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U.S. Top Ten Announcement

U.S. Top Ten Announcement

Statement of FBI Director Freeh :James Charles Kopp and Usama Bin Laden

Washington, June 7, 1999.

Today, the FBI is placing two new fugitives on its "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list. These two men, James Charles Kopp and Usama Bin Laden, have both committed egregious and violent acts which resulted in the death of an American doctor in New York and numerous Embassy employees overseas, respectively. In taking this action, the FBI reaffirms its commitment to the prevention of all violent activities and reemphasizes the high priority level which the FBI maintains in its efforts to arrest those individuals responsible for such violence.

James Charles Kopp, the first new addition to the top ten list, is charged with the fatal shooting of Dr. Barnett Slepian, a well-known doctor and provider of abortions in Western New York State. On October 23, 1998, a single bullet entered the Slepian home in Amherst, New York, through a rear window. This bullet, fired from a wooded area behind the Slepian residence, was responsible for the doctor's death. He left behind a wife and four young sons.

James Charles Kopp is described as a white male, 5' 11", 150 to 175 pounds, with red/brown hair and blue/gray eyes. He was born in Pasadena, California, on August 2, 1954. He has a scar on the top of his left hand near his thumb. Kopp wears eyeglasses, walks with a slight limp, and may have back problems. He has also been known to have a beard and moustache.

Kopp has not been seen since November 3, 1998. He purports to be a devout Roman Catholic who is very active in the Pro-Life Movement. James Charles Kopp has no known permanent address and has traveled extensively throughout the United States and internationally, to include countries in South America, Asia, Europe, and North America.

James Charles Kopp has been charged in the Western District of New York with the use of deadly force to prevent a doctor from providing reproductive health services in violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances, or FACE, Act. He now becomes the 455th person to be placed on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted List", and the first to do so on charges stemming from the FACE Act. He replaces Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi whom the Libyan Government turned over to Dutch authorities on April 5, 1999, to stand trial for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.

Usama Bin Laden, the second new addition to the top ten list, is charged in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. These acts of international terrorism resulted in the deaths of more than 200 people and the wounding of more than 4,000 individuals. His terrorist organization, Al-Qaeda, or "The Base," is extensive and has the capability and willingness to inflict large-scale, random violence.

Usama Bin Laden was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on November 4, 1998, in the Southern District of New York, on charges of Murder of U.S. Nationals Outside the United States, Conspiracy to Murder U.S. Nationals Outside the United States, and Attacks on a Federal Facility Resulting in Death. As a result of the two Embassy bombings, twelve Americans lost their lives.

Bin Laden was born in 1957 in Saudi Arabia. He is described as an Arab male, 6' 4" to 6' 6", approximately 160 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He has an olive complexion and a thin build. Bin Laden is known to walk with a cane.

The activities of Usama Bin Laden and his associates remain a serious concern. The FBI continues to receive a high number of threats from individuals and organizations with ties to Bin Laden. Although there is no specific, corroborated threat information, the number of threats received, the standing "Fatwas" from Bin Laden, his indictment for crimes relating to the East Africa bombings, and this Top Ten release all heighten the potential for terrorism by Al-Qaeda.

Usama Bin Laden now becomes the 456th person to be named to the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list, which began in 1950. Since then, 427 fugitives have been apprehended or located, 133 of them as a result of citizen assistance. He replaces Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, the other suspect wanted in connection with the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 who was also turned over to Dutch authorities.

The U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Usama Bin Laden. This reward is the largest amount ever offered for a fugitive wanted by the U.S. Government. It reflects the determination of the entire law enforcement community to join forces in the fight against international terrorism. This fight would not be complete without the cooperation of the public.

As in the past, the public's support remains invaluable in the assistance to law enforcement officials. The FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitive program is utilized as an investigative tool, affording the general public the opportunity to participate in the search for fugitives. Without the public's assistance, the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program would not have been nearly as successful in removing the most violent and dangerous criminals from our streets. The media also plays an invaluable role in the hunt for these fugitives by transforming any home that has a television or receives a newspaper into a latter-day "post office", previously the only site where wanted posters were found. In addition, the convergence of technology and globalization has enabled and caused us to establish our own world-wide "post office" -- the FBI Home Page (www.fbi.gov), on which the Top Ten fugitives and others are profiled. Our home page receives approximately 30 million "hits" per month from people living all over the world.

Anyone with information concerning either James Charles Kopp or Usama Bin Laden should take no action themselves, but instead immediately contact the nearest FBI office or local law enforcement agency. For any possible sighting outside the United States, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Both individuals should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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