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Egypt Bombing Search Widens

Police said Monday they were searching for five Pakistani men in their widening investigation into Egypt's deadliest terror attack, which killed scores of people, including an American, at this Red Sea resort.

Egypt sacked its two security chiefs for the Sinai peninsula after the Saturday bombings in their region. The Health Ministry said 64 people were killed but local hospitals put the toll at 88, saying the ministry count does not include sets of body parts.

Early Monday morning, police launched a sweep in a desert mountain area about 24 miles from Sharm's main strip of hotels after they got a tip that several unidentified men were seen fleeing in that direction, security officials said.

Police at checkpoints around this resort also were circulating photographs of five Pakistanis who apparently were among a group of nine Pakistanis who arrived in Sharm el-Sheik from Cairo on July 5, according to two investigators who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the probe's sensitivity.

The five were identified as Mohammed Anwar, 30; Rashid Ali, 26; Mohammed Aref, 26; Musaddeq Hussein, 18; and Mohammed Akhtar, 30. The pictures, which gave the men's names and passport numbers, also were on posters put up in Cairo, apparently out of concern they were in the capital either before or since the attacks.

But officials did not say the men were known to be connected to the bombing. One senior official said the men had overstayed their visas and police were looking widely into any illegal activity in the wake of the blasts.

If any involvement of Pakistanis is confirmed, it would suggest that those behind Saturday's bombings belong to a much wider terror network than previously believed.

Terrorism expert Jessica Stern told CBS News' The Early Show she would not be surprised if Pakistani terror groups were involved.

"I think that we know that for a long time Pakistani jihad groups have been working together with Egyptian groups as part of the international Islamic front," says Stern, author of "Terror in the Name of God,"

"So, even though it's unclear who is responsible, it would not be surprising if there's responsibility from both camps."

President Bush signed a condolence book Monday at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington and said the people responsible for the deadly attack "have no heart."

Mr. Bush said his visit was meant to "reiterate my country's strong desire to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Egypt and bring justice to those who killed innocent people."

Egyptian security forces already have detained more than 70 people in Sharm and other parts of the Sinai since the attacks.

On Sunday, police said they were hunting for three bombers who may have escaped after the attack. They said a fourth attacker apparently was a suicide bomber who crashed a pickup truck laden with explosives hidden under vegetables into a hotel lobby.

Another avenue investigators have been following is that Saturday's attacks were carried out by a Sinai-based network believed responsible for the October bombings in the Sinai tourist resorts of Taba and Ras Shitan, about 125 miles north of Sharm el-Sheik. Those attacks killed 34 people.


Police said Sunday they were conducting DNA testing on the remains of a suicide bomber found Saturday in a car that rammed into the Ghazala Gardens Hotel in Naama Bay, the city's main tourist area. Two other blasts rocked a parking lot near the hotel and an area about two miles away called the Old Market.

The DNA was being compared to samples taken from the parents of five suspects still at large from the October attacks to determine if there was a match, a police official said in el-Arish, where the parents live.

Egyptian authorities have portrayed the Taba bombings as an extension of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rather than a homegrown Islamic militant movement or an al Qaeda-linked operation. They said a Palestinian who died in the attacks had recruited Bedouins and Egyptians to plot the bombings.

But the sophistication of the Sharm bombings — and their timing on the heels of two rounds of attacks in London — raised worries of an international connection.

The involvement of Pakistanis in the attack in Sharm el-Sheik would be unprecedented, as non-Egyptians rarely have been linked to attacks here. It also would be extremely difficult for a group of young Pakistanis not to be noticed in Sharm, one of the most heavily policed cities in Egypt and a favorite residence of President Hosni Mubarak.

Pakistani involvement also would increase suspicions that Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network may have been involved. The Saudi-born bin Laden is popular among militant Pakistani groups and is known to enjoy support in tribal areas close to the Afghan border.

British authorities have been seeking several Pakistanis in connection to this month's deadly bombings in London, and Washington has raised the possibility that both the London and Sharm attacks were planned by al Qaeda.

Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said Monday that al Qaeda's command and communication system in his country has been eliminated and that the network could not have orchestrated terrorist attacks in London or Sharm el-Sheik from Pakistan.

"Is it possible in this situation that an al Qaeda man sitting here, no matter who he is, may control things in London, Sharm el-Sheik, Istanbul or Africa. This is absolutely wrong," he said.

South Sinai Gov. Mustafa Afifi said Monday that 17 foreigners, including Westerners and citizens from other Arab states, were killed in the attacks. At least one American was killed.

The American victim, Las Vegas native Kristina Miller, was vacationing in Egypt with her British boyfriend Kerry Davies, celebrating her 27th birthday Friday night when the bombs went off an hour after midnight.

"They came in to give me the news they found Kristi. And I knew it was Kristi because she had some distinct tattoos on her body and they described every one of them for me," her father, Anthony Miller, who traveled to Egypt to search for his daughter, told Las Vegas' KLAS-TV.

He told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday that he last spoke to her Friday night, on the eve of her birthday.

"I told her be careful, have a great birthday and I love her and I will call her and talk to her the next day. And that was the last time I talked to her," Miller said.

Two Italians and a Czech were confirmed killed, according to their governments, and a hospital official in Sharm said two Britons and two Germans were killed. Several Italians and Britons were unaccounted for.

One of the two groups that claimed responsibility for the attacks warned in a new Web statement posted Monday of a "total war" unless "Jews and Christians leave our country within 60 days."

If not, "you will see what you've never dreamed of," said the statement by the Holy Warriors of Egypt, signed by its "general leader, Hamoudi al-Masri," an apparent pseudonym. The message had numerous grammatical mistakes in Arabic.

The group had not been heard of before its claim this weekend. A conflicting claim was issued by an al Qaeda-linked group, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which also took responsibility for last October's bombings in Taba and Ras al-Shitan. The statements could not be verified.

On Sunday, security officials said the bombers appeared to have entered Sharm in two pickup trucks loaded with explosives hidden under vegetables.

Afifi said the Ghazala suicide bomber ran down and killed two security guards before crashing into the reception area and detonating his explosives, which investigators have said weighed 660 pounds.

Shortly after, a backpack filled with explosives left by another attacker blew up near the parking lot and taxi stand close to the Ghazala, he said.

The terrorist involved in the third blast in the Old Market intended to attack a hotel, possibly the Iberotel Palace, Afifi said. But the attacker was stopped in a line of cars at a nearby police checkpoint and got out of his pickup before it exploded. Police are investigating whether that attacker died in the blast.

Before the attacks, the militants rubbed serial numbers off the trucks' engines, the officials said. Such serial numbers had been a key clue Egyptian investigators had used to track down those behind the October bombings at Taba and Ras Shitan.