Counter Terrorism News Check
Counter Terrorism Page 16
Counter Terrorism Page 18
WeB-LOG after 9/11 continued
George W. Bush is predicted by many
people to win four more years as President of the United States
of America. One reason why is because on average more than 50% of
Americans do not vote. Another reason why is that electronic
voting machines do not have paper audit trails yet you go to the
store and always get a paper printout from electronic cash
More at vote.htm
Whoever wins, if they listen to what you and me are trying to say and take our suggestion then we can hope for the better.
http://factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=272 Cheney & Edwards Mangle Facts
Oct 6, 2004
Cheney, Edwards Stretch Findings, Facts
By CALVIN WOODWARD
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Whether it was Dick Cheney's faux-pas about never meeting his rival or John Edwards' oversimplifications about troops in Iraq, the vice presidential debaters stretched facts even as they claimed the high ground in setting the record straight.
Technicalities were cast aside on both sides.
The vice president said Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry voted for the Iraq war, but the reality was more complex. The senator backed a resolution that allowed it to happen but said he took President Bush at his word that he'd exhaust weapons inspections and build a true coalition first.
Edwards turned a complicated matter involving allowances for troops into a "height of hypocrisy" effort by Bush to "cut their combat pay" even as they fought in Iraq.
The accusations flew. Sometimes the target had a chance to swat them down. Often they went unanswered.
"A lot of factual inaccuracies were left standing," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who monitors the campaign for distortion as director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
Cheney declared Saddam Hussein's Iraq "had an established relationship with al-Qaida" despite the prevailing theory by U.S. intelligence that such a link was tenuous and did not amount to state sponsorship of the terrorist
organization or any link to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Edwards asserted the connection was minimal or nonexistent. The recent Senate Intelligence Committee report on flawed Iraqi intelligence did conclude, however, that the CIA was reasonable in thinking there were probably several contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida throughout the 1990s, although they did not add up to a formal relationship.
In perhaps the most awkward blooper of the evening, Cheney told Edwards to his face that they had never met before the debate.
Edwards' campaign later provided a transcript of a February 2001 prayer breakfast at which Cheney began his remarks by acknowledging the North Carolina senator. The campaign said the two also met when Edwards accompanied the other North Carolina senator, Elizabeth Dole, to her swearing-in ceremony.
Cheney was trying to make the point that Edwards was an absentee senator. "The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight."
At one point, Edwards attacked Cheney for the administration's decision to give billions of dollars in new contracts in Iraq to Halliburton Co., which the vice president once headed. But congressional auditors recently concluded U.S. officials met legal guidelines in awarding the business without competition - in part because Halliburton was the only company capable of doing some of the work.
Edwards also asserted, "They sent 40,000 American troops into Iraq without the body armor they needed," a comment that might suggest they had no body armor at all, when in fact they did.
Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said 40,000 troops did not have the brand new, improved armor but, "every soldier and Marine on the ground had body armor."
Cheney accused Kerry of voting for taxes 98 times. That's down from the 350 times wrongly claimed by Republicans, but it's still iffy. Those 98 votes include times when many procedural votes were cast on a single tax increase or package, according to an analysis by Annenberg's FactCheck.org.
Cheney meant to cite FactCheck.org on another occasion during the debate but he got it wrong, and unintentionally steered Web surfers to a site run by the anti-Bush activist billionaire, George Soros. Cheney said "factcheck.com," when he should have used "org."
Whatever the relationship between al-Qaida and Iraq over the years, another question was whether Saddam's Iraq had anything to do with the Sept. 11 attacks specifically. There is no evidence of that.
The vice president stated flatly that he has never suggested a connection between Iraq and Sept. 11.
But he did say in 2003 that if efforts to establish democracy in Iraq succeeded, "we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11."
Touching on a favorite Democratic theme, Edwards declared the Bush administration is "for outsourcing jobs," taking out of context comments from Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and a report by a council of economists who advise the president. Bush and Cheney have not said they favor the practice of U.S companies sending jobs from the United States to cheaper labor abroad.
The Council of Economic Advisers said job outsourcing is part of a healthy dynamic in which free trade in return benefits Americans. And Chao said last month that the concerns about job losses ignore that foreign-owned companies are creating many jobs in the United States at the same time.
Also in the debate, Edwards said that while U.S. troops were fighting in Iraq, the Bush administration "lobbied the Congress to cut their combat pay. This is the height of hypocrisy."
It's also arguable. When the government faced prospects that increased allowances for the troops would expire as stipulated by Congress, the Pentagon said it would make up any shortfall through incentive pay or similar means.
Fri Oct 22, 2004
Today the first hearing was held in response to a lawsuit filed by
Advancement Project, unions and other civil rights organizations seeking
to preserve the voting rights of more than 10,000 Floridians who are
eligible to vote and who registered to vote in advance of the October 4
deadline, but whose applications were deemed incomplete by the
elections officials based on unduly restrictive registration procedures that
violate federal election laws.
"Unfortunately the State and counties have delayed justice," said Judith
Browne, senior attorney, Advancement Project, a national civil rights
organization. "Today's actions demonstrate that the Secretary Hood and
the Supervisors of Elections, are engaging in delay tactics that will
disadvantage and possibly deny the right to vote to thousands of
Due to the large number of registrations and the elections
offices' inability to process these applications in a timely fashion,
applicants have also been deprived of an opportunity to provide any
missing information. The defendants have required that missing
information, such as these unnecessary boxes and numbers, be
provided by the October 4th deadline, yet they sent registrants notices
too late to make a difference.
Do We See A Pattern Here?
Military Service Politically Speaking!
Voters Angry At Chaos In
Early US Polls
By Oliver Burkeman in New York
The Guardian - UK
Oct 27, 2004
A Look at Lawsuits, Voting Problems
Many states are facing legal challenges over possible voting problems Nov. 2. A look at some of the developments Wednesday:
- As many as 3,700 people have registered to vote in more than one Colorado county this year, nearly two-thirds of them college-age voters, the Denver Post reported. Election officials said they are working to catch double registrations but concede double voting might occur.
- Up to 58,000 absentee ballots may never have reached the Broward County voters who requested them more than two weeks ago, and state police are investigating. The county election office said the problem involved ballots mailed on Oct. 7-8, though the number of those actually missing was uncertain. Some absentee ballots mailed on those dates have already been returned to be counted.
- Five voters who sued the secretary of state over a provisional ballots decision did not exhaust administrative remedies, the state argued in court. The plaintiffs, who argue ballots cast in the wrong polling place may dilute properly cast votes, present their arguments later Wednesday.
Oct 27, 2004
Al-Qaida Magazine Appeals to Iraq Fighters
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- An online al-Qaida magazine is urging Sunni Muslim fighters in Iraq to join hands with Osama bin Laden to defeat its enemies.
"We are urging all the leaders of Sunni holy warriors to fight for God's word to prevail over that of the infidels, to join hands with the leader of Islam's soldiers today, Osama bin Laden," said an editorial in the bimonthly al-Qaida military publication Al-Battar Camp.
It said bin Laden would bring "victory (over) infidels from the atheist Crusaders."
Al-Battar, Arabic for "sharp sword," is a slick Web magazine featuring a table of contents and op-ed page and a letters to the editor section.
The leaders of Sunni Muslim fighters in Iraq "should follow the lead of holy warrior leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, may God keep him, who initiated this good precedent, may God reward him," the magazine said.
Al-Zarqawi's militant group, Tawhid and Jihad, believed to be behind many deadly attacks in Iraq, declared its allegiance to Osama bin Laden two weeks ago, citing the need for unity against "the enemies of Islam." The group now calls itself al-Qaida in Iraq.
"That the leader of Tawhid and Jihad group announced his allegiance to the sheik of holy war and holy warriors in our time ... is good omen for victory," the editorial said.
Al-Zarqawi is believed to lead a loose, yet powerful, band of insurgents in Iraq who have wreaked havoc on U.S. efforts to stabilize the country.
In June, the United States increased the reward for information leading to his killing or capture to up to $25 million, the same as for bin Laden.
ABC News Gave Videotape of
Attack Threat to FBI, CIA
Wed, Oct 27, 2004
By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - ABC News has asked U.S. security officials to examine a videotape it obtained in Pakistan of an English-speaking man threatening a massive attack on the United States, the network said on Wednesday.
Sources familiar with the tape -- the authenticity of which U.S. intelligence officials have not been unable to verify -- said the man, who claims to be a U.S. native and al Qaeda supporter, warns that the "streets will run with blood."
The video appears to have been made as recently as late summer because the speaker discusses the Darfur conflict in Sudan, makes a reference to the Massachusetts same-sex marriage legislation and mentions the Sept. 11 Commission, one U.S. intelligence official told Reuters.
ABC News vice president Jeffrey Schneider said the network has not shown the video because its authenticity has not been verified by either independent analysts or government experts.
"We have worked with the CIA and the FBI, neither of whom have authenticated the tape," he told Reuters. "Obviously, it would be beyond irresponsible to broadcast this tape without first authenticating it."
The first disclosure of the tape by Internet columnist Matt Drudge prompted ABC to publicly acknowledge the video's existence before knowing whether it was real or fake.
