Counter Terrorism News Check
Counter Terrorism Page 2
Counter Terrorism Page 4
WeBLOG after 9/11 continued
Go to bottom for new
Updated wording may be made anywhere on this page!
Paragraphs eliminated for compression.
British intelligence MI6 paid large sums of money to an al-Qaeda cell in Libya in a foiled attempt to assassinate Colonel Gadaffi in 1996 and thwarted early attempts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice. The allegations had emerged by renegade MI5 officer David Shayler and now by French intelligence experts. The first Interpol arrest warrant for bin Laden was issued by Libya in March 1998. British and US intelligence agencies buried the fact that the arrest warrant had come from Libya and played down the threat. Five months after the warrant was issued, al-Qaeda killed more than 200 people in the truck bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The Libyan al-Qaeda cell included Anas al-Liby, who remains on the US government's most wanted list with a reward of $25 million for his capture. He is wanted for his involvement in the African embassy bombings. Al-Liby was with bin Laden in Sudan before the al-Qaeda leader returned to Afghanistan in 1996. Astonishingly, despite suspicions that he was a high-level al-Qaeda operative, al-Liby was given political asylum in Britain and lived in Manchester until May of 2000 when he eluded a police raid on his house and fled abroad. The raid discovered a 180-page al-Qaeda 'manual for jihad' containing instructions for terrorist attacks. David Shayler was sentenced to prison for disclosing documents obtained during his time as an MI5 officer. He was not allowed to argue that he made the revelations in the public interest.
Osama bin Laden was once praised by U.S. officials. Bin Laden received U.S. support to fight Soviet troops in Afghanistan as he was shaping his al-Qaida terrorist network. French intelligence warned the CIA about getting involved with Muslim extremist. ``This business of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' can be very dangerous.'' During the 1980s, the United States supported several rebel groups eager to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Americans provided funds and arms, including Stinger surface-to-air missiles. Aid was channeled through Pakistan and given to groups selected by Pakistanis. Bin Laden was just emerging as a leader, but he was already an Islamic idealist, clearly with no love for the West. He was heavily funded by Saudi interests and received American logistical and political support. President Reagan once praised the Afghans and Arab guerrillas who helped them as ``freedom fighters.'' History could have turned out better if Americans had instead helped the more moderate Afghans. Because of Pakistan's opposition, Americans gave almost no help to Ahmed Shah Massood, the northern alliance's military leader, who held out for years against the Taliban in northern Afghanistan. Massood's more secular politics might have prevented the rise of extremists. Some CIA officials shared these misgivings at the time but were bound by presidential policies. The United States went wrong by allying itself too closely to Pakistan because Pakistan is playing a double - maybe a triple - game. Pakistan is allied with the United States, but they also recognized the Taliban, and they are close to China.
President Bush's National Security Council met formally nearly 100 times in the months prior to the Sept. 11 attacks yet terrorism was the topic during only two of those sessions, officials say. Critics said the low number of terrorism meetings by the most senior members of the Security Council indicated the administration's priorities were elsewhere. Clinton officials said their council principals met every two to three weeks to discuss terrorist threats after mid-1998. Those meetings increased during times of heightened terrorist concerns, such as immediately prior to the millennium celebrations, when the principals met nearly every day to discuss threat levels.
Two U.S. F-16 pilots charged with manslaughter in the April 2002 "friendly fire" bombing of Canadian troops in Afghanistan that killed four soldiers routinely took amphetamines that may have impaired their judgment. The Illinois Air National Guard pilots face a possible court-martial for dropping a laser-guided bomb near Kandahar on April 17 because they thought they were being fired on from the ground. An Air Force investigation determined the pilots "demonstrated poor airmanship" and ignored standard procedure by not making sure there were no allied troops in the area. Lawyers for the two men will argue that the accident could have been averted if the pilots had been told about ground exercises in which the Canadian soldiers were taking part. They also say the Air Force forced the pilots to use the stimulant "go pills" because they kept the pilots on an erratic schedule, flying missions some days and some nights, and did not tell them about a warning from the drug manufacturer for Dexedrine. The drug manufacturer specifically counsels doctors to tell patients they should not operate heavy machinery or engage in potentially hazardous activities while using this drug. No pilot was ever told that. "They overtasked the pilots in theater. The one time he tried not to use the pill, he nearly had a collision with a tanker," the lawyer who is representing the pilot said.
Federal authorities have issued a secret alert to state and local law-enforcement agencies warning them of "the possibility of a terrorist attack in the United States around the Fourth of July holiday." The decision not to issue a public alert was made after a series of meetings among national security and counterterrorism officials over the last several weeks. In fact, the government has issued only one public terrorist advisory so far in 2002. That alert, on April 19, warned that terrorists were considering attacks against banks in the Northeast, although bureau officials said they knew of no specific targets. Eighteen other past terrorist advisories have been issued secretly to state and local police agencies, so far in 2002, but some of those advisories got leaked to the public.
A leading Spanish newspaper reported that Mohamed Atta, suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks, held a "summit" with other alleged conspirators in Spain to plan the suicide flights. It said Atta arrived in Madrid July 8, 2001 on a flight from Miami. He drove a rented car to Tarragona on July 9, the same day that Ramzi Binalshibh, a Yemeni national who El Pais described as the "coordinator" of the September 11 attacks, took a flight from Hamburg to Tarragona. Binalshibh arrived at a hotel in Tarragona, in northeastern Spain, accompanied by another man whose description fitted that of Said Bahaji. Police believed Binalshibh held a meeting on July 10 with Atta, whose hotel was only 15 minutes away by car. Binalshibh's companion, believed to be Bahaji and the suspected second pilot, Shehhi, also participated in the "terrorist summit." This man was accompanied by two others; leading investigators to believe that as many as six conspirators may have attended the Tarragona meeting. The report quoted no eyewitness or documentary evidence of the meeting and gave no details of what might have been discussed.
Large air tankers owned
and operated by private companies and based at Forest Service
airfields, "are vulnerable to theft and could be attractive
to terrorists wishing to disperse biological or chemical weapons,"
concluded a March report by the inspector general of the
Agriculture Department, the Forest Service's parent agency.
http://www.afia.com/ Aerial Firefighting Industry Association
http://www.agaviation.org/ National Agricultural Aviation Association
http://www.fs.fed.us/ U.S. Forest Service
A top Pakistani Islamic cleric warned of "riots and civil disobedience" if President Gen. Pervez Musharraf does not halt the search for al-Qaida fugitives in the fiercely independent tribal regions of Pakistan. "I warn Musharraf to refrain from expanding operations in tribal areas where tribesmen are extremely upset due to the raids conducted on their houses," Maulana Fazle ur-Rehman, chief of the fundamentalist Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam said. Pakistan authorities have also detained some members of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Police have speculated the group may now be working with al-Qaida to take revenge on Westerners and the Pakistani government for the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Police helicopters hovered near the World Trade Center towers to check its condition. "About 15 floors down from the top, it looks like it's glowing red," the pilot of one helicopter, Aviation 14, radioed at 10:07 a.m. eastern time. "It's inevitable." Seconds later, another pilot reported: "I don't think this has too much longer to go. I would evacuate all people within the area of that second building." Those clear warnings were transmitted 21 minutes before the building fell, and officials say they were relayed to police officers, most of whom managed to escape. Yet, most firefighters never heard those warnings, or earlier orders to get out. Their radio system failed frequently that morning. Even if the radio network had been reliable, it was not linked to the police system. And the police and fire commanders guiding the rescue efforts did not talk to one another during the crisis. Cut off from critical information, at least 121 firefighters, most in striking distance of safety, died when the north tower fell.
Communities across America
have been quietly staging a revolt against the USA Patriot Act,
saying it gives law enforcement too much power and threatens
individual rights. The Massachusetts cities of Cambridge,
Northampton and Amherst and the township of Leverett, as well as
the town of Carrboro, N.C., all passed resolutions that call the
USA Patriot Act a threat to the residents of their communities.
The five municipalities join Berkeley, Calif., and Ann Arbor,
Mich., in taking a strong stance challenging the way the Bush
administration wants to pursue its war on terror within the
borders of the United States. Even before USA Patriot was passed,
the police in Portland, Ore. broke ranks with the Justice
Department's war on terror. The city council of Boulder, Colo.,
is considering a resolution similar to the ones passed in the
seven other cities. Denver has also passed a resolution that,
while not going as far as the others go, still expresses concerns
about the USA Patriot Act. The House Judicial Committee has sent
a request to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft asking him and
FBI Director Robert Mueller to respond no later than July 9, 2002
to 12 pages of questions (50 in all) about how the act is being
implemented and how effective it has been.
A second nuclear fuel rod used at the University of Kinshasa research reactor in the Democratic Republic of Congo is missing and the possibility that it is in the hands of terrorists has not been ruled out. Although the whereabouts of that fuel element are not known, one element [What about more than one?] would be of essentially no use in constructing a nuclear device or nuclear explosive device. And it would be a poor choice for constructing a radiological or so-called dirty bomb. The rod was made by the US firm General Atomics ranging between 19.7% and 19.9% of fissionable Uranium. The benchmark for highly enriched Uranium is 20%.
A gunman - a limousine
driver- carrying a .45-caliber semiautomatic Glock pistol, a 9-mm
handgun and a 6-inch knife opened fire July 4, 2002 at Israel's
El Al airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International
Airport, killing two people and wounding seven others before an
airline security guard shot him dead. He had extra ammunition and
magazines ready to use. The FBI said there was no immediate
indication the shootings were connected to terrorism, and that
the gunman acted alone. Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres
said he was convinced the shooting attack was a terrorist attack.
A senior Bush administration official said there was no immediate
indication the shooting was tied to terrorism. Two other
suspected accomplices in the attack were being questioned. The
FBI said it was not looking for any other suspects. The FBI has a
preliminary identification of the gunman, but would not release
it. It appeared that the gunman was an Arab male [took awhile for
them to admit he was Egyptian] but American authorities refused
to quickly mention this to the public and gave the public little
immediate detail. Sources outside of America say the gunman was
Hashem Mohamed Hadayat, 41, and that during his ten years in the
United States he was a secret operative of the Egyptian Jihad,
the same Jihad cell that did the first attack on the New York
World Trade Center in 1993.
Airline pilots unions are warning members that terrorists might watch their movements or try to steal their uniforms and identification. Some flight crews believed they were being watched by people of Middle Eastern descent. In addition, some pilots have already reported that their hotel rooms were broken into and uniforms and IDs stolen. Issuing tamperproof ID cards with biometric identifiers for airline and airport employees has been recommended.
