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Rumsfeld 'Greatly Pleased' with Terrorist Arrests - 2002-06-18


U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says he is "greatly pleased" with the steady flow of arrests of terrorist suspects worldwide.

Noting fresh terrorist detentions in such places as Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Syria, Mr. Rumsfeld said to his knowledge the latest sweeps have not netted any major terrorist suspects.

But he also told reporters at the Pentagon that with all the global cooperation now under way in the war on terrorism, there are arrests on an almost daily basis.

"And that is a continuing process," he said. "People are being interrogated, new information is being gathered, laptops are being looked at, and all of this is putting pressure on the terrorist organizations, and it is a good thing."

Mr. Rumsfeld provided no new details on any arrests. But he says he is sure there are some countries where arrests have taken place that have not been publicized.

The secretary spoke at a joint news conference with Portugal's visiting Defense Minister Paulo Portas. The two men discussed cooperation in the war on terrorism, including their countries' respective efforts in Afghanistan. They also discussed their support for reforms in the NATO alliance to meet the challenge of such 21st century threats to security as terrorist networks.

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