Schneider said the tape was obtained from a source in Pakistan over the weekend and arrived in New York on Monday, where it was first viewed by network officials.
Asked about the tape at a campaign stop with President Bush in Ohio, White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters, "The intelligence community is analyzing it, working to verify its authenticity."
A source familiar with the tape told Reuters the hourlong video features a man, whose face is concealed by a headdress, warning that a coming attack on the United States would dwarf the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
According to the source, the man says, "The streets will run with blood" and says the United States has brought this on itself for electing a president who has declared war on Islam by attacking the former Taliban rulers in Afghanistan and waging war against al Qaeda.
The source said linguistic experts believe the man, who identifies himself as "Assam the American," learned English at a young age but is not a native English speaker.
A U.S. intelligence official said the man claims to be originally from America and speaks fluent English with a slight accent. "We don't have a positive ID of the speaker, who was shrouded and wearing dark glasses," the official said. "The intelligence community does not have information linking the video to a specific threat."
The official said the tape was "classic al Qaeda propaganda," but seems to have been "sliced and diced." The speaker refers to al Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri as "our leaders" and praises the Sept. 11 attacks.
Sharing information like this with the government carries risks for a news organization, said media analyst Andrew Tyndall.
"If...as a result of sending this tape to the government, the CIA tipped off the Pakistani internal intelligence service, and they rounded this guy up, (ABC's) news-gathering ability would be compromised because you'd be perceived by the people on the streets of Karachi as being a front organization for the CIA."
Schneider said ABC had been consulting with experts of its own as well as with U.S. officials. "We went to a number of sources in an attempt to authenticate (the tape) and in this case, those sources include government sources," he said.
Al-Qaqaa Spokesman Says No
Wed Oct 27, 2:21 AM ET
Middle East - AP
By KIMBERLY HEFLING, Associated Press Writer
One of the first U.S. military units to reach the Al-Qaqaa military installation south of Baghdad after the invasion of Iraq did not have orders to search for the nearly 400 tons of explosives that are missing from the site, the unit spokesman said Tuesday.
When troops from the 101st Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade arrived at the Al-Qaqaa base a day or so after other coalition troops seized Baghdad on April 9, 2003, there were already looters throughout the facility, Lt. Col. Fred Wellman, deputy public affairs officer for the unit, told The Associated Press.
The soldiers "secured the area they were in and looked in a limited amount of bunkers to ensure chemical weapons were not present in their area," Wellman wrote in an e-mail message to The Associated Press. "Bombs were found but not chemical weapons in that immediate area.
"Orders were not given from higher to search or to secure the facility or to search for HE type munitions, as they (high-explosive weapons) were everywhere in Iraq," he wrote.
The 101st Airborne was apparently at least the second military unit to arrive at Al-Qaqaa after the U.S. led invasion began. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told The Washington Post that the 3rd Infantry Division reached the site around April 3, fought with Iraq forces and occupied the site. They left after two days, headed to Baghdad, he told the newspaper for Wednesday's editions.
Associated Press Correspondent Chris Tomlinson, who was embedded with the 3rd Infantry but didn't go to Al-Qaqaa, described the search of Iraqi military facilities south of Baghdad as brief, cursory missions to seek out hostile troops, not to inventory or secure weapons stockpiles. One task force, he said, searched four Iraqi military bases in a single day, meeting no resistance and finding only abandoned buildings, some containing weapons and ammunition.
The enormous size of the bases, the rapid pace of the advance on Baghdad and the limited number of troops involved, made it impossible for U.S. commanders to allocate any soldiers to guard any of the facilities after making a check, Tomlinson said.
Pentagon officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. A spokesman for the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Ga., said the unit was checking on whether any of its troops was at Al-Qaqaa.
Wednesday October 27, 2004
Fidel Castro has ended Cuba's decade-long, bitter-sweet romance with the dollar. The announcement that US currency notes will in a fortnight no longer be accepted as payment in the country marks a radical change. Cubans have become used to shopping for all but basic goods with the greenback. Now they, tourists and others on the island can longer pay for anything in dollars cash, though bank transfers will still be legal. Mr Castro, 78, with one arm in a sling, appeared in uniform on state television to inform Cubans of the changes, five days after a fall had left him with a fractured knee and arm. He blamed the decision on the US administration of George Bush, citing restrictions placed recently on dollar remittances to Cuban families by Cuban American relatives, and attempts to prevent international banks providing Cuba with dollars (the Cuban peso cannot be used for international trade). "The empire is determined to create more difficulties for us," Mr Castro said. He said that it would not be illegal to hold dollars but, as from November 8, these would have to be exchanged for pesos to be spent, and there would be a 10% commission.
"As of November 8, the dollar will not be accepted in our shops, which will only take convertible pesos," a central bank statement explained.
USF Anthrax Detector Nears
By LAURA KINSLER
Published: Oct 24, 2004
TAMPA - Three years ago, as Americans learned to equate white powders with weapons of mass destruction, a group of scientists at the University of South Florida was conducting research that has since changed anthrax testing.
Five people died and 17 were injured during the anthrax mail scare of 2001. While it was going on, USF's Center for Biological Defense was testing as many as 100 suspicious white powders every day for the government.
Getting results took 24 to 48 hours. Now, thanks to the research group, results are available in a fraction of the time.
``We've developed a test that can detect [anthrax] in 15 minutes,'' said Daniel Lim, the microbiologist who heads the Advanced Biosensors Lab at the center.
Lim's team won a national Homeland Security Award this month for improving the test. It now is putting the finishing touches on a device that will check Pinellas County's drinking water for anthrax and other deadly toxins.
``After 9/11, we were very concerned about the possibility of drinking water systems being used to convey harmful agents,'' said Bob Powell, lab director for Pinellas County Utilities.
Powell said the water department learned about Lim's work with biosensors and contracted with the center to develop a unit to test the water it produces for more than 650,000 customers.
Anthrax placed in a community's water lines could kill or injure hundreds, even thousands, of people, Powell said. A single event, he pointed out, could affect the nation's confidence in its drinking water.
And there can be enormous financial repercussions: The mail sorting center in Trenton, N.J., still hasn't reopened. The South Florida building where the first anthrax-laden letter was discovered sold this year for pennies on the dollar.
So Pinellas commissioners approved a $560,000 contract in 2002 for the new technology, Powell said.
``Most monitoring of drinking water is done after the fact. It takes about 24 hours to test, and by that time it's too late,'' he said. ``This gives us a chance to do real-time testing.''
Refined Military Technology
The U.S. Naval Research Lab and Largo-based Constellation Technology invented the physical equipment for the detection system; Lim's team produced the biosensors that make it work in the presence of toxins.
Constellation also redesigned the system into one that is automated and less expensive.
``We took their lab prototype and turned it into a piece of equipment that can be sold for commercial use,'' said Tammy Spain, senior scientist at Constellation Technology. ``We've reduced the cost of the components of equipment by a hundred times.''
The test developed by Lim's team sped up detection and eliminated delays by making it possible to test suspicious substances in water or food, as well as powders.
``We can put hamburger meat in,'' Lim said.
A biosensor measures or detects chemicals or bacteria with the use of a biological material or tissue. Lim's team uses antibodies on microscope slides or in optical fibers that have physical reactions to harmful agents.
``Previous field testing units were unreliable because they often gave false-positive results,'' Lim said. ``Our lab has refined these tests and made them more accurate.''
The system should be installed in Pinellas County and in its field testing phase early next year. It will check for at least four agents: anthrax, E. coli, staphylococcus and botulin. If it works, the system would sample and test the water every few hours.
Putin: Why Not Price Oil
By Catherine Belton
October 10, 2003
President Vladimir Putin said Thursday Russia could switch its trade in oil from dollars to euros, a move that could have far-reaching repercussions for the global balance of power -- potentially hurting the U.S. dollar and economy and providing a massive boost to the euro zone.
Earth must resist US
monopoly of space
Bi Lun Updated: 2004-10-28
Galileo, the prestigious European satellite navigation system, is under threat by the United States.
According to the Business Week magazine, the US threatened to attack the Galileo network if it is used by alleged adversaries, such as terrorists.
This is nothing but a US monopoly and sharply runs counter to the spirit of peaceful use of outer space and closer international space co-operation.
It explicitly demonstrates, once again, the urgency for the rest of the world to have an independent satellite-based positioning and timing infrastructure to ruffle the dominance of the US amid mounting worries about its post-September 11 hegemony in the name of anti-terror.
USA to use new nuclear
submarines to battle terrorism
The new submarines was named in honor of the State of Virginia
The US Navy put into service a new submarine, which had been designed especially for the anti-terrorist struggle. It is noteworthy that the Soviet Union used to have a similar submarine: the 667A submarine was redesigned as a carrier sub, which was outfitted with two mini submarines in addition to torpedoes. The American submarine bears a certain resemblance to the Soviet sub as far as its objectives are concerned.
The official website of the Russian Ministry for Atomic Power said that the US submarine Virginia was evaluated at $2.2 billion. The sub differs from its analogues for its capability to navigate at a relatively small depth, which is an important aspect for anti-terrorist operations. The crew of the nuclear-powered 113-meter-long submarine counts 130 members.