The United States is imposing economic sanctions on Chinese companies for the sales of advanced conventional arms and chemical/biological-weapons components to Iran. It is the fourth time since September 2001 that the Bush administration has singled out Beijing's state-run companies for violating U.S. laws aimed at curbing transfers of weapons and arms-related goods to rogue states. A China diplomat said "The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is not in China's interest. We oppose proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
The federal court has
ruled in favor of Judicial Watch against Vice President Cheney
and his Energy Task Force. The Court firmly rejected as "mischief"
Bush Administration arguments that inquiry into the operations of
Task Force would necessarily impinge on the President's
constitutional powers. The Court said the Bush Administration's
"stunning" arguments "fly in the face of precedent"
and are a "problematic and unprecedented assertion...of
Executive Power." The Court turned back the Bush
Administration's lawless attempt to prevent the American people
from gaining access to information about the operations of its
government, stated Judicial Watch Chairman.
Is Vice Prestdent Dick Cheney above the law?
The controversial Bush
administration idea, Operations TIPS (Terrorism Information and
Prevention System), to get millions of Americans to snoop on one
another met formidable opposition when the top House Republican
proposed legislation banning such programs. Members of civil
liberties and privacy groups have joined conservative groups in
their condemnation of the proposed program, dubbing it "Operation
Snoops." The proposed legislation would also ban the
creation of national identity cards, an idea President Bush
indicated he wanted to work toward. The protections of the Fourth
Amendment are clear. The right to protection from unlawful
searches is an indivisible American value. Two hundred years of
court decisions have stood in defense of this fundamental right.
The state's interest in crime-fighting should never vitiate the
citizens' Bill of Rights. Operation TIPS is now prohibited by law.
Homeland Security Director
Tom Ridge (R-PA) and some lawmakers said the government should
consider law to give the U.S. military a bigger law enforcement
role in the event of a terrorist attack. ``I think it is time to
revisit it,'' Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) said. They support
revisions to the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which currently
restricts using the military as a civilian police force. Congress
revised the Posse Comitatus Act in 1981 - during President Ronald
Reagan's (R-CA) administration costly and failing drug war on
ourselves - to allow the military to help the Coast Guard in drug
The murders of military wives allegedly by their husbands who are Special Operations soldiers based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina have led commanders to take a new look at whether combat deployments may be causing undue stress. The Fort Bragg garrison commander is reviewing counseling and stress-management programs available at the base. A spokesman said the Army wants to see if there is something it could do better. But one military official who had previously served at Fort Bragg pointed out that Special Operations soldiers might be reluctant to seek help. Senior Army medical officials said the investigators will look at a wide range of issues from deployment stress to medical matters and any potential gap in military community support for troops and their families. The investigation will include whether the killings might be related to the widely used anti-malaria drug "Lariam" mefloquine, which can prompt rare side effects such as rage and suicidal tendencies. But Army officials said there was little likelihood that it would be a common thread.
Saad bin Laden, Osama bin Laden's eldest son, has been in charge of the al-Qaeda terror network al-Qaeda's pullout from its main hideouts in Afghanistan. This disclosure "substantiates the theory that bin Laden was killed or seriously wounded" in the US-led military campaign. Bin Laden's second son, 20-year-old Mohammad, had previously been expected to succeed Osama in case of his death or incapacitation and Saad was "unknown" outside al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden has some 20 sons from various wives.
According to the London-based
Ash Sharq al-Awsat newspaper, Osama bin Laden's al Qaida network
will carry out a series of operations in August, 2002 and the
suspected terrorist mastermind will appear in a taped recording
soon after that.
India's defense minister claimed (July 29, 2002) that Osama bin Laden is hiding in Pakistan and Pakistani intelligence officials are aware of it. Islamabad denied his claim.
Al Qaeda terror suspects in custody by Federal officials in the U.S. had documents in their possession about how to poison America's water supplies. The suspects, James Ujaama and Semi Osman, were part of the now-closed Dar-us-Salaam mosque in Seattle and Ujaama recently moved to Denver where he was arrested. Sources say the Ujaama brothers and Osman are all tied to a prominent radical Muslim cleric in London named Sheikh Abu Hamza Al-Masri. Investigators say they have evidence indicating that Al-Masri supplied the information about poisoning water supplies to both suspects.
Argentina's economic crisis has now spread to its neighbors Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. It has threatened to engulf other politically unstable economies in the region as well, including Bolivia and Venezuela, where analysts predict deep recessions. Uruguay's government forced the banks to close and for them to reopen later. Depositors fear banks will freeze their money as banks did in Argentina. An economic crisis in South America would hurt an already sluggish global economy. Numerous nations in the region, such as Peru and Paraguay, have begun a wide embrace of U.S.-backed free market reforms fueling deadly rioting against privatization of state-run industries. South American officials have gone to Washington to seek loans from the U.S. Treasury, IMF and other foreign lenders. Americans could end up bailing them out. International Monetary Fund in Washington announced a $30 billion support package for Brazil. U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill vowed to help speed up Argentina's talks for bailout aid and gave battered Uruguayan banks a $1.5 billion emergency "bridge loan". There are arguments that corruption and government bungling are largely to blame for the economic crisis in South America. The U.S. debt along with the world derivatives and U.S. bailout of foreign countries is by far the world's greatest financial bomb that could explode into American bank failures in the United States.
The FBI wants to know who told CNN and other news outlets about two al Qaeda radio messages intercepted by the super-secretive National Security Agency prior to the Sept. 11 attacks. The messages, received Sept. 10, said "Tomorrow is zero hour" and "The match begins tomorrow." FBI agents began questioning Senators on the Intelligence Committee and are asking Hill staffers to submit to polygraph examinations. Most members of Congress say lawmakers should not submit to lie detector tests, citing the constitutional separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches of government and the unreliability of the exam. Some lawmakers are seeing it as a violation of the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. They are also troubled by the fact that the FBI is conducting a probe of Congress at the same time that a joint House-Senate Intelligence panel is looking into allegations of intelligence lapses by both the FBI and CIA before the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The request for the FBI to investigate the leak came after the White House, most notably Vice President Cheney, complained in late June of 2002. The news reports about the NSA intercepts appeared just two days after CIA Director George Tenet, FBI Director Robert Mueller and Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden, the head of the NSA, testified in a closed-door session before the joint panel. Both House and Senate rules specifically state that leaks of classified information should be investigated by the Congressional ethics committees. Legal experts believe that the FBI probe raises broader constitutional questions on the separation of powers and whether this investigation would violate the historical balance between the various branches of government. A former House deputy general counsel and law professor said that "calling in the Justice Department is absurd because Congress itself would mete out any punishment, and this just undermines the intelligence committees' vital independence from those who are supposed to be under its scrutiny. The power to investigate leak allegations is the power to control. You seriously undermine the Intelligence committees' ability, at a critical historic moment, to look independently and critically at the intelligence agencies." While the probe might not discover the source of the leaks, it may "put a chill" on the willingness of lawmakers to talk. The Bush administration has aggressively tried to close down sources of news reporting that reveals information that is potentially embarrassing or, in the administration's view, harmful to national security.
The FBI wants information on any contact those senators had with reporters between noon on June 18 to 3:15 p.m. on June 19. That is when CNN reported the details of two Arabic-language messages the National Security Agency intercepted Sept. 10 making vague references to an impending attack on the United States. Other news organizations also reported on the messages. The FBI previously asked lawmakers to consider taking lie detector tests. Several objected to the request, saying it intruded into the separation of powers between the congressional and executive branches of government. The FBI did not pursue it. The leaks angered the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney.
The Palestinian militant group Hamas claimed responsibility for the cafeteria blast at the Mt. Scopus campus at Jerusalem's Hebrew University that killed seven people, including five Americans, on August 1, 2002. Hamas called it revenge for an Israeli attack last week in Gaza that killed the leader of its military wing and 14 others. Israelis, Arabs, as well as four Americans and three South Koreans were among the 80 wounded in the school. The bomb, laden with nails and other metal objects, was in a bag left on a table in the center of the cafeteria and was detonated remotely by cellular phone.
Loopholes still render U.S.
visa process inadequate
The National Science
Foundation (NSF) is working with the CIA's technology branch to
develop data-mining techniques in order to better analyze
communications. The work involves detection of specific keywords
and topics across a variety of media. The Intelligence Technology
Innovation Center (ITIC), which is under CIA's administration,
will develop data-mining techniques that can extract underlying
patterns and create predictive abilities from massive sets of
data, such as television broadcasts and Web pages. Cooperation
between the ITIC and the CIA is made possible through the
interagency Knowledge Discovery and Dissemination (KDD) program.
The research will involve experts in computer science and will
focus on data streams and data sharing. With audio and video
streaming there is little hope of saving information, because the
databases are constantly in flux and you have to make real-time
decisions on what to save. So researchers will work on mining
underlying patterns and trends while pinpointing changes in those
patterns. This work will involve both topic and word "spotting,"
or detecting specific words or word clusters. SRI International
will investigate ways to enable machines to recognize individuals
by the way they talk, a sophisticated capability that goes far
beyond existing voice-recognition technology. This research
includes "talk printing," or identifying the specific
ways in which individuals talk, including pauses or speech
inflections. In another project, researchers at Columbia
University are working on a system to track patterns in data
types from broadcast news programs, online chat rooms, e-mail and
voice mail and then automatically generate a summary of
information about a specific event. They will take large numbers
of messages and produce short summaries that take into
consideration both time factors and changing news reports to
determine the most accurate information. Scientists at IBM's T.J.
Watson Research Center are working to create a topic-spotting
method that can search for a specific area of interest in all
Local and National Offices
Have Yet to Disclose Advice People Could Use in a Terrorist
Government Is Slow to Offer Safety Plans
The U.S. Department of Justice ordered secrecy measures and is withholding from the public a tape of emergency radio transmissions between firefighters of the New York Fire Department (NYFD) during the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. It proves that the firefighters reached much higher than previously reported to the public. They reached the 78th floor Sky Lobby of the South Tower. The flimsy pretext for the DOJ keeping it secret is the tape may be used as evidence in the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, accused of conspiracy in the Sept. 11 attacks. The 78-minute tape was found in the rubble but fire officials could not listen and play the tape for themselves until they signed a confidentiality agreement with the DOJ. The public news report about the tape was not made until August 2002.
FBI wiretap recorded
sounds of Trade Center tragedy
Switzerland's federal police authorities said that suspected al-Qaida members used Swiss prepaid cellphone cards to make calls in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The cards enable cellphone users to buy call time in advance rather than being billed later. They can be purchased without showing identification making it impossible to trace calls made using a card. Mohamed Atta, a suspected leader of the hijacking teams that hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, spent several hours in Zurich on his way from Miami to Madrid last July 2001.
There is growing concern that terrorists will attack ships to inflict heavy casualties, damage to property, and disrupt the wheels of international commerce.
The case against Jose Padilla, whose detention for allegedly plotting to build a "dirty bomb" was dramatically announced in June 2002 by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, is going nowhere and appears to have been "blown out of all proportion. The Justice Department has brought no charges against Padilla and many U.S. officials now acknowledge that his alleged plot "had never moved beyond talk." "If Padilla had any accomplices in the U.S. they have never been found -- or even identified," this quoted an intelligence official as saying the idea of a plot was "blown out of all proportion." U.S. authorities were not even interested in making a case against Padilla, but intend to force him to tell what he knows about al Qaeda.
