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Officials: Bombing Indictments Near

June 21, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Federal prosecutors are close to indicting several people in the 1996 bombing that killed 19 American servicemen in Saudi Arabia, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

A news conference on the indictments could come as early as Thursday, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. airmen were killed when a truck bomb exploded outside the Khobar Towers, their military housing complex near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Iran initially was believed to have been involved, according to government investigators. Saudi Arabia has yet to disclose its findings in an investigation carried out jointly with the FBI.

FBI Director Louis Freeh gave the Bush administration a report that said any indictments are likely to name Iranian government officials, according to published reports.

On Wednesday, ABC news reported that 12 indictments would be made public Thursday _ naming Saudi militants and a Lebanese chemist, but no Iranians.

FBI agents haggled with Saudi officials over how the investigation would be carried out. Eventually, FBI agents were allowed to formulate questions and watch as Saudi authorities interrogated eight suspects.

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