The solemn ceremony took place at the largest US Navy base on the Atlantic coast in Norfolk, Virginia. The new $2.2 billion submarine was named in honor of the state.
The submarine was built by Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics corporations. Virginia is capable of navigating in shallow waters to pursue terrorists. Instead of a periscope the crew of the new sub will use a special high resolution digital camera. This new feature allowed to move the captain's bridge to a more spacious compartment on the lower deck of the sub. The torpedo compartment can be redesigned too to place additional bunks there.
Like the above-mentioned Soviet sub, the US nuclear submarine is equipped with unmanned watercrafts, which will be used for reconnaissance purposes under the water.
Bin Laden may be somewhere
around: Pak official (DPA)
26 October 2004
ISLAMABAD Days after a senior military
commander hinted at the presence of a pro-Al Qaeda
Uzbek leader in the countrys tribal region, Pakistani
officials yesterday said there was broad indication that
Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden might also be hiding
somewhere between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It is, however, difficult to pinpoint a particular place,
which Bin Laden may be using as his hideout either in
Pakistan or Afghanistan, Foreign Ministry
spokesman Masood Khan told reporters at a Press
briefing in Islamabad.
He added that media reports confirming his presence
at a particular place are speculative and not based on
solid intelligence, he added.
President General Pervez Musharraf also said earlier
this month that he believed Bin Laden was alive,
describing him as an enemy who keeps on the move
between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
October 26, 2004
Iraq war rouses terrorists, ASIO says
Australia's top spy has told the Sydney Institute the war in Iraq has increased the threat to Australian interests overseas. ASIO director Dennis Richardson says that on a global level, the conflict in Iraq may have created more terrorists.
New Bush Guard Papers
By MATT KELLEY, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Unearthed under legal pressure, three-decade-old
documents portray President Bush as a capable and
well-liked Air National Guard pilot who stopped flying and attending
regular drills two-thirds of the way through his six-year commitment
The files, many of them forced to light by
Freedom of Information lawsuits by The
Associated Press, conflict with some of the
harshest attacks Democrats have levied on
Bush's Vietnam-era service, such as
suggestions that Bush was a deserter or
absent without leave.
But gaps in the records leave unanswered
questions about the final two years of his
military service in 1972 and 1973. Chief
among them: Why did Bush's commanders
apparently tolerate his lapses in training and
approve his honorable discharge?
Increase in War Funding
Bush to Request $70 Billion More
By Jonathan Weisman and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
The Bush administration intends to seek about $70 billion in emergency funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan early next year, pushing total war costs close to $225 billion since the invasion of Iraq early last year, Pentagon and congressional officials said yesterday.
The American Dream
Slipping Away from the Middle Class
Commentary by Frosty Wooldridge
October 25, 2004
Take action now on
biological weapons before it's too late, warns BMA
Press release date: Monday, 25 Oct 2004 (BMA London)
A new report released today (25 October 2004) by the BMA paints a bleak
picture of the global community's ability to cope with advances in biological
and genetic weapons technology.
The report, Biotechnology, Weapons and Humanity II, warns that the 'window
of opportunity' to take action on this issue is shrinking fast. The BMA first
published a report on this subject in 1999.
Dr Vivienne Nathanson, the BMA Head of Science and Ethics, said: "The
situation today is arguably worse than it was when we published our last
report five years ago. The very existence of international laws to protect us is
being questioned, the anthrax attacks in the US in 2001 caused widespread
panic and fear, and most worryingly of all, it's never been easier to develop
biological weapons all you have to do is look on the internet."
She added: "This report does not make comfortable reading but it is essential
that governments take action on this issue now. If we wait too long it will be
virtually impossible to defend ourselves."
The new BMA report analyses whether terrorist attacks like 9/11, anthrax
attacks in the US in 2001 and the Moscow Theatre siege in 2002 have
impacted on the development of biological weapons.
If the development of biological and genetic weapons is not curtailed, a future
scenario could see the following:
Commenting on the report,
Professor Malcolm Dando, author of this study
and Head of Peace Studies at Bradford University, says: "The problem is that
the same technology being used to develop new vaccines and find cures for
Alzheimer's and other debilitating diseases could also be used for malign
purposes. That is why it is essential that an ethical code be developed for
scientists. Questions need to be asked about where research could lead,
where the results will be published and who has access to the data."
Biotechnology, Weapons and Humanity II, warns of the overwhelming power
of biological weapons. In 1999 it was only thought theoretically possible to
develop weapons that could target specific ethnic groups. Five years on this
is now approaching reality .
Key recommendations from the report  include the following:
Bin Laden Network Active
in Bosnia: Report
Agence France Presse
BANJA LUKA, 26 October 2004 Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden is actively directing terrorist cells in the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia, a top US terrorism analyst told a local daily yesterday.
Yossef Bodansky, director of the Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare of the US Congress, told the Glas Srpske daily that terrorists responsible for the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad last year were trained near the central Bosnian town of Zenica.
There is a terrorist network in Bosnia, composed of several well-trained and connected groups, which are directly or indirectly responsible to ... Osama Bin Laden, he was quoted as saying in the Serbian-language paper.
He said the cells were using Bosnia as a training ground and a gateway to send terrorists to Western Europe or to hide them on their way to the east if they were on the run.
The network in Bosnia ... is training and controlling terrorists who later travel to Western European countries, Bodansky said in comments translated from Serbian. On the other hand, terrorists for whom arrest warrants have been issued in the west are coming back to Bosnia where liaison officers welcome them and provide accommodation and hiding places, and they are later transferred to the east. He said the Zenica region had provided a training ground for terrorists who conducted a series of suicide attacks in Baghdad in August last year, including the UN bombing which killed 22 people.
Literally, they were trained in Zenicas milieu, and from there they were sent out through Italy to Iraq to fight American forces, he said.
Bodansky, who met Bosnian officials last week, complained that the international community and local authorities were aware of terrorists activities but had failed to do enough to stop them.
Representatives of the international community in Bosnia and (local) authorities are aware of this but they do not work enough to fight international terrorism, he said.
NATO peacekeepers are still deployed in Bosnia under peace accords which ended the countrys 1992-95 war, during which hundreds of foreign so-called Mujahedeen fought alongside Bosnian Muslim forces.
In Islamabad, a Foreign Office spokesman said there was broad indication Bin Laden might be hiding somewhere between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Monday, October 25, 2004
US pays hefty reward to terror informants
The United States have given rewards totalling $A1.3
million to three Muslim residents of the southern
Philippines who helped security forces to hunt down and
kill a leader of the militant Abu Sayyaf group in April.
Joseph Mussomeli, a senior US embassy official, handed
18.6 million pesos ($A441,600) each in cash to a man
and two women, who hid their faces under thick brown
stockings to protect their identities.
"It takes courage to do what these three people have
done," Mr Mussomeli said at a tightly guarded hospital
on Basilan island before handing over the money in
"This is the first, but we hope not the last, reward paid in
Heavily armed troops stood guard and snipers perched
on the roof of the state-run hospital, which was
renovated by Filipino and US troops during an anti-terror
exercise in 2002.
The three provided vital information that helped to locate
Hamsiraji Sali, one of five Abu Sayyaf leaders with a
bounty of up to $A6.6 million on their heads, he said.
Sali and five followers were killed in a gunbattle with a
team of US-trained Philippine army rangers on April 6 in
Basilan, a former stronghold of the group, which has
been linked to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda.
He was the second senior Abu Sayyaf member on the
US wanted list to be killed.
The other three, including leader Khaddafy Janjalani,
remain at large.
Sabaya, the group's spokesman, was killed in a sea
battle in July 2002, a week after troops tried to rescue
two Americans held captive by Abu Sayyaf for more
than a year.
US missionary Gracia Burnham survived with a bullet
wound, but her husband, Martin, and Filipino nurse
Ediborah Yap died in the crossfire.
The military says Abu Sayyaf's strength is down to 300
from a peak of more than 5,000 in 2000.
But the group showed it still poses a serious threat with
a bomb attack in February that sank a ferry near
The sinking of Superferry 14 at the mouth of Manila
Bay that killed more than 100 people was the worst
terror attack in Asia since the 2002 Bali nightclub
bombing that was blamed on regional militant group
Democracy Will Defeat
Iraqi Terrorists: Blair
By Jon Smith, Political Editor, PA News
Prime Minister Tony Blair today warned military might would not be enough
to defeat insurgents in Iraq.
His comments came as an 850-strong UK battlegroup led by the Black
Watch prepared to deploy north of their base around Basra, assisting US
forces to pave the way for elections in the country.
The premier said the coalition forces had to "stand up for democracy" and a
"huge blow" had already been dealt to the terrorists by successful elections
held in Afghanistan.
But in Iraq there was the daily catalogue of killings by terrorists, with a
suicide bomber targeting an American convoy to the west of Baghdad and
another car bomber attacking an Australian military convoy in the capital.
The Prime Minister, speaking at his monthly press conference in No 10, said:
"This can't be defeated by security alone ... The biggest blow that has been
dealt these terrorists in the last few months is the Afghan elections.