Analyzing data from the U.S. Census and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, it is projected that an additional 1.1 million Middle Eastern immigrants would arrive in the United States by 2010, bringing the total above 2.5 million. The INS estimates that 150,000, or 10 percent of Middle Eastern immigrants, are in the country illegally. The wave of immigration might lead to changes in U.S. policy towards the Arab-Israeli conflict as elected officials responded to the increased importance of the Muslim community.
Osama bin Laden ordered the assassination of Afghan opposition leader Ahmed Shah Massood days before the Sept. 11 attacks, a senior ex-Taliban official has said.
Members of an Iranian rebel group alleged that Iran's government is close to completing at least two secret sites to support its nuclear weapons program. Officials with the National Council of Resistance of Iran said the sites are a nuclear fuel production plant and research lab at Natanz and a heavy water production plant at Arak. Both sites are in central Iran south of the capital of Tehran.
President Bush blocked $5.1 billion that Congress had approved for homeland security, including millions of dollars for the nation's firefighters, and scolded lawmakers for lumping in unrelated projects he did not want.
The General Accounting Office estimates it could take 5 to 10 years before a Homeland Security Department can "provide meaningful and sustainable results." Such a long time frame runs counter to the repeated statements from President Bush and congressional leaders that to safeguard Americans from the growing threat of terrorism inside U.S. borders, the agency must be operational immediately. Many experts and lawmakers say it is risky to embark on massive, long-term bureaucratic change at such an uncertain time. To protect the American people as soon as possible, an unwieldy department of this size and scope is not the way to go said some critics. President Bush has proposed folding all or parts of 22 agencies, including the Customs Service, Secret Service, Border Patrol, Coast Guard, Immigration and Naturalization Service and Transportation Security Agency. The CIA and FBI would not be part of the new department but would be required to share intelligence with it. Initial transition cost estimates of $3 billion over the next five years do not take into account a new headquarters. Overcoming resistance to change and getting the new agency on the right course will take strong and visionary leadership. The White House has chosen a senior intelligence analyst to head the unit at the proposed Homeland Security Department. John Gannon, former chairman of the National Intelligence Council and previously a CIA deputy director for intelligence, will take charge of the intelligence unit of the new department. Congress has not yet approved final legislation to create the new cabinet-level agency, the largest government reorganization in half a century, but the administration has begun preliminary planning for it.
Relatives of victims of
the 11 September attacks have filed a 15-count, trillion-dollar [different
media agencies reported different dollar values] federal lawsuit
against various parties accusing them of financing Osama Bin
Laden's al-Qaeda terror network and Afghanistan's former Taliban
regime. Those accused include the country of Sudan, three members
of the Saudi royal family - including the Saudi foreign minister
- and eight Islamic foundations and charities, in addition to
seven international banks and the Bin Laden family's Saudi
construction firm. The individuals named in the lawsuit include
Osama bin Laden and several of his family members as well as
three members of the Saudi royal family: Turki al Faisal al Saud,
Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al Saud and Mohammed al Faisal al Saud
including Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan [the third highest
official in the kingdom]. The banks named in the case are Al
Baraka Investment and Development Corp, National Commercial Bank,
Faisal Islamic Bank, Al Rajhi Banking and Investment, Al Barakaat
Exchange LLC, Dar Al Maal Al Islami and Al Shamal Islamic Bank.
The charitable groups include the International Islamic Relief
Organization, Sanabel Al Kheer Inc, Muslim World League, Saar
Foundation, Rabita Trust, Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation,
Benevolence International Foundation and the World Assembly of
Muslim Youth. It was filed on August 15, 2002 in the US District
Court of the District of Colombia. They also accused the US
Government of failing to pursue such institutions thoroughly
enough because of lucrative oil interests.
Several Saudi banks and Islamic charities named in a lawsuit by families of Sept. 11 victims vehemently denied Sunday any role in funding terrorism and blasted the case as an attempt to extort Saudi wealth abroad. "This is an act to extort Saudi money deposited in the United States and a way of meddling in the region," an official at Al Rajhi Investment and Development Corp, one of several Saudi banks named in the lawsuit said.
A group of Saudis the majority of whom are students who had been attending American universities and were forced to leave plan to sue the U.S. government and media organizations for the alleged psychological and financial damage they suffered in the aftermath of September 11. The potential plaintiffs included Saudis whose names had initially been listed among the hijackers of the planes that crashed into U.S. landmarks. Others want to sue U.S. law enforcement officers for harassing them in the hunt for the perpetrators.
If the federal government thinks the possibility of a smallpox attack by terrorists is real enough to perhaps vaccinate 500,000 health care and safety workers so they can respond to such an assault, why shouldn't the rest of us be inoculated as well? In June of 2002, a government advisory panel had recommended that only some 10,000 to 20,000 health care professionals be immunized against smallpox. The other 280 million-plus Americans would have to wait until there was an actual outbreak. This is careless of America's government. We should start voluntary inoculations now so health care providers would have an opportunity to screen people at risk from the vaccine's side effects. It should also be made clear that if you choose to be vaccinated you give up the right to sue.
Israel is urging U.S. officials not to delay a military invasion against Iraq's Saddam Hussein. Israeli intelligence officials said they have gathered evidence that Iraq is speeding up efforts to produce biological and chemical weapons. Israel said an order Saddam gave to Iraq's Atomic Energy Commission last week was to speed up development of nuclear weapons. If America attacks Iraq, some experts believe Iraq would attack Israel provoking Israel to strike back with Israel's nuclear weapons causing an Armageddon in the Middle East. Some also say an attack on Iraq without good evidence at this time could destroy the global counterterrorist campaign.
Pentagon officials worry that countries such as Iraq and Iran, as well as terrorist networks including al-Qaida, may be striving to develop cruise missiles that could be launched from ships adjacent to population centers in the US or from any kind of platform close to American targets around the world. The latest intelligence reports suggest that at least 81 countries have cruise missiles of some kind, totaling more than 70,000 weapons. Such weapons could theoretically be fitted not just with explosive warheads, but with chemical, biological or nuclear payloads. Cruise missiles have to be fired much closer to their targets, however they pose particular threats because they fly low and can elude radar. It would take significant work to build a network to protect the entire US coastline against them.
Although the U.S. government labels Iraq as a sponsor of terrorism, Saddam Hussein government exports relatively little compared to some of its neighbors, U.S. officials say. Many U.S. officials now discount reports that Mohammed Atta, the chief hijacker on Sept. 11, met with an Iraqi intelligence operative in Prague in April 2001. The Iraqi government denied such a meeting ever occurred, and charged the reports were fabricated to justify making Iraq a target in the U.S.-led war on terror. Atta is now believed to have been in the United States during the time he was supposed to have been meeting with the Iraqi operative. U.S. counterterrorism officials have been searching high and low for evidence linking Iraq to international terrorist networks but they have come up with few hard connections. The U.S. government also says Iraq supports the People's Mujahadeen of Iran, a group dedicated to the overthrow of the religious government of Iran. Officials say that while opposing the United States is a common goal, bin Laden's motivations are religious, while Saddam's are to seek secular power.
Islamic extremists may have tested chemical or biological weapons at a small facility in Kurdish-controlled (anti-Saddam) northern Iraq. The Kurdish group, known as Ansar al-Islam, remains a serious concern because of indications they are connected to the al-Qaida terrorist network. American intelligence agencies had reason to suspect that the facility, in a part of northern Iraq not under Saddam's control, was a crude laboratory for chemical and biological weapons activity that included testing on barnyard animals and at least on one man. U.S. officials believe the terrorists tested a biological toxin known as ricin, a deadly poison made from the castor bean plant. Ansar al-Islam controls a handful of Iraqi Kurdish villages that border with Iran, on the eastern end of the US-protected Kurdish safe area in northern Iraq. The official would not say whether the facility was still in operation. Saddam Hussein's eldest son has accused Iran of being behind the group of militant Islamists called Jund al-Islam in Kurdish-run northern Iraq and dismissed claims that it was connected with Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network. Recent reports, however, have named the Islamic militants in the area as Ansar al-Islam.
A national sweep by federal agents started last fall known as "Operation Tarmac" has uncovered immigration violations and document fraud of airport workers, many with access to restricted areas such as planes and runways.
The United States is wasting huge sums of money on technology meant to thwart attacks on airliners when it should rely more on profiling to identify would-be terrorists backed by such things as cockpit fortifications and enhanced check-in precautions, a trade group for U.S. airlines said. Among the big players in the business are Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp., the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 U.S. defense contractors, respectively. Another big contractor, Raytheon Co., has been involved in installations.
Abu Nidal, the Palestinian terrorist, was killed on the orders of Saddam Hussein after refusing to train al-Qaeda fighters based in Iraq. While in Baghdad, Abu Nidal, whose real name was Sabri al-Banna, came under pressure from Saddam to help train groups of al-Qaeda fighters who moved to northern Iraq after fleeing Afghanistan. Saddam also wanted Abu Nidal to carry out attacks against the US and its allies. When Abu Nidal refused, Saddam ordered his intelligence chiefs to assassinate him. He was shot dead when Iraqi security forces burst into his apartment in central Baghdad. The Iraqi authorities later claimed that Abu Nidal had killed himself when confronted with evidence that he was involved in a plot to overthrow Saddam.
Chinese analysts had accused Washington of double standards for not supporting the war on terror. When top U.S. envoy for counterterrorism visited China in December 2001, he said the United States did not view the East Turkestan Islamic Movement in the northwest region of Xinjiang as a terrorist organization. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said - August 27, 2002 - Washington is now putting the Islamic group seeking independence for part of China on its list of terrorist organizations. In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the movement was not on the top-priority list of foreign terrorist organizations but on a broader list of groups and individuals subject to financial sanctions. The broader list is based on an executive order issued by President Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. The order prohibits financial transactions with the hundreds of entities on the list and blocks their assets.
Reported August 27, 2002 - The FBI this week will go back inside an anthrax-contaminated building owned by tabloid publisher American Media Inc., where an employee was fatally infected in October 2001. Agents will use newly developed techniques to search for anthrax spores and other evidence throughout the building. The building has been under federal quarantine since October, when photo editor Robert Stevens died after becoming infected at his desk. He was the first person and only Floridian to die during the anthrax attacks last fall, which killed five people. While transmission by mail was suspected at AMI, investigators never determined how anthrax spores entered the building. The original investigation did not locate a "dissemination device" or large quantities of spores. Legislation is being introduced to require the federal government to help decontaminate the building, fearing a hurricane could spread spores. The legislation would allow the federal government to take over the building and use it as a laboratory to study anthrax. AMI executives, who are unable to clean up the building on their own, have offered to give the building to the government. The fenced and guarded building has stood vacant since employees evacuated it in October and they could not take anything out of the infested building.
