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White House: Abu Abbas Arrest Shows Reach of War on Terrorism

The White House says the arrest of Palestinian terrorist Abu Abbas in Baghdad shows that U.S. forces will track down terrorists wherever they are trying to hide.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan says President Bush is pleased that a well known terrorist will be brought to justice. He says the capture of Abu Abbas in Iraq shows the dangers of terrorists uniting with a regime suspected of having weapons of mass destruction. That was one of the reasons President Bush gave for invading Iraq, and Mr. McClellan says the Palestinian's arrest is a reminder that "terrorists can run, but they cannot hide."

Abu Abbas was captured by U.S. special forces late Monday during a raid in Baghdad. He was convicted by an Italian court of masterminding the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship, the Achille Lauro.

Bush Administration officials say they are still figuring out what to do with their new prisoner. Italy says it plans to seek his extradition. Palestinian leaders say the arrest violates an accord with Israel granting amnesty to those responsible for violence before 1993.