Subj: Ashcroft Cites Risk of Attack Using Crop-Dusters
Date: 9/24/01 12:14:20 PM Pacific Daylight Time

September 24 2:37 PM ET

Ashcroft Cites Risk of Attack Using Crop-Dusters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft
said Monday crop-dusting planes were grounded at least until
midnight in the United States because of concerns the planes
could be used in a chemical or biological attack.

"Yesterday, the FBI issued a nationwide alert based on
information they received indicating the possibility of
attacks using crop-dusting aircraft," Ashcroft said in
testimony to the House of Representatives Judiciary

"The FBI assesses the uses of this type of aircraft to
distribute chemical or biological weapons of mass
destruction as potential threats to Americans. We have no
clear indication of the time or place of such attacks," he

Ashcroft confirmed news reports that one of the suspected
hijackers involved in the attacks on New York and
Washington, Mohamed Atta, was acquiring information on the
use of crop-dusting aircraft prior to the Sept. 11 attacks.

In addition, he said a search of computers and computer
discs and personal baggage of another suspect in custody
revealed a "significant amount" of information downloaded
from the Internet on the use of aerial applications of
pesticides or crop-dusting.