World oil prices simmered close to their highest in a year as renewed talk of a U.S. military assault on Iraq exacerbated fears of tight petroleum inventories ahead of winter. Oil importing nations such as the United States are afraid that oil prices around $30 a barrel threaten economic growth.
Bombing the Iraq sites would only spread the chemical or biological agents, killing innocent Iraqi civilians and threatening invading forces. The allies could ensure that the weapons could not be used in any effective way by using tactical nuclear earth-penetrating weapons intended precisely to destroy deep underground targets such as command bunkers and chemical and biological weapons stores and by a new type of radio frequency weapon, E-Bomb, to cripple the plants' refrigeration and computer systems. E-Bombs can be delivered by cruise missile, by smart bomb, or by unmanned aerial vehicles. As it approaches its target, an array of aerials spring out and its capacitors discharge themselves, sending out a burst of high-powered microwave energy to disable electrical and electronic systems. A high-power microwave weapon produces a near-instantaneous electrical pulse or spike that destroys computer memories and damages electrical components. It could disable the radio, radar, and computer systems on which modern defenses depend. Some cruise missiles may disperse long carbon fiber strands to short-circuit electrical switching stations. A new type of weapon, a version of the Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) may be used that disperses huge numbers of microscopic carbon fibers that drift in the wind. These can get into even the smallest of electrical components, damaging computers, air conditioners, communications equipment and anything else with electrical circuits. These weapons will also bring the civil infrastructure to a standstill, closing national electricity grids, sewage and water purification plants will not operate, stopping telephone, radio and television systems.
U.S. weapons ready for battlefield deployment include a microwave bomb that emits powerful pulses of energy to destroy enemy electronics, disable communications and even block vehicle ignitions, without hurting bystanders. Microwave bombs known as directed-energy weapons destroy electronic systems but in theory do not harm people or damage buildings. Defense researchers also have successfully tested a radical thermobaric warhead "vacuum bomb" to be used on suspected chemical and biological stockpiles. The warheads are designed to produce heat so intense that any contaminants released into the atmosphere are neutralized instantly. The upgraded thermobaric or fuel-air system produces a high-temperature incendiary blast that creates a long period of intense heat at low pressure, preventing the dispersal of poisonous agents. The warhead also produces a disinfectant chlorine gas that minimizes the risk of contamination.
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told Muslim leaders August 26 that the state will assess the safety of all Florida mosques and Islamic schools following the arrest of a Jewish doctor accused of plotting to blow up Islamic buildings. Officers with the state's regional anti-terrorism task forces will visit 200 mosques and schools. "We're here to provide a level of security," Bush told the Muslim leaders. Robert J. Goldstein, 37, was arrested August 23 and charged with possession of a non-registered destructive device and attempting to use an explosive to damage and destroy Islamic centers. He was being held without bond at Hillsborough County Jail. Deputies found more than 30 explosive devices, including hand grenades and a 5-gallon gasoline bomb with a timer and a wire attached, and a cache of up to licensed 40 weapons, including .50-caliber machine guns and sniper rifles, during a search of Goldstein's Seminole home, court records said. They say they also found a typed list of about 50 Islamic worship centers in the state and a detailed plan for bombing an Islamic education center. The magnitude of planning that was involved shows that this is not something designed by one individual. Bush also suggested members of the Muslim community join him on Sept. 11 to mark the one-year anniversary or the terrorist attacks.
Saudi Arabia believes that invading Iraq and changing the regime would only create a Karzai-style government in Baghdad having far-reaching dangerous consequences in the future. It will only breed more conflicts in the region. For this and other reasons, Riyadh does not and will not support military action. The Riyadh government cabinet has warned of a human tragedy if Washington attacks Iraq, and called for resolving the crisis through diplomacy. "The thing the kingdom fears most is an incomplete US operation. It would certainly result in a bloody situation of large numbers of refugees and armed conflicts.
Iraq may still possess
tons of chemical warfare agents, the necessary materials to
produce thousands of liters of biological agents and as many as
10 Scud missiles with which to deliver them.
The Iraqi chemical warfare arsenal is known to include:
* The nerve agents Sarin and VX. Colorless and tasteless, they cause death by respiratory arrest in one to 15 minutes.
* Blister agents such as mustard gas. Severely incapacitating, they damage tissue, causing extensive large blisters.
* Psychoactive agents such as Agent 15. Symptoms include dizziness, vomiting and hallucinations lasting for days. Biological warfare agents produced by Iraq include:
* Anthrax. Symptoms initially resemble that of a common cold and are only identifiable in the fatal phase. Once this begins, vomiting, severe head and joint pain, and respiratory distress will lead to death in one to three days.
* Botulinum. Causes botulism. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, paralysis of the throat and convulsions, followed by death due to respiratory arrest.
* Aflotoxins. Poisons produced by fungi and mould, they have the capacity to cause liver cancer.
* Ricin. Inhalation leads to weakness, fever and pulmonary edema within 24 hours followed by death.
* Clostridium perfringens. A bacterium which causes gangrene.
Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper said Osama bin Laden was well, "safe" and planning new attacks on the United States that will coincide with an U.S. attack on Iraq. He would want to capitalize on this to appeal to the Arab street so he will probably delay any attacks until the United States moves on Iraq.
Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge said - August 26, 2002 - cells of Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network are operating in the United States. There were still glaring weaknesses in security which terrorists could easily exploit, he said. Although airline safety has improved, he added, the threat from chemical and biological weapons remains a particular concern. Mr. Ridge conceded that further terrorist strikes were virtually inevitable. Ports are another area of weakness, he said, and a possible entry point for chemical and biological weapons.
Jewish High Holy Days also have become a time to brace against possible terrorist attacks. Police will increase patrols around synagogues beginning the evening of Sept. 6, with the start of Rosh Hashanah, until the end of Yom Kippur, Sept. 16. The anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks fell in the middle of the Jewish holidays.
The United States has received reports that al Qaida leaders Saif al-Adl and Abu Hafs the Mauritanian are alive and operating in eastern Iran along with dozens of Al-Qaeda fighters, but have not verified them, a U.S. official said. Iran rejected on Wednesday an U.S. newspaper report that it was harboring two deputies of Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network.
Many American cities are vastly unprepared to deliver lifesaving vaccinations should terrorists attack with smallpox, with a slew of logistical and policy problems still unresolved, federal advisers said. Many communities have yet to figure out where to set up clinics, who will administer the shots and how to educate masses of people about the health risks the vaccine carries. Federal and local officials are dealing with a myriad of problems involving delivery of the vaccine on a mass scale.
Planning for an attack on the United States began in October 1999 at the latest, and the hijackers had decided the World Trade Center as the target of an attack as early April or May 2000, Germany's federal prosecutor said on August 29, 2002.
The Arab men arrested in Detroit shortly after Sept. 11, 2001 were accused of acting as "a covert underground support unit" and a "sleeper operational combat cell" for a radical Islamic movement allied with al-Qaida. The indictments and information about this case was not made public until August 29, 2002. Among the discoveries in the apartment was videotape with surveillance footage of Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the indictment said. Previously known to have been found in the apartment were a sketch of an air base in Incerlik, Turkey, used by American forces, notes referring to the "American foreign minister," and audio tapes preaching jihad. A hospital in Amman, Jordan was also said to be a target of a potential attack. As part of the alleged conspiracy, the Detroit-area men had phony identification documents, worked at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and familiarized themselves with its security procedures, the indictment said. They were dishwashers at LSG Sky Chefs International, a company that makes meals for airline passengers, in the summer of 2001. The indictment said all three "attempted to locate security breaches that would allow them to, among other things, directly access airliners." In addition, one of them worked at an ice cream parlor that was beyond the security checkpoint. A testimony at an April detention hearing said that anyone in the defendant's position could have easily passed a weapon to a boarding passenger. Some of the more than 100 audiotapes found in the apartment where the three men lived espoused a fundamentalist brand of Islam called the Salafiyya, a term taken from the Arabic words for the "venerable forefathers" of Islam. Salafists believe that much of Islam today has been corrupted and they espouse a return to strict Islamic law, and more militant adherents also believe Western governments, as well as those of moderate Arab nations, should be overthrown.
An expert group authorized
by the United Nations Security Council to monitor UN sanctions
released a draft report - August 29, 2002 - saying the al-Qaida
terror network has the money and recruits to strike again
whenever and wherever it wants because a global campaign and UN
sanctions have failed to stop the financing and support for Osama
bin Laden's backers. Despite initial successes after Sept. 11 in
locating and freezing some $112 million in assets belonging to al-Qaida
and its associates, it said only about $10 million has been
frozen since January. "Al-Qaida continues to have access to
considerable financial and other economic resources," it
said. Citing information from government officials and other
sources, the experts said al-Qaida is continuing to receive
financial support from bin Laden's personal inheritance and
investments, from its own members and supporters, and from
contributions from charitable organizations. Estimates of the
value of the portfolio managed on behalf of bin Laden and al-Qaida
by unidentified intermediaries range from $30 million to $300
million, the draft report said. "The funds collected and
disbursed by a number of Islamic based charities is proving
particularly difficult for governments to monitor and regulate,"
it said. The draft report called on states to exercise greater
surveillance over the operation of charities and to make greater
efforts to track down and close businesses and organizations
supporting al-Qaida. Many countries in Europe, North America and
elsewhere have taken steps to tighten banking regulations and to
trace and block financial transactions which has led al-Qaida to
transfer much of its financial activities to Africa, the Middle
East and Asia, the draft report said. "Al-Qaida is believed
to rely now even more heavily on hawala or other alternative
remittance systems," it said, calling for increased
vigilance of such transactions. Hawala refers to an informal
network for transferring funds outside normal banking and
government controls. The draft report also calls for the UN list
to be treated by all states as the authoritative list. It noted a
reluctance by some countries to submit names of individuals and
groups believed to be associated with al-Qaida. The U.S. Treasury
Department, responding to the draft report, said it was confident
that efforts to disrupt terrorist finances "are having real-world
effects" and that al-Qaida is suffering financially.
Financial officers of al Qaeda and the Taliban have quietly shipped large quantities of gold out of Pakistan to Sudan, transiting through the United Arab Emirates and Iran, according to European, Pakistani and U.S. investigators. The movement of gold also highlighted three significant developments in the war on terrorism: the growing role of Iranian intelligence units allied with the country's hard-line clerics in protecting and aiding al Qaeda; the potential reemergence of Sudan as a financial center for the organization; and the ability of the terrorist group to generate new sources of revenue despite the global crackdown on its finances. European terrorism experts said they were particularly troubled by indications that Iranian intelligence officials were taking an active role in moving the gold. The sources said there were credible reports that some of the gold was flown on Iranian airplanes to Sudan. Arab intelligence sources have reported that Iran is sheltering senior al Qaeda military and financial leaders in hotels and guest houses in the Afghan border cities of Mashhad and Zabol. European officials said some of the chartered planes used to transport the gold and other commodities for the Taliban and al Qaeda were linked to Victor Bout, a Russian arms merchant who maintains more than 50 aircraft in the United Arab Emirates. U.S. officials have called Bout the largest arms merchant in the world and say he has long had dealings with the Taliban, flying in weapons and medicine for the group when it governed Afghanistan. Despite an international arrest warrant issued in February for his arrest, Bout lives undisturbed in Moscow.
