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MOST WANTED PEOPLE



U.S. lists 'most-wanted' terrorists



WASHINGTON--President Bush issued a new "Most Wanted" list on Wednesday, stepping up the worldwide pressure on 22 suspected terrorists, some of whom have been at large for years. "Terrorism has a face and today we expose it for the world to see," Bush said.

"We list their names, we publicize their pictures, we rob them of their secrecy," the president said at the FBI headquarters that has been at the epicenter of the massive investigation into the Sept. 11 suicide hijackings that killed thousands in New York and Washington.

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On the list are Osama bin Laden, his two top deputies and several members of his al-Qaida network implicated in earlier bombings overseas against U.S. interests. "They have blood on their hands from Sept. 11 and from other acts against America in Kenya, Tanzania and Yemen," said Secretary of State Colin Powell, who also announced a State Department reward program offering large bounties for assistance that leads to the terrorists' arrest.

The 22 indicted suspects are the most dangerous terrorists, Bush said, "the leaders key supporters planners and strategists. They must be found, they will be stopped."

The White House was also working with the TV show "America's Most Wanted" to put together a special broadcast on the list, officials said. And Attorney General John Ashcroft created a "9/11 Task Force" within the Justice Department that will handle terrorism case prosecutions and focus on preventing further attacks.

The task force will be comprised of prosecutors from U.S. attorneys offices in New York and northern Virginia and from the department's terrorism and violent crimes unit. The aim is to centralize information on terrorism and formulate indictments for cases, said Justice Department spokeswoman Susan Dryden. The task force was first reported in The New York Times.

Attorney General John Ashcroft said the new "Most Wanted" list will boost global publicity for the United States' manhunt and leave terrorists "no place to hide."

The list identifies only earlier-indicted defendants and not suspects in the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

"The FBI is still developing leads," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said.

Listed just below bin Laden's name among those indicted for the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania were two Egyptians, Ayman al-Zawahri and Mohamed Atef, who long have been identified as bin Laden's most trusted lieutenants.

Officials have said evidence gathered since Sept. 11 has connected both men to the suicide hijacking plot.

The international police agency Interpol also issued an arrest warrant for al-Zawahri since the hijackings that alleges he "masterminded several terrorist operations in Egypt" and is "accused of criminal complicity and management for the purpose of committing premeditated murders."

Al-Zawahri, a doctor by training, is the former head of the Egyptian al-Jihad terrorist group that merged in 1998 with bin Laden's al-Qaida network. Al-Jihad had been linked to terrorist activities dating to the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in the early 1980s.

Atef, a former police official, has been identified by U.S. authorities as a key military strategist and training director for bin Laden.

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1993 WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING

Abdul Rhaman Yasin
41, U.S. citizen who moved to Iraq as a child and returned in 1992. He fled the United States right after the bombing.


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1995 PLOT TO BOMB AIRCRAFT IN THE FAR EAST

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
Mid-30s, wanted in connection with a plot to blow up 12 civilian airliners over the Pacific during a two day period in January 1995. Mohammad is believed to be from Pakistan or Kuwait.

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1996 KHOBAR TOWERS BOMBING

Ahmad Ibrahim Al-Mughassil
34-year-old Saudi indicted in U.S. court in Virginia for his role in the bombing of the U.S. military complex, which killed 19 servicemen.

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Ali Saed Bin Ali el-Houri
36-year-old Saudi indicted for the bombing

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Ibrahim Salih Mohammed Al-Yacoub
35-year-old Saudi indicted for the bombing

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1998 U.S. EMBASSY BOMBINGS IN EAST AFRICA

Osama bin Laden
The leader of the al-Qaida terrorist network. Age, 44. He is the suspected mastermind behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington that left 5,500 people dead or missing. Saudi-born, he has also been indicted for planning the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa and is suspected of being behind the USS Cole bombing.

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Mohamed Atef
Former Egyptian policemen believed to be one of bin Laden's two closest advisers. He is also known as Abu Hafs el-Masry. Earlier this year, Atef's daughter married bin Laden's son. Atef has been indicted for involvement in the embassy bombings and has been identified by U.S. authorities as a key military strategist and training director for bin Laden. Officials believe he was involved in planning the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

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