Attorney General John Ashcroft says some of the people responsible for last month's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon may still be in the United States, but he says law enforcement agencies are making an all out effort to track them down.
"I believe that it is very unlikely that all of those individuals that were associated with or involved with the terrorism events of September 11 and other terrorism events that may have been pre-positioned and pre-planned have been apprehended," said the attorney general. He told the NBC television program Meet the Press that the government is taking aggressive action to prevent further attacks.
"We are doing everything possible to disrupt, to interrupt, to prevent [and] to destabilize any additional activity," Mr. Ashcroft said.
In another television interview, on CBS, Mr. Ashcroft said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking for almost 200 people wanted for questioning in connection with the September 11 attacks, "a watch list of individuals that we want to apprehend and question."
The attorney general said investigators want to find out if these people have knowledge of or ties to terrorist groups or specific acts of terrorism. He said some of the 700 suspects "were specifically associated with the hijackers."
The attorney general told CBS's Face the Nation that the Justice Department remains on highest alert. He repeated his call to all Americans to immediately report any suspicious activities to law enforcement agencies.