A Swedish citizen suspected of conspiring with a former Seattle man to open a terrorist training camp in Oregon also has links to a Swedish suspected of planning to hijack an airliner in Europe last week. Oussama Kassir, 36, an unemployed engineer in Stockholm, was an unnamed and uncharged co-conspirator in the indictment of James Ujaama last week. Federal officials say Kassir and another man went to Bly, Ore., with Ujaama in late 1999 to scout out a ranch as a training camp for the al-Qaida terrorist network. Authorities have not connected Kassir to the August 29th arrest of Kerim Sadok Chatty, who was stopped in Vaesteraas, Sweden, after a handgun was found in his carry-on bag as he was boarding a Ryanair flight to London. Chatty, 29, who trained at an American flight school in 1996, was being held yesterday pending charges for allegedly planning to hijack the Boeing 737. But Kassir admits he is a friend of Chatty's and says he taught Chatty to pray while they were in a Swedish prison together in the late 1990s. The two were close, Kassir said, and he last talked to Chatty about a month ago.
To survive the terrorist
attacks on the World Trade Center, the right thing to do was to
follow instinct, not procedure. Don't wait to find out what is
happening. Don't go back for your briefcase. Don't heed
announcements that the building is safe. Don't take the stairs;
take the elevator.
Delay Meant Death On 911
The CIA and other U.S.
intelligence agencies are not relaying what they know about
potential bioterrorism threats to the appropriate public health
officials, making it difficult to plan counter-strategies to deal
with an attack and protect citizens.
CIA Not Sharing Bioterror Knowledge With Public Officials
The Sept. 11 attacks will cost New York City $83 billion to $95 billion, partly depending upon how many jobs are permanently shifted out of the city. The Bush administration has promised the city $21.4 billion in aid. The cost of the damage to New York City dwarfs the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history, Hurricane Andrew, which hurtled across the Florida Peninsula south of Miami in 1992, killing 28 people and causing more than $25 billion in damage.
A Canadian defence committee report on security has warned that the country's coastlines are extremely vulnerable to terrorist attacks and are calling on the Canadian Government to reform its coastal monitoring methods and co-ordinate more with the United States.
Credible reports indicate that Syria has allowed as many as 200 al Qaeda gunmen to settle in the Ein Hilwe Palestinian camp near Sidon. Syria never demonstrated the slightest inclination to crack down on any of the other terrorist groups it hosts, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Reversing course, the Bush administration said it would go along with arming commercial pilots, provided a long list of safety and training concerns are addressed. The Bush administration has realized that the momentum in Congress favoring arming pilots is strong.
A new al-Qaida training
videotape, captured in Afghanistan, shows terrorists techniques
intended for use inside the United States of America. In one
scenario on the video, terrorists pretend to be stranded on a six-lane
highway, their vehicle disabled. When a police officer stops to
assist, the driver blows his horn. Another occupant of the
vehicle opens fire on the police officer with a rifle. In other
scenarios, shooters were concealed in the trunk of the car. When
the terrorists were picked up by accomplices in a getaway car,
the original vehicle was blown up, apparently to destroy evidence.
In another scenario, an innocuous-looking terrorist knocks on the
door of a residence, standing in view of the resident and
answering questions through a closed door. When the resident
opens the door, the terrorist immediately draws his weapon and
fires, emptying his weapon into the victim. In the golf course
assassination, the target was on the green, near the hole. A
rocket-propelled grenade is fired at a vehicle adjacent to the
green, perhaps a security detail. Then the target of the
assassination is killed with rifle fire.
The training video shows al-Qaida operatives practicing the following kinds of assaults:
* using pickup trucks with shooters concealed in the bed of the trucks
* using motorcycles as a shooting platform for drive-bys and assassinations
* execution of prisoners
* ambushes of law-enforcement officers
* residential assassinations
* assassination on a golf course using a rocket-propelled grenade and rifle fire
* drive-up kidnapping of target walking on a street
* use of tunnels, storm drains and sewers for infiltration during urban raids
* rappelling from rooftops of buildings to make entry on upper floors
* use of motorcycles for grenade attacks
* raids on buildings with large numbers of occupants perhaps schools or office buildings
A 400-page study compiled by Privacy International and the US-based Electronic Privacy Information Center paints a grim picture of the state of privacy in a post-11 September world. Go to page 1 and privacy links for details.
Israel has warned the Libya could become the first Arab nation with nuclear weapons. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Libya is working with such countries as Iraq, North Korea and Saudi Arabia to develop missiles and weapons of mass destruction. Sharon indicated that Libya has obtained expertise to launch a project to develop nuclear weapons.
Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network could be preparing for another major terrorist attack on a target in the United States or Europe as soon as the end of this year, a French terrorism expert said. He estimated it would take between a year and 16 months after the Sept. 11, 2001 assaults for al-Qaida to prepare for another operation.
German officials said they had arrested an apparent follower of Osama bin Laden and his American girlfriend for planning attacks on U.S. sites to mark the anniversary of the September 11 attack. Osman Petmezci, 24, and his American fiancee Astrid Eyzaguirre, 23, were arrested near Heidelberg, home to U.S. Army Europe headquarters in southwestern Germany. Police had found shells for five bombs and 130 kg (287 pounds) of chemicals and electrical material. The suspect worked in a chemical factory in the western city of Karlsruhe. German authorities have found no al-Qaida terror links to a Turkish man and his American fiancee arrested for plotting an attack on U.S. military bases in Germany. Inside the apartment, police found 287 pounds of bomb-making chemicals, five pipe bombs ready to be filled with explosives, a book about bomb-making and a picture of Osama bin Laden. An unidentified neighbor said that a few drops of a chemical spattered onto his head from Petmezci's balcony two months ago, sending him screaming with pain into the stairwell. Petmezci apologized, saying he was using paint thinner to remodel the apartment.
Saddam Hussein probably does not have a nuclear bomb but the Iraqi president does have the designs, equipment and expertise to build one quickly if he can get enough weapons-grade uranium or plutonium, the former inspectors and other experts says. Experts disagree on how close Iraq could be to making a nuclear bomb with estimates ranging from months to years though they agree that if Saddam could obtain stolen uranium or plutonium he could have a bomb ready relatively quickly. Iraq probably possesses large stockpiles of nerve agents, mustard gas and anthrax. Saddam probably also has at least nine long-range Scud missiles, and has or easily could make chemical and biological weapons to arm those missiles. Still, many former inspectors say Iraq's arsenal is not much of a threat. They say Saddam has been deterred so far by threats of massive retaliation by the United States and other countries and apparently has been reluctant to share his weapons with terrorists. Iraq has experimented with using small military training jets as remote-controlled drones, which could deliver biological or chemical weapons. Saddam also modified fuel tanks for supersonic MiG-21 fighters with sprayers for biological or chemical weapons. Chemical and biological weapons are more of a threat to civilians than to U.S. or coalition soldiers, who have vaccines, protective gear and training to protect themselves.
Military jets have resumed round-the-clock patrols over New York and Washington as the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks approaches. Pentagon officials declined to say whether the resumption of air patrols was because of a specific threat or because of the one-year anniversary of the attacks.
The United States and the United Nations ignored a warning secretly sent them by the Taliban foreign minister just a few hours prior to the September 11 attacks. The warning, sent by an aide to then-Taliban foreign minister Waqil Ahmed Mutawakil, said that Osama bin Laden was planning to carry out a massive terror attack on U.S. soil, which would result in the deaths of thousands of people. Mutawakil was very worried and sent his assistant to contact the U.S. consulate in Peshawar, on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, as well as with UN representatives. The man managed to make contact and pass on the warning, as well as a request that the U.S. take military action against the Taliban.
At first, FBI director Bob Mueller insisted there was nothing the FBI could have done to penetrate the 911 terrorist attacks. That account has been modified over time and may change again. One of the FBIs informants had a close relationship with two of the hijackers because he was their roommate. The connection was recently discovered by congressional investigators and has stunned some top counterterrorism officials and raised new concerns about the information-sharing among U.S. law-enforcement and intelligence agencies. The two hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi left Malaysia and went to San Diego, where they took flight-school lessons. In September 2000, the two moved into the home of a Muslim man. The Muslim man, their landlord, regularly prayed with them and even helped one open a bank account. He was also a "tested" undercover "asset" who had been working closely with the FBI office in San Diego on terrorism cases related to Hamas. The CIA was gathering more information about just how potentially dangerous both men were.
FBI agents investigating
2001's deadly anthrax attacks returned for a second time - August
1, 2002 - to a former U.S. Army scientist's apartment near Fort
Detrick, Maryland, in a new search for evidence. The FBI was also
searching his storage unit in Marion county Florida as well as
his car and his girlfriend's home. They have seized his computer
and bags of personal items he had thrown away in preparation for
moving. The scientist, Dr. Steven Hatfill, gave his consent at
the end of June for the first FBI search of his residence. A FBI
official said Hatfill had not been detained. FBI Director Robert
Mueller would not comment on the latest search. Hatfill
previously worked for the Army Medical Institute of Infectious
Disease, center of the nation's biological warfare defense
research, at Fort Detrick. He also previously worked at Science
Applications International Corp., a defense contractor. The
searches came up empty.
Could it be government's own people, trusted and respected people?
Who is Hatfill? http://cryptome.org/is-z-hatfill.htm - http://www.rense.com/general28/lnked.htm
Text of Steven Hatfill's Statement - August 11, 2002
Steven Hatfill declared - August 25, 2002 - he had nothing to do with last fall's anthrax attacks and accused the FBI of hounding him and his girlfriend in order to give the appearance that it was making progress in the investigation.
FBI agents searched the former home of Dr. Steven Hatfill, a focus of attention in the anthrax case, for the third time on September 11, 2002. Hatfill was not informed of the search and has not lived in the apartment in Frederick, Md., since Aug. 12. Hatfill's apartment has been searched twice before, the second time under warrant. A spokesman for the FBI's Washington field office had no comment on the matter. Hatfill was fired Sept. 3 from a job at Louisiana State University after the Justice Department sent his supervisor an e-mail ordering that Hatfill be barred from working on department funded projects.
FBI is tracking Hatfill
Pakistan's U.N. ambassador said that U.S. military action against Iraq could lead India to launch an attack or provoke a conflict with Pakistan.
The authorities in Pakistan are on high alert ahead of the first anniversary of the 11 September attacks on the United States. Militants have been angered by Islamabad's support for the US-led "war on terror".