"That was a country used as a training ground for terrorists and now it will
have a democratically-elected president and later a democratically-elected
parliament. That is a huge blow to them. Same with Iraq.
"Every time you deal these people a blow by showing how we stand up for
the values of freedom and democracy and they don't, then we deal a blow to
their recruitment, to their propaganda.
"This cannot be defeated by weapons alone. It has to be defeated by
showing that what we are actually trying to do is to bring greater stability,
freedom, prosperity and democracy to these countries - not some imaginary
war against Muslims, since the people benefiting are obviously Muslims
Mr Blair promised: "We want the Iraqi people to have the vote, the Iraqi
people want to have the vote, there is no doubt about that.
"Those people who are killing and maiming innocent people - they want to
stop them. We have got to make sure they don't succeed."
The premier insisted the insurgents were not winning.
"The fact they are trying to kill innocent, unarmed people is an indication
actually of their desperation," he said.
"They know they can't win this militarily in the end. What they hope to do is
simply intimidate, bully and terrify people out of exercising their democratic
"There is one thing for democrats to do in those circumstances and that is to
stand up for democracy."
The Prime Minister added: "The Iraqi government and the multi-national
forces are bit by bit taking back control of these towns. What the people who
are bombing and killing ordinary people are doing is trying to prevent the
elections taking place."
John Major, Prime Minister during the first Gulf War, warned yesterday that
British troops would be in Iraq "for many, many years yet" and said there
appeared to have been inadequate planning for the aftermath of conflict.
Hundreds of Tons of
Explosives Missing in Iraq -UN
Mon Oct 25, 2004
By Louis Charbonneau
VIENNA (Reuters) - Hundreds of tons of explosives are missing from a site near Baghdad that was part of Saddam Hussein's dismantled nuclear arms program but never secured by the U.S. military, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Monday.
The missing 377 tons of high explosives, monitored by inspectors from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency until the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, could potentially be used to make a detonator for a nuclear bomb, blow up an airplane or a building or in numerous other military and civilian applications, arms experts said.
About a pound of a related compound was enough to bring down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, killing 170.
Iraq's Ministry of Science and Technology informed the IAEA two weeks ago that the explosives had been "lost after April 9, 2003, through the theft and looting of the governmental installations due to lack of security," the watchdog agency told the 15-nation U.N. Security Council.
The New York Times, which broke the story on Monday, said arms experts feared the most immediate use of the explosives would be to attack U.S. or Iraqi forces, which have come under increasing fire ahead of Iraq's elections due in January.
Diplomats at the IAEA warned the materials could also easily be secreted out of Iraq and sold to countries with nuclear ambitions like neighboring Iran or terrorist groups.
The IAEA has been barred from most of Iraq since the war and has watched from afar as the former nuclear sites it once monitored have been stripped by looters.
Vienna diplomats said the IAEA had cautioned the United States about the danger of the explosives before the war, and after the invasion it specifically told U.S. officials about the need to keep them secured.
Afghan suicide blast toll
Sun 24 October, 2004
By Simon Cameron-Moore
KABUL (Reuters) - An American woman and an Afghan girl have died from wounds suffered in
a Taliban suicide attack in a popular Kabul shopping street, U.S. embassy and hospital officials say.
Monday, October 25, 2004
U.S. District Judge James Cohn (a President Bush judicial nominee) tossed out the Florida e-voting paper trail suit. Rep. Robert Wexler, a Democrat, had sought either a paper record for manual recounts in close elections like the contentious 2000 presidential race or an order switching voters in 15 counties from touch-screens to optically scanned paper ballots by 2006. He wanted a way to help determine voter intent when no votes were recorded, known as "undervotes." Wexler said he planned an appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Cohn, who heard three days of testimony last week, concluded that "the preferential method of casting a ballot" would include a paper printout allowing voters to make sure their selections are correct, but he said he was limited to determining "whether the current procedures and standards comport with equal protection." Wexler called that a partial victory but said he disagrees with the judge's conclusion that the voting machines meet the requirement in state law for manual recounts. He said he believes the judge was reluctant to make "drastic changes" in voting systems since early voting already is under way. "Gov. (Jeb) Bush successfully ran the clock out on the ability to improve the election process for 2004," Wexler said. Wexler's attorney, Jeff Liggio, argued the machines have no way to deal with malfunctions or distinguish between voter mistakes and intentional decisions to skip ballot items. The judge said the question of malfunctions was a state rather than a federal issue.
http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/viewer/viewer.asp?file=/cases/opinions/04CV80216d117.pdf Memorandum Opinion
Whistleblower Asks for
Mon Oct 25, 2004
By Sue Pleming
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Army Corps of Engineers' top contracting official has demanded
an investigation into contracts given to Halliburton, citing "improper action" that favored Vice
President Dick Cheney's old company.
According to documents made available to Reuters on Monday by congressional sources, Army
Corps whistle-blower Bunnantine Greenhouse complained of "repeated interference" in billions of
dollars of contracts given to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root for work in Iraq and the
Use Of Private Contractors
In Iraq Proves Costly
By Joseph Neff and Jay Price
On February 18, 2004, over
60 leading scientists-Nobel laureates, leading medical experts,
former federal agency directors, and university chairs and
presidents signed a statement voicing their concern over the
misuse of science by the Bush administration. UCS is seeking the
signatures of thousands of additional U.S. scientists in support
of this effort.
Right-wing Jewish Group
claiming responsibility for the hacking.
Gold was within reach of
its highest level in nearly 16
years on Monday, fired by a resurgent euro and inflationary fears fanned by
sky-high oil prices, dealers and analysts said.
"I don't think we've seen anything yet," Ross Norman of
TheBullionDesk.com told Reuters in a telephone interview.
"With the euro where it is, oil where it is and tension ahead of the U.S.
election I think we could see another attempt at $430.50 and it might just
poke through," he added.
NEW REPORT SHOWS MOST
UNPREPARED FOR A BIOTERROR ATTACK
October 25, 2004
Oct. 25, 2004
Bush Administration Failures Leave Chemical and Nuclear Plants, HazMat, Ports and
Water Systems Vulnerable to Terrorists
By Kim Lyons
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Hospitals that treat a large number of casualties from a biological or chemical
attack could face financial ruin, a doctor who specializes in bioterrorism response
"Health care systems make money on procedures like hip replacements," said
Michael Allswede, director of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for
Biosecurity Strategic Medical Intelligence initiative. Caring for scores of sick
people creates financial burden, he said. "And insurers won't pay for acts of
Allswede spoke Saturday during the final day of a three-day symposium on terrorism in the 21st century at
Hospitals need funding to train personnel to deal with a possible bioterrorist attack to help medical personnel
recognize the symptoms of biological or chemical attacks. The chain of command for reporting suspected
public health emergencies -- from the hospital, to the public health department and then to the federal
government -- needs to be more efficient, Allswede said.
Otherwise, in the event of a widespread anthrax attack,
"everyone will be dead in a week if we don't learn to
deal with such an event in a more effective way."
He pointed to the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act (HIPAA) as a major obstacle to
health agencies' ability to share information with law
enforcement. HIPAA was implemented to preserve
patient privacy, but those restrictions could confuse
hospital personnel and limit what they share with law
enforcement agencies. Allswede said better guidelines
should be established so medical personnel know at
what point they should report a situation to law
Yesterday's speakers also included forensic scientist
Dr. Henry Lee, best-known for his testimony for the defense team in the O.J. Simpson murder trial. When
people talk about terrorism, they tend to focus on international terrorism, Lee said.
"But there is just as much a threat from domestic terrorism," he said.
Forensic science can offer clues to investigators who know what to look for, Lee said. He showed a photo of
a field test to detect a biohazard -- which looked like an at-home pregnancy test -- and said quick field tests
were crucial to determine whether any hazards may be present at a given scene.
First responders such as police officers and firefighters need training to recognize evidence of a chemical or
biological incident, so such situations can be contained early, Lee added.
But often, investigators are the beneficiaries of sheer luck, he said.
"Sometimes we solve cases not because we're so smart, but because they're so stupid," he said of criminals,
who often leave behind evidence without realizing it. "You just have to know what you're looking for."
Easing bio-security on
reconstituted killer virus raises concerns
October 22, 2004
TORONTO (CP) - The decision by a team of U.S. researchers to ease bio-security precautions for a reconstituted version of the 1918 pandemic flu virus - the most lethal killing machine in viral history - is sparking debate within the international scientific community.
Fears that a genetically engineered cousin of the virus responsible for the infamous Spanish flu might accidentally escape from a lab have led to calls within the scientific world for a international meeting to iron out the conditions under which it can be studied.
Is 'Al Qaeda' the Modern
Incarnation of 'Emmanuel Goldstein'?
Bin Laden is located, says
San Bernardino Sun | October 22 2004
CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Pentagon knows exactly where Osama bin Laden is hiding in Pakistan, it just can't get to him, John Lehman, a member of the 9/11 Commission, said Thursday.
Lehman's remarks echoed those made Tuesday by Secretary of State Colin Powell, who said the al-Qaida leader was alive and operating in the western part of Pakistan.
