Ashcroft: Al-Qaida Arrest a 'Severe Blow'
Attorney General John Ashcroft told Congress Tuesday that a major al-Qaida arrest over the weekend “is a severe blow to al-Qaida that could destabilize their terrorist network worldwide.” Ashcroft told the Senate Judiciary Committee that “next to (Osama) bin Laden, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the FBI’s most wanted terrorist.” He also announced the January arrests of a Yemeni cleric who officials said secretly raised money and recruited troops for al-Qaida and Hamas. A complaint unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., charges Sheik Mohammed Ali Hasan al-Moayad with providing material support to a terrorist network. “The FBI undercover operation developed information that al-Moayad personally handed Osama bin Laden $20 million from his terrorist fund-raising network,” Ashcroft said. Al-Moayad, and his assistant, Mohammed Mohsen Yahya Zayed, were arrested Jan. 10 in a sting operation at a hotel near Frankfurt airport in Germany. U.S. authorities consider al-Moayad’s arrest a blow to Muslim charities used as fronts to finance terrorism. Full Story