details of the case because of other potential suspects and the like. But do we know anything at all about who this suspect is and about what his target might have been, had he acquired these missiles?

ENSOR: No, we do not. There's been a little bit of reporting in Britain, but it's all been denied, and therefore it's really not worth getting into.

What we know is what I've said, and that's basically it. They're very closed mouth about this, as you say. It's a sealed case at this point and, as far as I know at the moment, there are no plan to make announcements. Though the facts that the news is now breaking may change that -- John.

KING: David Ensor, our national security correspondent, on this major breaking story. We will free you up in case we can learn a little bit more, and if so, we'll bring you back.

Thank you, David.

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