Bin Laden is living in South Waziristan in the Baluchistan Mountains of the Baluchistan region, Lehman told the San Bernardino Sun after delivering a keynote speech on terrorism at Pitzer College in Claremont.
In the interview, Lehman noted, "There is an American presence in the area, but we can't just send in troops. If we did, we could have another Vietnam, and the United States cannot afford that right now."
When pressed on why the United States couldn't send troops into the region to capture the world's No. 1 terrorist, Lehman said the Baluchistan region of the country is filled with militant fundamentalists who do not recognize the legitimacy of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, a close ally of the United States.
"That is a region filled with Taliban and al-Qaida members," he said, acknowledging that Pakistan's security services also are filled with many who agree with bin Laden's beliefs and would aid him if U.S. Special Forces entered the region.
"Look," he said, "Musharraf already has had three assassination attempts on his life. He is trying to comply, but he is surrounded by people who do not agree with him. This is not like Afghanistan, where there was no compliance, and we had to go in.
"We'll get (bin Laden) eventually, just not now."
Asked how bin Laden was surviving, Lehman said he was getting money from outside countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, and high-ranking ministers inside Saudi Arabia.
"He is not a wealthy man," Lehman said. "We ran that information into the ground, and discovered he only receives about $1 million a year from his family's fortune. The rest of what he gets comes from radical sympathizers."
Department of Defense spokeswoman Capt. Ronnie Merritt confirmed the U.S. military believes bin Laden is in Pakistan. However, she would not comment on Lehman's remarks, except to say that he normally didn't speak about these issues, and she was surprised he had.
Lehman, secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan, was one of the 10 members of the bipartisan commission that examined the terrorists attacks on the United States.
He also is the author of three books about military tactics.
October 20, 2004
A Bush pre-election strike on Iran 'imminent'
White House insider report "October Surprise" imminent
By Wayne Madsen
According to White House and Washington Beltway insiders, the Bush administration, worried that it could
lose the presidential election to Senator John F. Kerry, has initiated plans to launch a military strike on
Iran's top Islamic leadership, its nuclear reactor at Bushehr on the Persian Gulf, and key nuclear targets
throughout the country, including the main underground research site at Natanz in central Iran and another
in Isfahan. Targets of the planned U.S. attack reportedly include mosques in Tehran, Qom, and Isfahan
known by the U.S. to headquarter Iran's top mullahs.
The Iran attack plan was reportedly drawn up after internal polling indicated that if the Bush administration
launched a so-called anti-terrorist attack on Iran some two weeks before the election, Bush would be
assured of a landslide win against Kerry. Reports of a pre-emptive strike on Iran come amid concerns by a
number of political observers that the Bush administration would concoct an "October Surprise" to
influence the outcome of the presidential election.
According to White House sources, the USS John F. Kennedy was deployed to the Arabian Sea to
coordinate the attack on Iran. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld discussed the Kennedy's role in the
planned attack on Iran when he visited the ship in the Arabian Sea on October 9. Rumsfeld and defense
ministers of U.S. coalition partners, including those of Albania, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Czech
Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Iraq, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Poland,
Qatar, Romania, and Ukraine briefly discussed a very "top level" view of potential dual-track military
operations in Iran and Iraq in a special "war room" set up on board the aircraft carrier. America's primary
ally in Iraq, the United Kingdom, did not attend the planning session because it reportedly disagrees with a
military strike on Iran. London also suspects the U.S. wants to move British troops from Basra in southern
Iraq to the Baghdad area to help put down an expected surge in Sh'ia violence in Sadr City and other Sh'ia
areas in central Iraq when the U.S. attacks Iran as well as clear the way for a U.S. military strike across
the Iraqi-Iranian border aimed at securing the huge Iranian oil installations in Abadan. U.S. allies South
Korea, Australia, Kuwait, Jordan, Italy, Netherlands, and Japan were also left out of the USS John F.
Kennedy planning discussions because of their reported opposition to any strike on Iran.
In addition, Israel has been supplied by the United States with 500 "bunker buster" bombs. According to
White House sources, the Israeli Air Force will attack Iran's nuclear facility at Bushehr with the U.S. bunker
busters.The joint U.S.-Israeli pre-emptive military move against Iran reportedly was crafted by the same
neo-conservative grouping in the Pentagon and Vice President Dick Cheney's office that engineered the
invasion of Iraq.
Morale aboard the USS John F. Kennedy is at an all-time low, something that must be attributable to the
knowledge that the ship will be involved in an extension of U.S. military actions in the Persian Gulf region.
The Commanding Officer of an F-14 Tomcat squadron was relieved of command for a reported shore
leave "indiscretion" in Dubai and two months ago the Kennedy's commanding officer was relieved for
The White House leak about the planned attack on Iran was hastened by concerns that Russian
technicians present at Bushehr could be killed in an attack, thus resulting in a wider nuclear confrontation
between Washington and Moscow. International Atomic Energy Agency representatives are also present
at the Bushehr facility. In addition, an immediate Iranian Shahab ballistic missile attack against Israel would
also further destabilize the Middle East. The White House leaks about the pre-emptive strike may have
been prompted by warnings from the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency that an attack on Iran will
escalate out of control. Intelligence circles report that both intelligence agencies are in open revolt against
the Bush White House.
White House sources also claimed they are "terrified" that Bush wants to start a dangerous war with Iran
prior to the election and fear that such a move will trigger dire consequences for the entire world.
Bioterror threat is
growing, say medics
By Severin Carrell
24 October 2004
The world faces a growing risk that
terrorists will use new biological weapons
created by genetic engineering, the British
Medical Association will warn this week.
Advances in research make it more likely
that virulent and lethal forms of influenza
and laboratory-enhanced strains of
smallpox could be used as weapons, the
The warnings are spelt out in a report on
the threat posed by biological warfare,
released tomorrow by the BMA. The
association, which represents 128,000
GPs and medics, will call for international
action to curb the threat posed by these
Dr Vivienne Nathanson, the BMA's head
of science and ethics, said: "We have a
small window of opportunity to make the
world safer. The fact is that window is getting smaller."
The report lists a series of recent experiments creating lethal new
viruses and bugs. The BMA will argue there are grounds for using
biowarfare tests to find defences against threats from terrorist and
rogue states. But it warns there are no international treaties to control
It is understood the BMA report will focus on recent tests including:
* Russian admissions that they created genetically enhanced anthrax.
* The creation by US scientists of a new type of smallpox - which is
eradicated worldwide by a global vaccination programme - from the
vaccine itself. This new bug, called SPICE, is 100 times more potent
than the original.
* A new generation of weapons designed to attack the human
nervous system or immune system with "catastrophic effects",
perhaps using genetically modified natural toxins.
Friday, October 22, 2004
Oil hit a high $55.50 a barrel and the stock market hit a record low for the year 2004.
Report: Army to let
Halliburton keep Iraq payment
Reuters | Oct 22 2004
The U.S. Army is laying the groundwork to let Halliburton Co., keep several billion dollars paid for work in Iraq that Pentagon auditors say is questionable or unsupported by proper documentation, the Wall Street Journal reported today.
According to Pentagon documents reviewed by the Journal, the Army has acknowledged that the Houston-based company might never be able to account properly for some of its work, which has been probed amid accusations that Halliburton's Kellogg Brown & Root unit overbilled the government for some operations in Iraq.
The company has hired a consulting firm to estimate what Halliburton's services should cost, the report said.
The newspaper, citing the documents and internal memorandums, said that officials are considering using the estimate to serve as the basis for "an equitable settlement," under which the Pentagon could drop many of the claims its auditors have made against the company.
But the Journal added that some disgruntled Pentagon officials see the effort to broker an outside settlement with the company as unusual because the contract is so large.
According to the report, Kellogg Brown & Root so far has billed about $12 billion in Iraq, and about $3 billion of that remains disputed by government officials.
The Journal also cited Pentagon records showing that $650 million in Halliburton billings are deemed questionable. An additional $2 billion is considered to have insufficient paperwork to justify the billing, the report said.
A representative for Halliburton did not immediately return a call seeking comment early today.
Bush' Texas Rangers' plot
thickens into tax
evasion and more
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Download a .pdf file for printing.
Adobe Acrobat Reader required.
Click here to download a free copy.
October 20, 2004As if Bush's sale of his $606,000 share of
Texas Rangers stock to owner Tom Hicks for $15 million wasn't
enough, there's more from deep in the heart of Texas to nail the
good old boy, namely the possibility of tax evasion.
Could the Associated Press
(AP) Rig the Election?
by Lynn Landes 10/22/04
Wednesday, 20 October,
US anti-Semitism law perturbs Arab press
Many Arab newspapers have condemned the new US law authorising the State Department to monitor anti-Semitism worldwide and produce annual reports critical of those countries where it is seen to be prevalent.
President George W Bush announced a few days ago that he had signed into law the bill authorising the US to rate countries on the way they treat Jews.
Most commentators believe it panders to the Jewish lobby in the US and is aimed against Arabs and Muslims. However, one dissenting voice considers it a positive move in the battle against racism.
