"We have a couple hundred people, close to a couple hundred, that we have on a watch list that we are still seeking to find," said Ashcroft.
New details have emerged about the people who may be on that list many of them citizens of Saudi Arabia, America's ally, reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales.
According to the Los Angeles Times, among those individuals investigators are looking for include: a Saudi radical in Arizona, with ties to Osama bin Laden, who is said to be scouting terrorist targets in the Southwest; a Tennessee-based Saudi businessman with no connection to the hijackings, but who was reportedly trying to buy small planes in August; and a family that moved to Florida after a 10-year-old boy told his teacher last summer that his father, a Saudi citizen, "crashes airplanes into big buildings."
The FBI also wants to locate five Saudis, four of whom may be pilots, who were booked on a flight from Los Angeles to New York a week before the attack. According to the LA Times, their reservations were made by one of the dead hijackers.
"The main source of support for fanatical and political Islam is coming from Saudi financial backing," said Professor Vali Nasr, University of San Diego.
Nasr says the Saudi government has appeased Islamic extremists by funding and promoting a radical form of Islam that sees the U.S. as an enemy.
"They have been playing with cobras in a snakepit and hoping that they would be able to control it. They've lost control of it," he said.
An unknown number of Saudi citizens have already been detained, including a man found videotaping a federal building in Detroit and a Saudi Airlines employee in Las Vegas who was allegedly recruiting Muslim youth to go to Afghanistan and fight for the Taliban.
Bin Laden is Saudi Arabian, but his terror network is international and authorities are also looking for scores of citizens from other Middle Eastern countries including, former moujahedeen who fought in Afghanistan and Bosnia and who now may be living in the United States.
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