An investigation by a grand jury in White Plains, N.Y., has led to the detention of some 75 people for questioning, with five people under arrest as material witnesses. Among those arrested is an alleged associate of Osama bin Laden — the Afghanistan-based terrorist accused of masterminding last week's terror attacks — who was taken into custody Aug. 17 after workers at a Minnesota flight school raised suspicions about him.
In Hamburg, Germany, police have arrested two men linked to suspects in the hijackings.
Possible Terrorist Stock Trading Probed
New evidence has emerged of a possible effort by the terrorists who perpetrated last week's attacks to profit financially from the tragedy.
The Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and a Chicago exchange have launched a major investigation into some suspicious and highly sophisticated stock trading just prior to the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Investigators are probing highly unusual trading in "puts" — basically bets made by an investor that a stock's price will fall by a certain date.
The week before the attack, virtually unheard of numbers of puts were sold for United Airlines and American Airlines, which operated the four hijacked planes; Morgan Stanley, the investment bank which occupied more than 20 floors in the now-destroyed twin towers; and a number of other companies that were adversely affected by the tragedy and whose stocks plunged as a result.
"This would be one of the most extraordinary coincidences in the history of mankind if it was a coincidence," Dylan Ratigan of Bloomberg Business News said today on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.
If it's not a coincidence and the money trail does lead to terrorist groups, they will have made a fortune.
"Millions of dollars, tens of millions of dollars on a bet that all told could be $600,000 turned into $10 million, $20 million," Ratigan said.
"This could very well be insider trading at the most horrific, most evil use you've ever seen in your entire life."
A senior intelligence official told ABCNEWS: "We still don't have any direct confirmation that [bin Laden] was involved in selling stocks short — yet."
The Treasury Department's Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center has launched an effort to track financial transactions of members of bin Laden's terrorist network. The FBI today asked banks to check their records and report any transactions with any of the named terrorist suspects.