The London-based pan-Arab daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi considers the law "basically racist legislation which is anti-Arab and Muslim under the guise of outlawing anti-Semitism".
Accusations of bias
"President Bush does not want to acknowledge that Arabs are also a Semitic people who have suffered a great deal from wars launched by him alongside his friend [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon."
Saudi Arabia's Al-Jazirah argues that the promulgation of the law "shows the extent to which the US is prepared to go to protect such an aggressive and renegade state" as Israel.
It accuses Washington of "abandoning the principles of international law and justice to put its weight behind such a pariah entity".
For another popular pan-Arab daily, Al-Hayat, "this law affirms once again that whatever is in Israel's interest is in America's interest and vice-versa".
A commentary in the paper is headlined "God's chosen people".
The Palestinian paper Al-Ayyam is convinced that any State Department list of states where anti-Semitism is considered to be a problem will "be a 100% Israeli".
Al-Arab al-Alamiyah, a pan-Arab daily with a pro-Libyan stance, argues that the issue "should not be about anti-Semitism but about Israel's racist policies".
"Israel refuses to accept this truth and Washington accepts Israel's argument in its entirety when it comes to the definition of anti-Semitism."
No wonder, Al-Arab al-Alamiyah believes, that "enmity towards America and its foolish policies in the world is growing".
However, another influential pan-Arab daily, Al-Sharq al-Awsat, is convinced the law could turn out to be a force for good.
"There are fears that the anti-Semitism Law signed by the US Administration will turn out to be against the rights of Arabs in their dispute with Israel.
"However, despite the likelihood that the word anti-Semitism will be construed in various ways, we should take it for what it is - a law to monitor and not punish.
"In view of the fact that this law is an anti-racism law, one should encourage it rather than condemn it. It is better to say yes to this law and demand that it should be extended to everyone who encourages racism against Muslims, blacks and all other minorities."
Racist legislation which is anti-Arab and Muslim says Al-Quds Al-Arabi.
17 Asian nations join
hands to curb terrorism
NEW DELHI, OCT 22: India, alongwith 16 other Asian countries, has
adopted a catalogue prescribing co-operation among members states in curbing
terrorism and preventing separatist activities, at the Conference on Interaction
and Confidence building measures in Asia (CICA) at Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The conference was attended by external affairs minister Natwar Singh and by
the representatives of Pakistan, China and Russia. The conference adopted a
catalogue which included confidence building measures (CBMs) on cooperation
in the military-political dimension, on fighting new challenges and threats, and in
areas of economic, environmental and human dimensions.
The meeting emphasised the centrality of the UN in promoting international
peace. It favoured the independence and sovereignty of Iraq, political and
economic reconstruction in Afghanistan and expressed concern over the
situation in West Asia.
It asked the member states to exchange information regarding the activities of
terrorist, separatist and extremist groups as well as organised criminal groups.
As and when necessary, the member states must also develop a mechanism to
combat their activities.
The CICA adopted a declaration saying we strongly condemn terrorism in all
its forms and manifestations, violent manifestations of separatism and
extremism. We agree to enhance our efforts both at bilateral and multilateral
levels to fight these common threats.
The conference expressed support for various multilateral and individual
initiatives on development of dialogue among civilisations. It expressed the view
that this mechanism was one of the principal instruments for fighting terrorism,
intolerance and promoting peaceful co-existence among adherents of different
religions and cultures.
While observing that the threats posed by terrorism, separatism and extremism
undermine the very foundation of international peace and security, the
declaration emphasised that the fight against these should be global,
comprehensive and sustained. It should not be selective or discriminatory and
should avoid applying double standards.
According to the declaration, the member states may also exchange information
on their national authorities in the sphere of law enforcement as well as
facilitate the establishing and strengthening of contacts between these
In the sphere of military-political dimension, the catalogue on CBMs prescribes
that the member states exchange information in this area, the scope, feasibility
and modalities of which will be agreed by the members concerned in
accordance with their national laws and regulations. These areas may include
components of armed forces, defence budgets, presence of foreign military
contingents on the territories of member states
Friday, October 22, 2004
Anthrax case may bring heat on reporters
Waivers would release workers from confidentiality pacts
By SCOTT SHANE
THE NEW YORK TIMES
WASHINGTON -- In a development that could hinder
reporters' ability to obtain confidential information,
Justice Department officials agreed yesterday to
distribute to dozens of federal investigators in the 2001
anthrax case a document they can sign to release
journalists from pledges of confidentiality.
Lawyers for Steven Hatfill, a former Army
bioterrorism expert, had sought the releases as a step
toward questioning reporters about their sources in the
case. Hatfill, who has been described by Attorney
General John Ashcroft as a "person of interest" in the
anthrax investigation, is suing the government over
leaks of a variety of information suggesting his guilt.
Experts on journalism and the law said the releases --
first used in another case, involving a leak of the
identity of Valerie Plame, an undercover officer for the
CIA -- could erode government employees' confidence
that they can provide information to reporters without
fear of being later identified and punished.
These experts said being presented such a form could
pose an excruciating dilemma for news sources. If they
refuse to sign, superiors may suspect that they were
the source of a leak. If they did leak information and
then do sign, they risk being identified by the reporter
as the source.
Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters
Committee for Freedom of the Press, said it was
"ridiculous" to think that waivers sent by the Justice
Department to its employees would be viewed as
"The ultimate result of this," Dalglish said, "will be that
in the future, less information will get to the public."
The experts said that the use of the release forms in
the Hatfill case suggested that the practice of asking
people to whom reporters may have promised
anonymity to later permit the release of their names
could become routine. Documents filed by Hatfill's
lawyers already refer to the forms as "Plame waivers,"
as if they were an established legal tool.
Justice Department lawyers said yesterday that under
the new agreement, they would send the release forms,
beginning in about four weeks, to at least 80 people
who have worked on the government's investigation of
the anthrax-laced letters that killed five people in the
fall of 2001 and made at least 17 others ill.
The list of those who are to receive the forms includes
Ashcroft and Robert Mueller, director of the FBI, as
well as numerous FBI agents, postal inspectors and
The releases will be accompanied by a letter advising
the recipients that signing them is voluntary. Waivers
that are signed will be passed on to Hatfill's lawyers,
who can then present them to reporters in an effort to
persuade them to disclose who gave them information
Reggie Walton, the federal district judge overseeing the
Hatfill case, first allowed the plaintiff's lawyers to
question reporters last March. But they have not yet
sought to do so, maintaining that case law requires the
exhaustion of all other routes before pursuing
At a hearing yesterday before Walton, Justice
Department lawyers and Hatfill's lawyers portrayed
the waivers as a compromise that would advance
proceedings in the lawsuit without interfering with the
criminal investigation of the anthrax case by requiring
depositions from a large number of investigators.
"All that's affected by the waiver is a private promise
of confidentiality," said Mark Grannis, a Washington
lawyer who is representing Hatfill. "We want that
waived precisely so that we don't have to depose
investigators but can get the information from
Elizabeth Shapiro, a lawyer in the Justice Department's
civil division, called the decision to distribute the release
forms to anthrax investigators "an extraordinary
As a "person of interest" in the anthrax case, Hatfill,
50, of Washington, was trailed by FBI surveillance
teams for months. He has denied any connection to the
anthrax letters and has said that being treated as a
suspect has made him unemployable and wrecked his
In addition to suing the FBI and the Justice
Department, he has filed defamation lawsuits against
The New York Times, for columns about Hatfill by
Nicholas Kristof, and against Vanity Fair magazine, for
an article by Don Foster, a Vassar College professor
who has analyzed documents in criminal cases.
Oct 21, 2004
Honduran Official Says al-Qaida Recruiting
By WILL WEISSERT
Associated Press Writer
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) -- It's a
U.S. Homeland Security Department
nightmare, and Honduras' most outspoken
Cabinet member says it's happening:
Al-Qaida operatives recruiting Central
American gang members to carry out
regional attacks and slip terrorists into the
Yet U.S. and Central American officials say
they have found no evidence supporting
Honduran Security Minister Oscar Alvarez's
allegations. And human rights groups accuse
Alvarez of trumping terrorism reports to
justify his crackdown on gangs, who in
response have adopted terror-style tactics such as beheadings - 20 so far - and
threatened the government.
Romulo Emiliani, a Roman Catholic bishop working closely with gang members
in the northern city of San Pedro Sula, called the reports "an attempt to distract
the public while the government puts thousands of youths in jail."
The U.S. government has long worried terrorists would tap into smuggling
networks that move migrants and narcotics across Mexico's porous northern
border and into the United States.
To combat those fears, Mexico has worked with
the United States to keep a close eye on drug
and smuggling activity. It also has made it much harder to enter Mexican
territory legally if a person comes from a country with terror ties.
Alvarez, however, has stoked fears that terrorists are joining migrants crossing
illegally into Mexico from Central America, then moving north.
A spokesman for Mexico's National Immigration Institute said officials have
caught "a significant number" of people from the Middle East trying to sneak
into the United States from Mexico, although he refused to release exact
numbers. One smuggler was arrested recently for allegedly moving Iranians
and Iraqis into the United States.