Osama bin Laden is still a hero
for most people in the close U.S. ally nation of Kuwait,
according to a poll. Some 74 percent of more than 15,000 people
surveyed in Kuwait consider Osama bin Laden, head of the Al-Qaeda
network, a hero, a newspaper reported. America's rescued Kuwait from Saddam's Iraq in the Persian Gulf War. Senior Kuwaiti officials have come out strongly against the September attacks.
About 330 pounds of ammonium nitrate, which can be used as fertilizer or in explosives, was reported stolen Sept. 9, 2002, from a business near Austin, Texas. Authorities initially said 330 pounds of ammonium nitrate were missing but later determined only 30 pounds were stolen. The 24-year-old suspect admitted stealing a 30-pound tube of ammonium nitrate and dumping the fertilizer at a landfill after media coverage of the theft made him nervous.
On September 10, 2002 the Homeland Security Advisory System color code has changed for the first time from yellow (elevated threat) to orange (high threat) since they started using it. It was not quickly updated on their Web page just after it was reported by the news media! U.S. intelligence officials have been saying since the weekend that there has been an increased amount of chatter among al-Qaida sympathizers. The FBI issued a warning that became public on Sept. 9 asking police, operators of computer networks, utilities and transportation system to be wary during the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Security at federal buildings throughout Washington were increased. Meanwhile, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Vice President Dick Cheney had spent Monday night at a secure, undisclosed location "based on an ongoing review of information that is received as well as out of precaution." Fleischer declined to say how long Cheney had been there, or how long he would stay. Nine U.S. embassies overseas have been closed. The Pentagon's official security condition was moved to "Charlie", the second-highest of a four-level scale. The Pentagon had been at "Force Protection Condition Delta." Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld ordered that live anti-aircraft missiles be stationed at launchers that had been deployed around Washington. U.S. Navy officials in Bahrain issued a warning to shippers following unconfirmed reports that al-Qaida may be planning attacks on oil tankers.
City officials say that
the government's color-coded terrorism alert system is not
specific enough to be helpful. The cities are on the front line
in terrorism and any specifics will be helpful. The federal
Office of Homeland Security alerts needs to have additional
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien has linked the Sept. 11 suicide attacks to the perceived arrogance and selfishness of the United States and the West. He suggest that the suicide hijackers might have been motivated by what he describes as the misguided policies of a rich and powerful West that did not understand the need for restraint. He said that there was "a lot of resentment" about the way in which powerful nations treated the increasing number of poor and dispossessed people in the world. "You know, the poor get relatively poorer all the time and the rich are getting richer all the time," he said. The local CBC radio station in Ottawa was flooded with calls from listeners backing Chretien.
Pleading for more money, the United Nations blamed a decade of "shameful neglect" by the world for Afghanistan descent into a breeding ground for international terrorists. Afghanistan's fragile government can barely cope with the influx of refugees, as it struggles to extend its control beyond the capital and impose security in lawless regions. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warns that nearly one million people could face severe hardships this winter. "The international community has to follow through on its commitment, otherwise Afghan people will lose hope. And desperation breeds violence," he said.
In Baltimore, police and FBI agents were investigating six men, five of whom were foreign nationals being held on charges of immigration violations. The men are suspected of being part of a terrorist cell, according to a law-enforcement official. They were were arrested on September 10, 2002 at a Baltimore apartment. Among the items seized in the Baltimore raid were dozens of passports, fake identification cards, photographs of Times Square in New York City and Union Station in Washington, and notebooks containing Arabic writing and pamphlets on Islamic holy war. The ABC network reported that the computers contained links to a Web site called beapilot.com, which was linked to 1,700 flight schools.
Iraq Calls For Suicide
Squads To Strike US Targets if America invades Baghdad.
"...The confrontation with the aggressors should transcend the means of condemnation and rejection, particularly in the Arab and Muslim street. They should use all means-and they are numerous-against the aggressors, including boycott, closing air and sea ports to civilian ships and airplanes that belong to the U.S. and its allies, striking their economic interests and establishments, and considering everything American as a military target, including embassies, installations, and American companies, and to create suicide/martyr [fidaiyoon] squads to attack American military and naval bases inside and outside the region, and mine the waterways to prevent the movement of war ships..."
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein threatened to destroy Qatar if Doha permits the US to use its military bases in attacking Iraq.
The leader of Malaysia's biggest Islamic opposition party has accused the West waging a "crusade" against Muslims since Sept. 11 and warned that U.S. military strikes against Iraq would raise the risk of more terrorist assaults inside America.
Singapore's government announced that it had arrested the 21 men in August 2002. Twenty-one suspects who were arrested in Singapore and thought linked to al-Qaida planned to attack a U.S. Navy ship and a bar frequented by American troops, as well as Singapore's Defense Ministry and water pipelines. The men were acting on orders from an Indonesian Muslim cleric, Riduan Isamuddin, also known as Hambali, said Singapore's Home Affairs Ministry. Hambali, whose whereabouts are unknown, is thought to be a leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, a regional group officials have linked to Osama bin Laden al-Qaida terror network. The operatives also allegedly targeted Jurong Island, an industrial area off Singapore's southern coast that is home to numerous chemical factories, the statement said. The group intended to portray its operations as attacks by the Malaysian government in order to create "animosity and distress between Malaysia and Singapore," the ministry said. The group hoped the resulting chaos would allow Malaysia's Muslim hard-liners to declare an Islamic state, it said.
Navy SEALs had been, and were still, involved in the inspection of a possibly radioactive container ship off the coast of New Jersey. The Liberian-flagged M/V Palermo Senator was ordered back to sea by the Coast Guard on September 11, 2002, after traces of radioactivity were found in the hold during a routine inspection at the Port of Newark. The 708-foot freighter, owned by a German subsidiary of South Korea-based Hanjin shipping, was anchored in an exclusion zone six miles from shore. U.S. Navy radiation specialists from the submarine base in Groton, Conn., were heading to the ship. The Palermo Senator had stopped in Singapore, Malaysia and Egypt, among other destinations, before docking at Newark on Sept. 10. Authorities would not say what the readings were, or whether they were at levels considered dangerous. Officials at the Energy Department did not immediately return a call seeking comment. "... the container of concern was not found to pose any risk to the public's health and safety. Out of an abundance of caution we will continue with the testing until 100 percent of the cargo has been assessed," said FBI Special Agent Sandra Carroll.
How Safe Are Our Borders?
Customs Fails to Detect Depleted Uranium Carried From Europe to U.S.
Border agents warned of security lapses and said that the government is not where it wants to be in beefing up border security. It could take three years before the government has completely raised its level of security to the point where it should be.
Guards at the nation's 103
nuclear power plants are overworked, undertrained and outgunned
and some of them doubt they could repel a terrorist attack, a
study by a government watchdog group said. They worked 12-hour
shifts for up to six consecutive days. They were plagued by
fatigue during long and tedious night shifts. Most guards
interviewed said they practice firing their weapons only once or
twice a year during annual qualification tests, far less than the
time necessary to become and remain proficient. Many guards have
only shotguns while attackers would likely be armed with
sophisticated assault rifles, grenades and automatic weapons.
Most security guards believe they can not defend nuclear power plants against a terrorist attack for the following reasons:
* Guards believe that they are not properly armed with weapons to defeat attackers
* Guards admit that they are under-qualified and under-trained with respect to gun-handling qualifications, physical fitness tests, and training exercises
* Guards are being hired with very little experience; in some cases guards are hired who meet just the minimum requirement of possessing a pistol permit
* Guards reported that qualifying exams for carrying weapons had been rigged, in some cases, to ensure guards could pass
* Guards say that security drills are carefully staged to ensure that mock attackers would be repelled
* Guards forced to work overtime (i.e. forced to work 6 or 7 straight days involving 12 hour to 16 hour shifts, even when ill)
* Guards suffer from a high fatigue level
* Guards have little confidence in their management in correcting past problems
* Guards suffer from low morale, and do not feel obligated to stand their post in the event of an attack; guards admit that if an attack occurred, they would
A recently intercepted phone call involving members of an alleged al-Qaeda cell arrested in Buffalo and Bahrain led authorities to believe that attacks on U.S. interests could be coming, according to officials who say the call was a factor in last week's decision to put the nation on ''high alert'' for attacks. FBI officials believe the men - Muhktar al-Bakri, 22, Shafal Mosed, 24; Faysal Galab, 26; Sahim Alwan, 29; Yasein Taher, 24; and Yahya Goba, 25 - made up a cell of al Qaeda operatives who received training at a terror camp in Afghanistan. The FBI monitored the alleged members of a terror cell in suburban Buffalo, N.Y. but it was a flurry of recent coded messages, including one that referred to the delivery of a "watermelon", that spurred authorities to make the arrest. On July 18, al-Bakri allegedly sent someone in the western New York area an e-mail entitled "The Big Meal." "I would like to remind you to obey God and keep him in your heart because the next meal will be very huge," said the e-mail, which was in Arabic. "No one will be able to withstand it except those with faith. There are people here who had vision and their visions will be explained that this thing will be very strong." Al-Bakri admitted to FBI officials that the "meal" referred to a large explosion or attack planned by al Qaeda against the United StatesThe arrests of the six men, September 13, came as agents investigated reports of a possible "dirty bomb" being moved across the border from Canada, sources said. For months before the men were arrested, the FBI monitored their communication, with taps on their telephones and their computers, and kept tabs on their movements.
When three Muslim men were halted en route to Miami last week in what turned out to be a false-alarm terror scare, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and others praised the police response as proof Florida's antiterrorism system works. Well, not exactly, it turns out. A closer look shows significant holes in the state network allowed the two cars involved to travel the length of Florida long after law enforcement was supposed to have been alerted they were on the highway. Their route passed by the Tampa Bay area the home to MacDill Air Force Base, a nuclear power plant, the gasoline storage tanks at Port of Tampa, and about 30 other significant potential terror targets. Fortunately, no evidence of terrorism surfaced, although police thought for a time the two-car caravan might be carrying explosives. Had the three men detained in the incident been terrorists, the gaps in the alert system would have given them hours and almost 400 miles in which to wreak havoc. The problems were in the Florida Highway Patrol's communications system. Because of them, the vehicles rolled south undetected past dozens of troopers. They finally were stopped by a Collier County sheriff's deputy on Alligator Alley, east of Naples. It's an unpopulated portion of Interstate 75 that passes through the Everglades to Miami. Police shut the highway down for 17 hours while bomb experts searched the cars. Thousands of motorists were detoured. Between five and ten highway patrol troopers were on the road unaware of the alert when the cars passed through Tampa, an agency spokesman said. And perhaps twice that many in other parts of Central and Southwest Florida didn't get the alert either. It was issued by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement at 3:49 p.m. September 12 after a woman reported overhearing the men discussing terrorism plans at a restaurant in Calhoun, Ga. The alert reached highway patrol headquarters in Tallahassee between 4 and 4:30 p.m. The cars were stopped at 1 a.m. September 13, about nine hours later. ``The system is new" [ a new digtial system that replaced the old reliable analog system at great expense to taxpayers ], "and there were a few glitches in some equipment,'' said highway patrol Lt. Sterling King, a spokesman for the agency's Troop C, based in Hillsborough County that patrols I-75 in Sumter, Hernando, Pasco and Hillsborough counties. At Troop F, which is responsible for a 150-mile stretch of I-75 through Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties, troopers didn't get the alert either. The next time, information will be given to a commander who will decide whether to have the dispatcher give it out over the radio or by cellphone.
