WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 -- Ramsi Ahmed Yousef, one of the world's most sought-after suspected terrorists, has been taken into custody by federal authorities in New York, the White House announced in a press conference Wednesday evening. Yousef, who is listed on the FBI's most wanted list, is under indictment as a key figure in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. Yousuf, 25, was most recently arrested by Pakistani authorities and turned over to U.S. authorities in accordance with the requirements of international law, a White House spokesman said in a telephone press conference. 'I especially want to thank all of those involved in this important process,' President Clinton said in a prepared statement. 'This arrest is a major step forward in the fight against terrorism. Terror will not pay, terrorists will pay. Yousef, a fugitive and one of seven suspects alleged to have been involved in the World Trade Center bombing, was identified by federal prosecutors on March 31, 1993. The government issued a warrant for the former gypsy cab driver who fled the U.S., bound for Pakistan. Yousef lived in the same Jersey City, New Jersey, apartment as Mohammed Salameh, the first suspect arrested in the Feb. 26, 1993, bombing that killed six people and injured more than 1,000. 'We will continue to work with other nations to thwart those who would kill innocent citizens to further their own political gains,' Clinton said. 'The executive order I signed last month to stop the fundraising of Middle East terrorist groups, and my proposed Omnibus Anti-Terrorism act, will greatly strengthen our abilities to act quickly and decisively to this threat against peace,' Clinton said.
'Thebudget I submitted earlier this week maintains the vigorous law enforcement, intelligence, and diplomatic capabilities the United States requires to act effectively against terrorism on all fronts,' he said. 'We and other members of the international community will continue to dedicate ourselves to the cause of peace and to unite against those who threaten innocent lives,' the president said. White House Spokesman Jonathan Spalter said that National Security Advisor Anthony Lake has kept the president abreast of developments since the effort bring Yousef into custody began. Yousef, who entered the United States illegally, is suspected of having receiving funds from overseas, sparking renewed speculation that the bombers received Middle Eastern financial backing. Immigration and Naturalization Service officials said Yousef's passport showed he had been in Iraq and Jordan in the six months leading up to the bombing. He arrived with in the U.S. with an immigration visa and was detained, but because he sought asylum, and because there was a 'lack' of detention space, he was released pending a hearing, an INS official said. Yousef's hearings were adjourned twice, and in late March 1993 he did not show up for a rescheduled hearing. As a result, he was barred in absentia from re-entering the United States. (written by Timothy Burn, edited by Ian McCaleb In Washington)