There has been at least one confirmed report of a suspected terrorist in Central
America. U.S. and Panamanian officials say Saudi native and alleged al-Qaida
leader Adnan G. El Shukrijumah stayed in Panama for 10 days in April 2001,
five months before the Sept. 11 attacks.
There also are fears El Salvador could be hit
by terrorists for supporting the U.S.-led
mission in Iraq.
Recent reports of possible terror activity in
the region have been more questionable.
In May, here in Tegucigalpa, the hilly
Honduran capital, two witnesses said they
saw El Shukrijumah at an Internet cafe
downtown, sparking rumors he was
recruiting gang members.
U.S. officials have been scouring the globe
for the 29-year-old Shukrijumah, and have
offered up to $5 million for his capture. But a
senior U.S. official in Central America,
speaking on condition of anonymity, said
there was no evidence he was ever here.
Alvarez, a former private security consultant
educated at Texas A&M, acknowledges he
sometimes releases information that isn't
confirmed, saying the reports keep Honduras'
population alert to potential threats.
"I prefer that people live with the fear of
possible danger than feel safe and have
something happen," he told The Associated
"Look at what happened in Spain. The people
there felt safe, and they weren't," he added,
referring to the al-Qaida-linked March 11
train bombings in Madrid that killed 191
When pressed for details of al-Qaida's
alleged ties to Honduras, Alvarez could not
remember the name of the Internet cafe
where El Shukrijumah was allegedly spotted.
He ordered his office to find the information,
but after an hour of searching, staff members
said it was classified.
Alvarez, who is mulling a future run for
president, was appointed security minister in
2002 to beat back rampant gang activity and has championed a zero-tolerance
law that made membership in a street gang illegal and punishable by up to 12
years in prison.
While the initiative has been popular with Hondurans tired of crime, gang
members have responded by beheading victims and leaving brutal warnings for
Honduras' government on notes left with the bodies.
One note this spring read, "Idiots, the end of the world is approaching." And a
message early this year said, "The next victims will be police and journalists."
The decapitations began Aug. 20, 2003, 13 days after the zero-tolerance law
took effect and outlawed the country's gang members, who use extortion and
violence to control everything from the drug trade to the country's bus routes.
There have been an estimated 20 terrorist-style beheadings in a little more than
a year - about one a month.
Alvarez said there also was evidence gang members might be joining terrorist
organizations. He said three Honduran government informants told authorities
that four suspects from "somewhere in the Middle East" had smuggled $1
million in cash into Honduras to finance a migrant-smuggling operation
controlled by the Mara Salvatrucha street gang, which has a strong presence in
Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and southern Mexico.
Guatemalan President Oscar Berger classifies links between gangs and
terrorists as "rumor," and his Interior Secretary Carlos Vielmann said at this
month's Interpol meeting in Mexico that "there hasn't been any indication that
such ties exist."
The head of Interpol in Central America, Salvadoran police director Saul
Hernandez, and Mexican Interior Secretary Santiago Creel also say they have
no evidence supporting the theory.
One Mara Salvatrucha gang member, Jose Manuel Sarmiento, scoffed at the
idea of teaming up with al-Qaida or other Islamic militants.
"We hang out with our homies on the street. How would we know how to
make contact with terrorists?" the 19-year-old said in an AP interview from a
sweltering jail cell in San Pedro Sula. "I've seen al-Qaida, but on television
Ernesto Bardales, a sociologist who founded a private rehabilitation program
for former gang members, said exploiting terrorism jitters is a way of keeping
the anti-gang law popular.
"People were terrified of gangs, but now the streets are quiet," he says. "How
do you scare people again? With terrorists."
Alvarez counters that constantly talking about terror ensures terrorists skip
Honduras in favor of quieter destinations.
"When terrorists feel threatened or discovered, they look for other places," he
Asked if he believed his country and neighboring nations really were swarming
with terrorists, Alvarez is resolute.
"Time will prove me right," he says. "In time, everyone will see."
The Oakland BART transit district is bringing out the big guns as part of a localized Orange Alert. From now until Nov. 2, riders will have to get used to SWAT patrols in full battle gear, automatic M-16 rifles and all. The new measure is an added precaution against an October "surprise," Osama bin Laden-style. "If there is a consistent thread in the chatter over the last several months, it is that if something is going to happen it will happen before the election. That makes a lot of intuitive sense, and we don't want to take any chances," said BART's operations manager, Paul Overseier, who heads the transit district's security effort. It's intuitive because the March 11 Madrid rail explosions were days before Spain's elections, as were the recent attacks in Russia. People who see unattended bags or other suspicious items can report them. Overseier said their ranks will grow as Election Day nears.
Oct 29, 2004
Following the terrorist attacks on the nation, NORAD's mission was expanded to focus on threats coming from inside as well as outside the United States and Canada.
Paul McHale, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense, noted that the United States still relies "heavily" on the F-16 Fighting Falcon to determine hostile intent by enemy aircraft. "I'm convinced technology can give us a better way to do this," said McHale. The F-16 is a 25-year-old air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack aircraft. NORAD employs F-16s, F-15s, and the Canadian Forces' CF-18s in its mission to deter, detect and defend Canada and the United States.
McHale chaired a panel on maritime defense and port security. He said the United States should also develop a system to track, identify, and thwart an enemy platform "long before" it enters U.S. Northern Command's area of responsibility.
USNORTHCOM was created two years ago as a direct result of 9-11. The command's mission is to defend the United States, its territories and other interests and to coordinate Department of Defense civil support during a presidential declared disaster or emergency.
McHale, whose office provides civilian oversight for all homeland defense activities, said he believes the nation should also develop a defense against cruise missiles attacks, which he believes will pose an even greater threat "in the coming years."
Canadian Maj.-Gen. Angus Watt, NORAD director of operations, agreed with the need for a defense system against cruise missile attacks; however, he said he is more concerned at present about possible threats from unmanned aerial vehicles and remote piloted vehicles.
"They have less range, but are capable of carrying biological and chemical weapons, " said Watt. UAVs and RPVs also present a challenge "because there are so many avenues for them to come in, particularly when you consider the dimensions of the North American coastline, all the potential vehicles that could come in, the low radar cross section of some of these vehicles and the lack of a viable weapon to intercept some of them at this time. "
The United States has taken steps to intercept UAVs and RPVs "as they come in" by developing the Capstone Requirement Document, said Watt. The document, he said, "will define the nature of threats, the nature of the capabilities now available, and the nature of future capabilities that could be brought to bear against threats."
"What we envision is essentially a system of systems, with net sensors and shooters, to provide a layered defense against cruise missiles and UAVs," Watt said. However, he added, "It may be some time before we see this layered defense, but we are definitely working toward it."
Canada is not part of the United States' national ballistic missile defense program but recently agreed to allow Canadian military members in NORAD to provide missile warning information to USNORTHCOM once the missile defense system is up and running.
Canadian Lt.-Gen. Rick Findley, NORAD deputy commander, said he does not see NORAD "embracing" the missile defense mission, especially since USNORTHCOM is responsible for that mission. "USNORTHCOM already is working to shorten the time line to react to that threat," said Finley. He said Canada and the United States will sign a new NORAD agreement in 2006, which may include provisions for expanded maritime defense.
"We already have some vulnerabilities on the maritime side," said Findley. He noted that the United States has 95,000 miles of coastline while Canada has 152,000 miles of coastline. The situation presents "a huge task" and one that requires partnering with other agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation and Security Agency, U.S. Secret Service, FBI and customs agencies "on both sides of the border," said Findley.
October 21, 2004
Plague found on west side
By CARY LEIDER VOGRIN - THE GAZETTE
Squirrels on the citys west side are getting a tasty treat and, at
the same time, an insecticide treatment a strategy to kill
disease-carrying fleas after an animal tested positive this week
for the plague.
In addition to setting out the bait tubes, county health workers
spent Tuesday distributing 750 educational pamphlets to homes
within a half-mile of Garden of the Gods Campground and
Columbia Road, the area where the diseased squirrel was found.
The county Health Department began receiving calls about dead
squirrels in the area a couple of weeks ago, said Don Mydlowski,
environmental quality program manager for the department.
Health officials sent one squirrel to the Colorado Department of
Public Health and Environment, which conducted tests.
Squirrels, chipmunks, prai- rie dogs and pets can carry plague,
which can be passed to humans through the bite of an infected
We would like the public to know to keep their dogs and cats
under control, Mydlowski said. If they live in the affected area,
keep cats inside.
He also urged pet owners to talk to their veterinarians about
Experts fear escape of
1918 flu from lab
CWD fears spread far and
Nearly every state keeping watch for fatal brain disease
By Gary Gerhardt, Rocky Mountain News
October 18, 2004
Five years ago, Colorado was among a handful of states that had a
surveillance program for chronic wasting disease.
Today, nearly every state in the U.S. has a program, hoping it never
finds that the fatal prion disease has infected its deer and elk herds.
First discovered in Colorado in 1967, CWD now has spread to 11 other
states and two Canadian provinces.
Last year, Colorado found the disease in 248 deer and elk from 16,431
deer, elk and moose heads submitted for testing.
