Press Release

For Immediate Release
December 18, 2002

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

Today's indictment proves once again that the FBI is committed to aggressively pursuing terrorists and disrupting terrorist networks across the United States.

The investigation out of Dallas relied upon an array of intelligence and law enforcement initiatives and tools that have characterized our post 9-11 prevention efforts.

The North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force - one of 66 such task forces that now operate nationwide as local linchpins in the war on terror - was a driving force in the investigation. That task force is one of the largest in the nation, with approximately 60 full and part-time federal, state, and local officers.

Outstanding teamwork - another cornerstone of the counterterrorism successes of the past 15 months and a hallmark in Dallas since the JTTF was established in 1995 - was a critical factor in bringing this case to a successful conclusion. Intelligence and information was fully shared by all the players, a sign of the new connectivity that exists at every level of government.

Dallas investigators and experts from our new Terrorist Financing Operations Section at FBI Headquarters contributed their expertise in tracking down the financial activities of the defendants in this case. The FBI also supported the investigation with sophisticated information-gathering techniques and with a cadre of translators from Dallas and here in Washington. In addition, our network of 45 overseas offices - an important front line of defense against terrorism - worked with our international counterparts in several nations to run down many important leads in this case.

Preventing acts of terror remains the FBI's top priority and overriding focus. That means identifying cells and disrupting their operations long before plans get off the ground, as we have accomplished in several successful investigations in recent months. And it means crippling and dismantling terrorist networks country-by-country, operative-by-operative, dollar-by-dollar so that they no longer pose a threat to the U.S. Today's indictments send a message that those who support terrorists - whether by developing plans of attack or funneling dollars overseas -- are not safe from the reach of the law.


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