The war on terror and removal of the Taliban has been followed by a dramatic rise in Afghan opium cultivation as much as 1,400% since 2001.
"We now know that our
inability to detect and prevent the Sept. 11 attacks was an
intelligence failure of unprecedented magnitude," the senior
Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee said. "Some
people who couldn't seem to utter the words 'intelligence
failure' are now convinced of it."
Congress Opens Hearings on Sept. 11 Intelligence
In two weeks of hearings into the 9/11 attacks, House and Senate members have said that Congress did not provide the resources, laws and oversight that might have helped prevent the attacks.
Federal authorities are investigating the disappearance of genetically altered bacteria fatal to pigs that appear to have been stolen from a research laboratory at Michigan State University. Investigators said that while the bacteria apparently are harmless to humans, they could devastate the pork industry if replicated and released, and they are treating the case as a potential terrorist threat.
United States Senate
Committee on Armed Services to receive testimony on U.S. policy
Iraq's Weapons of Mass
Destruction - The assessment of the British Government
A U.S. attack on Iraq
could cost as much as $60 billion even if swift and successful,
with any follow-up and broader economic strain perhaps pushing
the final tab to $200 billion, a congressional report said.
http://www.house.gov/budget_democrats/ A War with Iraq Could Cost $100 Billion to $200 Billion
The White House is
expected to notify Congress of its intention to spend money
authorized in the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act for lethal training
for over 1,000 Iraqi opposition fighters, many factions
representing Hashemites, Sunni, Shi'ite Muslims and exiled
http://126.96.36.199/p_en/inc/index.shtml Iraqi National Congress
A slew of dour corporate
forecasts and fears about a possible war with Iraq sent stocks
tumbling, yanking the Nasdaq down to its lowest level since 1996
and extending the longest bear market stocks have seen in 60
years. Investors are thinking about war again and about the price
of oil going up. Some analysts said there could actually be an
economic payoff in the long run by getting rid of Iraq President
Could U.S. economy be a casualty of a war with Iraq?
http://www.imf.org/external/index.htm World Economic Outlook
The chief executive of American Airlines said that a war in Iraq would be a devastating blow to the already-distressed industry, warning that more bankruptcies were likely without additional financial assistance from the federal government.
U.S. Gave West Nile, Other
Viruses, to Iraq
The epidemic of West Nile virus as of September 24, 2002, which has killed 94 people this year and made nearly 2,000 sick, has stretched the resources of the U.S. public health system, officials said. The virus has also thrown up a few surprises -- spreading faster than predicted, causing a previously unseen polio-like disease in some, and getting into donated blood and organs, the officials told the U.S. Congress.
Responding to the Public Health Threat of West Nile Virus
Interim Smallpox Response
Plan and Guidelines
In 1999, three years before the Sept. 11 attack, a
Chinese military manual titled "Unrestricted Warfare"
touted such an attack suggesting it would be difficult for
the U.S. military to cope with. Surprisingly, Osama bin Laden is
mentioned frequently in this book. The media and Congress are
keeping a lid on this book because of the implications of U.S.-China
economic and trade relations.
http://www.uscc.gov/ U.S.-China Commission
http://www.afpc.org/crm/crmmain.htm China Reform Monitor
The Department of Defense (DoD) announced a new program to support homeland security called the Biological Defense Homeland Security Support Program. The program consists of two separate efforts: the Biological Defense Initiative (BDI) which will be executed by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA); and the National Capital Region (NCR) demonstration to be executed by the Program Executive Office for Chemical/Biological Defense (PEOCBD). The BDI objectives are to develop and deploy two prototype urban monitoring systems by June 2004 and demonstrate a potential model for a national capability. The BDI program will demonstrate the feasibility of integrating disparate information sources to enhance the capability to detect and characterize a biological-related incident. As part of the development effort, DTRA will establish a testbed using equipment deployed in Albuquerque, N.M. The NCR demonstration objectives are to expand the currently operational aerosol monitoring system in the NCR and integrate the information into an expanded over-arching bio-surveillance network called Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE) II. This expanded capability integrates both military and civilian health care and other non-traditional medical indicators to allow for early warning of acts of bio-terrorism. Data collected from ESSENCE II will be used to determine the best methods and procedures for initiating similar urban bio-surveillance systems. This expanded capability will be operational by the end of fiscal 2003.
Sheikh Yamani, the former head of OPEC who terrorised the West with oil embargoes in the 1970s, warned that the price of crude could triple to $100 a barrel if there is a war against Iraq. "And if that's the case, you can expect a triple-digit oil price. It could rise to $100 if the flow of oil from Kuwait and Saudia Arabia is turned off," he said. International benchmark Brent crude oil peaked at $29.25 on Sept. 24, 2002, a higher level since just after last year's September 11 attacks on the United States. Analysts are increasingly concerned that it will continue to rise. It reached $40 a barrel during the Gulf war.
U.S. intelligence has detected what appears to be an al Qaeda training camp in a remote region of eastern Iran along the border with Afghanistan. Asked about the report, a U.S. official said "there are some pockets of al Qaeda in Iran near the border" but would not comment further. Iran has denied that al Qaeda members have sought refuge within its borders. Washington has named Iran part of an "axis of evil" accusing it of seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction and sponsoring terrorism, a charge Iran denies.
Canada is now expressing full
support for the kind of tough U.N. resolution the United States
is seeking on Iraq.
http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/foreign_policy/menu-en.asp Canadian Foreign Policy
President George W. Bush
security adviser accused Iraqi President Saddam Hussein regime of
sheltering members of the al-Qaida terrorist network in Baghdad
and helping Osama bin Laden operatives in developing chemical
weapons. A Pentagon official, speaking on condition of anonymity,
called the new assertions an ''exaggeration.'' Other intelligence
experts said that some of the charges appeared to be based on old
information and that there is still no ''smoking gun'' connecting
Iraq with the Sept. 11 attacks.
A Decade of Deception and
Defiancemade no mention of any Iraqi ties to Osama
http://www.msnbc.com/news/813579.asp?pne=msntv&cp1=1 Ashcrofts Baghdad Connection
It was originally believed that the Turkish paramilitary police had seized over 15 kg of weapons-grade uranium. The disparity occurred because authorities initially included the weight of the lead container in which the material was placed, police said. The Atomic Energy Institute said the material was harmless, containing zinc, iron, zirconium and manganese. Police in Istanbul seized more than one kg of weapons-grade uranium in November 2001 that had been smuggled into Turkey from an east European state.
Not terrorism related but it
will hurt the US and Asian economies. Economists gave warning
that the dispute could turn into a national emergency. American
retailers said that prices could go up before Christmas because
of the port closures. Smaller haulage companies said that they
could be pushed into bankruptcy. The executive director of the
Hong Kong Shippers Council, said. This could result
in a disaster. If theres no sign of a compromise, it will
affect the whole global economy. The Hawaiian economy is
http://www.pmanet.com/ Pacific Maritime Association
http://www.ilwu.org/ International Longshore and Warehouse Union
Philippine police are investigating the possible involvement of Muslim extremists linked to al Qaeda in a bomb blast that killed three people, including a U.S. soldier on October 2, 2002. The bomb exploded outside an open-air restaurant and karaoke bar near a military camp occupied by U.S. and Philippine troops in Zamboanga. Investigators said a Filipino was on a motorcycle with a box containing the bomb when it went off. He stopped and was tinkering with the box when it suddenly exploded.
The issue of bus security received new attention after more incidents aboard buses in Ohio and California. Passengers on a Greyhound bus in Ohio subdued a man who threw himself on the driver and steering wheel in an apparent attempt to crash the bus. Two passengers died when a Greyhound bus crashed near Fresno, Calif., after a man stabbed the driver with a pair of scissors. The attacks occurred almost exactly a year after a passenger on a Greyhound bus in Tennessee slashed the driver's throat, causing a crash that killed seven. The Transportation Security Administration has not distributed money to improve intercity bus security.
An outbreak of exotic Newcastle
disease would severely impact the U.S. poultry industry.
Eradication efforts cost taxpayers, severely disrupt the
operations of many producers, and increase the prices of poultry
and poultry products to consumers. The only way to eradicate
exotic Newcastle from commercial poultry is by rapidly destroying
all infected flocks and imposing strict quarantine and indepth
http://www.oie.int/eng/info/hebdo/AIS_51.HTM#Sec1 NEWCASTLE DISEASE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Commerzbank, Germany's third largest bank, lost a quarter of its value raising fear of sparking a global depression. US stock markets have fallen for six consecutive weeks, to their lowest levels in five years. European markets have collapsed even further, wiping out nearly half of the value of European corpora tions in this year alone. Japan is struggling to put together a plan to save its banking system, riddled with bad debt after a decade of recession and falling prices. Now the German economy threatens to follow. There are strong parallels to the Thirties after an unsustainable "new era" boom, then the stock market decline was not just steep, it was long, taking three years to reach the bottom.
Attacks on vessels in various
parts of the world are a real and growing problem. Recent years
have seen a steady rise in the number and severity of incidents
of piracy and armed robbery against ships, posing an increasing
danger to the world's shipping and to international trade.
http://www.marisec.org/piracy/index.htm Maritime International Secretariat Services Limited
Osama bin Laden is alive and
regularly meeting Mullah Omar, the fugitive leader of the
Taliban, according to a telephone call intercepted by American
spy satellites. In the conversation, recorded less than a month
ago, Omar and a senior aide were discussing the American-led hunt
to track them down. The two men, using a mobile Thuraya satellite
phone, spoke about tactics for several minutes. Omar then turned
to a third person who was within a few yards of him, voice
analysis has revealed. After exchanging a few words, Omar said
that 'the sheikh sends his salaams [greetings]'. Senior Taliban
figures habitually refer to bin Laden as 'the sheikh'.
Osama bin Laden threatens to strike US economic interests on a tape released October 6, 2002. "The youth of Islam are preparing something to strike fear in your hearts and will target the vital sectors of your economy until you renounce your injustice and hostility."
A French oil supertanker the
Limburg was attacked by terrorists.
The Clinton administration
"de-emphasized" fighting Arab international terrorism
to focus on domestic terrorism namely, white "right-wing"
militia groups which led to the FBI ignoring Arab
nationals flocking to U.S. flight schools.