CWD is a neurological disease that attacks the brains of infected
animals, causing them to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior
and lose bodily functions. Stricken animals always die. How it is
transmitted and whether it affects all animals still is being studied.
CWD has a loose relationship to mad cow disease, scrapie in sheep and
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. However, there has been no
evidence that CWD is a risk to human health.
Levin Releases Report on
Oct 21, 2004
The report demonstrates how intelligence relating to the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship was exaggerated
by high ranking officials in the Department of Defense to support the Administration's decision to
invade Iraq when the intelligence assessments of the Intelligence Community did not make a
sufficiently compelling case.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
A U.S. military judge sentenced Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick to eight years in prison on Thursday for sexually and physically abusing detainees at the Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad.
Monday, October 18, 2004
DOT Announces U.S.-China Air Cargo Rights in Final Order
On the afternoon of
October 19, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a regular
A reporter asked: a British journalist familiar with Middle-East affairs reported that Osama Bin Laden
is now possibly on the Chinese side of its border with Pakistan. What's your comment on this?
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue answered: "I haven't read the report you just mentioned
yet, even less do I know any ground for this report. I think he is irresponsible for writing such a report.
I can explicitly tell you that Bin Laden isn't in China.
In an interview with The Chicago Tribune US Secretary of State Colin Powell said, "We don't know
where Bin Laden is and have not heard the so-called report that he is in China, but we think he is
alive. We are working closely with the Pakistanis to capture him.
Powell still stressed again US is doing well in relations with most of US allies and friends. He said our
relations with China are the best we have had in 30 years under the efforts of both governments.
Former Commander-in-Chief of United States Central Command General Tommy R. Franks said up to
now he has not known if Bin Laden was hiding in Tora Bora area. He writes, according to information,
Bin Laden was once there. However, some hinted at that time he was in Pakistan while some others
said he was in Kashmir.
Now that China denies Bin Laden is in China and the US government refuses to mention the matter,
then where does the sensational news come out?
If glance over the newspaper one will know the reporter is Gordon Thomas claiming that he is a
British senior journalist. He often says he has maintained long-term cooperative relations with national
With sensational news, the famous reporter has published many "books'' creating sensations.
Opening the books, it is not difficult to find contents in these books are enchanting with strange words.
The allusions in the books are not given where they are taken from. Far away from what is normal,
the books can only be "laughing stock'' at one's spare time with no real sense.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao once said openly that it is groundless for the rumor
of West media that Bin Laden is in China. At the regular press conference held on September 22,
2001 some reporters asked, "According to a report by British The Guardian on September 22 Bin
Laden has escaped from Afghan and entered into China. At present he is hiding in somewhere in
China. Please confirm.'' Zhu said in reply, "The Guardian's report is groundless. I don't know what is
the purpose for the reporter to spread the rumor.''
BEIJING: The United States' nuclear regulator said it is likely to approve the export of
US-designed reactors to China soon, granting US companies access to a previously
blocked multi-billion-dollar market.
Nils Diaz, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), told reporters the
Commission, which has the final say on approving the export of American reactors,
was in the process of reviewing export licenses.
He said he was unaware of any significant objections to exporting the technology to
"The Commission will actually vote on this issue hopefully in the next couple of
months," said Diaz, who explained the safety of the Westinghouse AP-1000 in meetings
with Chinese officials on his visit.
"The process is relatively simple once we get to this stage ... I haven't heard of any
significant opposition to the issue," Diaz told a press conference.
China currently has nine nuclear reactors, most of which are imported from France or
are locally designed.
To meet its huge demand for energy, the rapidly industrializing country is planning to
rev up nuclear power construction in next 15 years and build some 30 nuclear-power
plants by 2020, igniting competition by foreign companies to sell reactors to China.
While Beijing has not said it wants to buy the US reactor, it has long sought US nuclear
US companies have also lobbied hard to sell to China.
Having lagged behind their counterparts in France and Canada, they do not want and
cannot afford to be left out of the only major market for reactors -- a market which will
comprise 80 percent of the world's nuclear power plants once the new projects are
China Formally Arrests NYT
Researcher For Secrets
China Set To Buy Up
By Geoffrey York
The Globe and Mail
Seized in Central Russia
Tue Oct 19, 2004
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian security services seized two containers filled with highly radioactive
material at a scrap yard in central Russia, Interfax news agency said on Tuesday.
Radiation levels at the scene in the Volga town of Saratov, where the containers with uranium-238
were discovered, were 358 times higher than normal, Interfax said, citing regional emergency
Interfax said homeless people brought the containers to the scrap yard. It quoted regional nuclear experts as saying officials at the scene had also found an empty container normally used to transport uranium.
Uranium-238 is a highly dense and toxic material mainly used in gun ammunition and armor.
"That type of uranium looks very much like lead so I would not be surprised if someone had simply mistaken it for it and dumped at the scrap yard," a spokesman for the Russian Atomic Energy Agency said.
Also Tuesday, a truck carrying radioactive materials was seized at the far eastern port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Ria-Novosti news agency reported. No further details were available.
French terrorist met
another al-Qaeda suspect in Penang
BY WONG CHUN WAI AND LOURDES CHARLES
PENANG: Convicted French terrorist Lionel
Dumont, who visited Malaysia no less than six
times, had secretly met up with another al-Qaeda
suspect Andrew Rowe, a British national, in
Penang on at least two occasions.
The two men have been accused by security
authorities of wanting to blow up Londons
Heathrow Airport but it was aborted when
intelligence agencies caught on to their plan.
The plan to blow up Heathrow Airport was foiled when
security agencies received intelligence about it and
put the airport on full alert in February 2003.
Police trace movements of
convicted French terrorist
EXCLUSIVE BY WONG CHUN WAI AND LOURDES CHARLES
KUALA LUMPUR: Convicted French terrorist
Lionel Dumont has visited Malaysia no less than
six times and police are investigating why.
Dumont, who is of Algerian descent, is believed
to have used a fake passport to come to
Malaysia between 2002 and 2003. He is said to
have stayed in several hotels here and rented a
house for a few months in a northern state.
The 34-year-old militant, who had links with
Osama Bin Ladens al-Qaeda network, was
arrested in Germany in December.
He first entered Japan from Singapore using a
forged French passport bearing the name Tinet Gerald
Camille Armand in July 2002.
Dumont, who used Japan as a base for a year, has been
blamed for several incidents, including an attempted bombing
of a police headquarters prior to the start of the Group of
Seven economic summit in Lyons, France, in June 1996. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2004/10/21/nation/9125003&sec=nation
Iran tests missile of 2000km
TEHRAN, Oct 20: Iran carried out a new test on Wednesday of its upgraded Shahab-3 ballistic missile,
which it says has a range of at least 2,000 kilometres, Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani said.
"A few minutes ago we carried out a new test of the Shahab-3 missile in the presence of observers," he
Steady progress made by Iran on its ballistic missile programme is a cause for concern for the
international community, already alarmed over the country's nuclear activities.
Small cases of sabotage to power lines and broadcast stations seem to be increasing around America according to local news reports.
planes have gone down in Missouri within a week.
FBI investigates holes punched in US Airways jets
By Toni Locy and Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON - FBI agents are investigating small
puncture holes found on two US Airways jets. The holes are
similar to damage discovered last week on an aircraft in
David Martinez, an FBI spokesman in Charlotte, said
Wednesday that agents have begun interviewing people who
had access to the jets in Charlotte and other cities where the
aircraft had been.
The holes were discovered Monday during routine visual
inspections by mechanics at the Charlotte-Douglas
International Airport. Last week, holes were found on a jet
that had landed in Orlando after a layover in Charlotte.
The two jets were grounded after the damage was discovered
but have been repaired and are flying again. It is unlikely that
the holes posed a danger to the passengers.
David Castelveter, a US Airways spokesman, said the airline
is "cooperating fully" with the FBI. He said the holes are very
small punctures about the size of a pencil near the rear galley
In September, US Airways filed for bankruptcy protection for
the second time in two years. Management is negotiating a
third round of concessions from union employees. Last week,
a bankruptcy judge approved 21% pay cuts for most of the
Martinez said the airline's financial troubles "may be a
consideration" in the investigation.
"We don't know what caused it or who did it," Martinez said. He said it is too early for the FBI to begin
searching for a disgruntled employee as a possible suspect.
"Was it an accident? Was it a criminal act? Was it something done in normal maintenance? We are trying to
sort everything out," he said.
FBI agents probably will talk to people who have access to the tarmac, including baggage handlers, pilots,
mechanics, fuel providers, food suppliers and trash haulers.
"Anybody who would damage an aircraft deliberately out of spite or any other reason demands the book be
thrown at him," said Stuart Matthews, president of the Flight Safety Foundation.
Speculation about employee involvement is unwarranted, union officials said.
"It's reckless and irresponsible for people to speculate on what may have caused the damage until the facts
are known," said Joseph Tiberi, spokesman for the union that represents mechanics and baggage handlers.
External links are provided for research and information only. The external links on this Web site does not constitute endorsement or approval by me. I am not responsible for the contents on any external link referenced from this Web site.