Skip to comments.Suspects tied to terror group arrested
Posted on 06/27/2003 8:20:33 AM PDT by freeperfromnj
WASHINGTON (AP) The FBI made a series of arrests in three states Friday of men suspected of ties to an anti-U.S. terrorist organization whose main goal is driving India out of the disputed Kashmir territory in South Asia.
The arrests of at least seven suspects were made in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, said federal law enforcement officials speaking on condition of anonymity. Federal charges against the men, and several others who are overseas, were to be announced later in the day.
The men are alleged to be part of an extremist Muslim organization called Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations. The organization, whose name means "army of the righteous," is characterized by the State Department as strongly anti-U.S. in addition to its goals in Kashmir.
Officials would not immediately say whether the men are suspected of plotting terrorist attacks in the United States, or if they have any direct links to the al-Qaida terror network.
The Indian government has accused Lashkar-e-Taiba of several suicide attacks against government officials and civilians in Kashmir, which is the subject of a long dispute between India and Pakistan.
U.S. authorities obtained a number of warrants this year to conduct searches of the suspects' homes to look for evidence of militant or terrorist activities, officials said. The Washington Post reported earlier this week that some of the suspects played warlike paintball games in Northern Virginia and attended lectures given by a Muslim scholar whose home was also searched.
One suspect, identified as Ahmed Abu-Ali, also has been taken into custody in Saudi Arabia by officials there who are investigating the May 12 bombings in Riyadh in which nine attackers and 25 other people were killed, U.S. officials said.
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