NEW YORK – The recent raid in Pakistan that nabbed suspected Sept. 11 financial backer Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi will lead to a global freezing of Al Qaeda funds, Fox News has learned.
Al-Hawsawi, thought to be a main financier of the attacks on New York and the Pentagon, was captured alongside suspected Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and a third man, Ahmed Abdul Qadus, in Rawalpindi. Officials said that the arrests produced many computer disks that detail major financial backers of Al Qaeda around the globe, including some in the United States.
The information contained on the disks include bank account numbers and names of individuals and organizations that have supplied money to Al Qaeda. Senior officials said based on that data more terror arrests are expected and many terror cells will soon be exposed.
Sources also said several high-level CIA officials were en route to Pakistan Wednesday night, going on new information obtained from the arrest and interrogation of Mohammed, the so-called No. 3 man in Al Qaeda.
Intelligence sources said Mohammed was talking to interrogators to "some degree" and had provided information suggesting Usama bin Laden may be in the Baluchistan province of Pakistan, which is on the border of Iran and Afghanistan. The area is known for tough terrain and tribal chiefs who, it is believed, have protected bin Laden in the past.
Intelligence sources in Pakistan said security is being tightened in Baluchistan, especially near rivers should bin Laden -- if he is there -- try to flee. But they also said bin Laden may be far from the area now following Mohammed's widely publicized arrest.
Al Qaeda officials have been traced to Baluchistan before. Mohammed's nephew Ramzi Yousef, responsible for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, once lived there.