U.S. tracks terrorist rings
New York police arrested one man with a fake U.S. pilot's license and detained at least five others Thursday evening as federal officials, fearing another wave of terrorist attacks against Americans, intensified an international manhunt designed to track down a ring of suspects responsible for the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history.

Justice Department officials said they have identified all 18 hijackers of the four planes used in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and on the plane that crashed in a Pennsylvania field. Meanwhile, police and federal agents portrayed those who planned the attacks as members of a wide-ranging global conspiracy involving more than one terrorist group.

New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik revealed the arrest and detentions at John F. Kennedy and at La Guardia Airports. Kerik said the suspects may have had fictitious IDs and possessed knives and had open airline tickets for the morning of Sept. 11 departing Kennedy and La Guardia Airports. "One was arrested with identification indicating he was a pilot." Kerik said. "He tried to clear security. He was stopped. The identification he had was false. He has been arrested."

After the arrest, the New York region's three major airports--Kennedy, La Guardia and Newark, N.J.--opened briefly and then abruptly closed late Thursday afternoon.

The arrests, and the suggestion that there remain active cells of terrorists at large, came as investigators broadened their investigation, sweeping into Germany and Canada.

U. S. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft said the two planes that hit the World Trade Center were overtaken by five hijackers each while those that slammed into the Pentagon and crashed outside Pittsburgh were seized by four individuals each.

The portrait of the suspects that emerged Thursday showed they had integrated themselves into the normal byways of American life to a remarkable degree without having to retreat underground. They lived in attractive U.S. suburbs, trained in American flight schools and drank at local bars.

U.S. officials also said for the first time that several groups may have been involved in the attacks, contrasting with earlier statements that focused more directly on Osama bin Laden as the principal mastermind and suggesting a broader, more complex conspiracy years in the making.

"They are increasingly confident that bin Laden is involved," Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, said after a briefing by intelligence officials. "But the CIA pointed out they are increasingly convinced that there are other terrorist networks involved, that there is a vast linkage of networks."

A senior Bush administration official confirmed "there might have been not just one, but multiple organizations."

Ashcroft said the number of known associates of the terrorists in the United States was "significant" and increasing as the investigation continued. A Justice Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there were "probably more than 30 associates" operating in groups within several cities. Some may have already fled the country.

The Justice Department announced it would release the names of all 18 hijackers Thursday evening, along with their photos. But officials delayed the announcement, then dropped it entirely without explanation.

The names of seven of the hijackers emerged Thursday, nonetheless, providing a glimpse into the lives of the men who took over the planes, slashed and killed many of the flight attendants and set the airliners on suicide flight paths into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Several were Saudi Arabian nationals or worked for Saudia, the Saudi Arabian national airline. Two of the hijackers were cousins, and at least four lived in Florida for a time and received pilot training there.

Mohamed Atta, Waleed Alshehri, Wail Alshehri, Abdulrahman or Abdulaziz Alomari, and Satam Al Suqami were the five hijackers who took over American Airlines flight 11, en route from Boston to Los Angeles, and slammed it into the World Trade Center, setting off the day's nightmare, according to a source familiar with the FBI's list of the hijackers.

Marwan Alshehri, 23, was aboard United Airlines Flight 175, the second craft to hit the World Trade Center, according to German officials.

Hanish Hanjour, 26, who lived in Oakland, Calif., was one of the hijackers on American Airlines Flight 77, which took off from Dulles International Airport outside Washington and smashed into the Pentagon.

A Chinese news service reported in 1987 that a Palestinian named Mohamed Atta had been arrested in New York because he was wanted by Israeli authorities for murdering a bus driver in Israel. It was not clear whether it was the same individual.

Atta and Alshehri received pilot training in several Florida flight academies, including Huffman Aviation International in Venice, and FBI agents have descended on the school. Azzan Ali, 20, a native of Oman who is a student at the flight school, said he was interviewed by three agents Wednesday.