A survey finds that 95 percent
of respondents described their schools as vulnerable to terrorism.
House Resolution 4633
the Driver's License Modernization Act of 2002 would
effectively create a national ID if it's passed. This bill should
be rejected as being incompatible with a free society.
Russia's customs said they had
opened an investigation into what they called the smuggling of 27
metric tons of enriched uranium, but nuclear officials said the
incident was just a regular shipment of uranium to neighboring
Kazakhstan for industrial purposes.
President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat
Iraq's government described
President Bush's speech as a "misleading" attempt to
justify an attack. "Again, Bush's speech contains nothing
but threats that do not help in reaching a peaceful resolution
for our ongoing tragedy," said a history teacher in Baghdad.
Egypt urged Iraqi leaders to respond positively to U.S. demands
that they scrap weapons of mass destruction. Bush, in his latest
speech, gave Iraq a chance to respond to Security Council
resolutions to destroy all weapons of mass destruction.
Saddam Hussein apparent policy of not resorting to terrorist attacks against the United States could change if he concludes a U.S.-led attack against was inevitable, CIA Director George Tenet said.
Two Kuwaitis opened fire on U.S. troops engaged in a military exercise on a Kuwaiti island in the Gulf, [October 8, 2002] killing one Marine and wounding another in what officials described as a "terrorist" attack. The attackers were both killed in a firefight with the Marines. Investigators found three AK-47 assault rifles and ammunition in the pick-up truck used by the assailants. intelligence officials had turned up links between Al Qaeda and the two gunmen who killed a United States Marine and wounded a second after infiltrating a military training exercise in Kuwait. Investigators are likely to focus on security procedures surrounding the exercises. "They must have sneaked on, it's strictly off limits. You need licenses to get clearances." The island was abandoned but some former residents visit occasionally and special permits are required.
Visas that Should Have Been
FBI agents illegally videotaped suspects, intercepted e-mails without court permission and recorded the wrong phone conversations during sensitive terrorism and espionage investigations, according to an internal memorandum detailing serious lapses inside the FBI more than a year before the Sept. 11 attacks. The April 2000 memo describes agents conducting unauthorized searches, writing warrants with wrong addresses and allowing "overruns" of electronic surveillance operations beyond their legal deadline. It describes the FBI eavesdropping on conversations long after the subject of one surveillance gave up a cell phone and its number was reassigned to an innocent person. The memo also describes agents in other cases videotaping a meeting of suspects and intercepting e-mails without the court's permission. FBI agents searched a storage locker even though they did not have permission in the warrant; an earlier, expired warrant had included permission to search the same locker. In other cases, telephone recording equipment was not shut off at the time specified by the warrant. It indicated the FBI incorrectly used its "Carnivore" Internet surveillance software, now called "DCS-1000," and captured too many e-mails. Said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.: "Honest mistakes happen in law enforcement, but the extent, variety and seriousness of the violations recounted in this FBI memo show again that the secret FISA process breeds sloppiness unless there's adequate oversight." These warrants are among the most powerful tools in the U.S. antiterrorism arsenal, permitting secret searches and wiretaps for up to one year without ever notifying the target of the investigation. The court approved 1,012 such warrants in 2000. Lawmakers approved changes last year under the USA Patriot Act giving new powers to use these special terrorism and espionage warrants. But some lawmakers have since complained they were not adequately informed of problems under the old rules. Congress will press the Bush administration for explanations about such mistakes before it is asked to extend new surveillance powers from the Patriot Act set to expire in December 2005.
Sept. 11 family organizations
say the White House is blocking efforts to create a powerful
independent commission to investigate what government policies
allowed the terrorist attacks to occur.
Counterterrorism officials have said two top bin Laden lieutenants, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, are continuing to organize strikes. Terrorist groups still have the money to conduct fresh attacks on the United States despite the aggressive campaign to financially paralyze them.
Congress gave President Bush war powers against Iraq. The Democratic-led Senate passed the war powers resolution easily on October 11, following the Republican-led House of Representatives, which voted for the measure on October 10, 2002.
October 12, 2002. A female
terrorist is suspected of planting the Bali nightclub bomb which
killed nearly 200 people. Eyewitnesses have told international
investigators they saw the woman, believed to be Indonesian, jump
from a minivan packed with explosives and flee in a waiting car.
Moments later, the massive bomb was detonated outside the Sari
nightclub. Seconds earlier a smaller bomb went off in Paddy's Bar.
Other eyewitnesses told how they saw a plastic bag thrown into
the pub bar shortly before the first explosion causing terrified
tourists to run towards the second bomb. The explosion was timed
to kill as many foreigners as possible. Analysts said the most
likely perpetrator was a group linked to or inspired by bin
Laden's al Qaeda. The Singapore government has linked the plot to
Jemaah Islamiyah, al-Qaida and the Filipino secessionist Moro
Islamic Liberation Front. Police investigating the deadly bombing
have found traces of plastic explosive at the site of the attack.
The discovery of the explosives suggests a sophisticated bombing
operation. Unconfirmed reports has disclosed that the explosive
was a type known as C4. C4 is a white substance that resembles
uncooked pastry and needs a detonator to make it explode. A
source close to the inquiry said the bombers used a combination
of powerful C4 plastic explosive and chemicals RDA, AMX and
ammonium nitrate. There are two possibilities, that the bomb in
the van was activated by a timer or the perpetrators just pushed
a remote control button so that they can control the blast from a
safe distance and give them enough time to flee. Investigators
later disclosed the initial blast at Paddy's pub was caused by a
bomb containing no more than one kilogram of TNT and the second,
much deadlier, explosion at Sari's nightclub was caused by
between 50 and 150 kilograms of ammonium nitrate. A separate bomb
near the office of the honorary U.S. consul, which caused no
casualties, contained less than a kilogram of TNT.
The Central Intelligence Agency issued an intelligence report listing Bali among possible targets of a pending terrorist attack just two weeks before the weekend's devastating Kuta bomb blast. The warning was based on intercepted communications picked up in late September, which signalled a strike against a Western tourist site. Bali was mentioned in the US intelligence report. All information gathered by United States and Australian intelligence agencies is shared between the countries. But the Prime Minister, John Howard, said he had no knowledge of the US report. The US embassy in Jakarta issued two travel notices, on September 26 and October 10, warning Americans and other Westerners to "avoid large gatherings and locations known to cater primarily to a Western clientele, such as certain bars, restaurants and tourist areas". The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs' most recent travel advice before the attacks was on September 20. It urged Australians to maintain high levels of personal security amid a risk of bomb explosions, including in tourist areas, but said tourist services were "operating normally" in Bali. Australian intelligence experts said the existence of the advice would suggest a huge breakdown in the international intelligence community before the Bali attack. The US ambassador to Australia, Tom Schieffer, said he was not familiar with the reported US intelligence. Two days before the attack, the US issued a worldwide warning notice again urging tourists to avoid "clubs, bars and restaurants" where Westerners congregate. The Australian Government did not issue a similar warning. Questions over the adequacy of the intelligence system before the bombing may be investigated by the Australian Senate.
A signed statement allegedly from Osama bin Laden claimed that recent attacks in Yemen and Kuwait were designed to coincide with the anniversary of the war in Afghanistan and to send a "clear and strong message" to the world that his al-Qaida organization is still active.
US and British counter-terrorist officials believe the Bali bombing could mark the start of a wider terrorist campaign against westerners in the Far East, including more "soft" tourist targets and oil companies operating in the region. These may include facilities where Americans are generally known to congregate or visit, such as clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools or outdoor recreation events.
American officials say they fear that terrorist attacks in the past week of October 13 and taped messages from leaders of Al Qaeda signal the beginning of a new wave of terrorist activity and possibly a large-scale attack.
Within the Federal Bureau of Investigation, some senior officials no longer use the name Al Qaeda. Instead, in recognition of the threat's broader dimensions, they refer privately to a radical international movement pursuing the United States and its allies. The radical international jihad with some influences of midlevel Al Qaeda operations is best described now as an ideological movement, not a traditional terrorist group with a strict hierarchical command. For years Al Qaeda aligned itself with other militant groups, providing training and sometimes financing and planning. In February 1998, Osama bin Laden established the International Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, which trained at least 10,000 potential fighters in eastern Afghanistan.
In a startling revelation,
North Korea has told the United States it has a secret nuclear
weapons program in violation of an 1994 agreement with the United
States, the White House said. North Korea could have produced
enough plutonium for at least four nuclear weapons. U.S.
intelligence officials accused Pakistan of helping North Korea
develop its nuclear weapons program. "The only way out for
the U.S. is to opt for reconciliation and peace, not strong-arm
policy," said the North's official Korean Central News
Agency (KCNA). With war plans for Iraq already on the drawing
board and a broader war on terrorism still under way, threats
against North Korea could leave the United States overextended.
An FBI agent who accused colleagues of stealing a Tiffany crystal globe from the World Trade Center ruins received a poor performance review, an indication the agency is preparing to fire her, her lawyer said. Special Agent Jane Turner of Minneapolis already was on probation for reporting "serious misconduct" last year in a criminal case in North Dakota that was the subject of another whistleblower complaint. Turner was told in a performance review that she "failed to meet expectations." After 24 years with FBI. her lawyer expects Turner to be suspended. A Senator said, "This looks like retaliation against a whistleblower who followed her conscience and exposed wrongdoing, even though it embarrassed the FBI. If there are plans to fire her, the FBI is making a big mistake, and I want the people behind this retaliation held accountable." Turner has received excellent performance reviews in the past. Earlier this year, another FBI whistleblower in the Minneapolis office, Coleen Rowley, alleged that FBI headquarters ignored her office's pleas to investigate Zacarias Moussaoui aggressively before last year's terrorist attacks.
FBI Whistleblower Harassed?
October 23, 2002. The FBI sent
out a national alert warning law enforcement officials that it
believes al Qaeda may be planning another attack on the United
States, possibly targeting the railway sector. The alert
cautioned that al-Qaeda, "possibly using operatives who have
a Western appearance," might try to destroy key rail
bridges, derail trains or target hazardous-material containers.
Intelligence sources say the alert came as a result of the attack
by two gunmen who killed one U.S. Marine and wounded another on a
Kuwaiti island on Oct. 8. Kuwaiti authorities who afterward
raided an al-Qaeda cell believed to be supporting the gunmen
found a computer hard drive with photos of American passenger and
cargo trains as well as rail crossings. Counterterrorism
officials are worried that security for America's vast rail
system is far weaker than it is for the airlines.
Was the April 18, 2002 Amtrak derailment an accident or terrorist related?
People are being randomly shot
to death in public places of affluent Washington, DC suburbs.
Some have speculated they could be two or a small group of
Ten times, authorities thought the faded blue 1990
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, on October 15, approved an FBI request for use of military aircraft (RC-7, U-21, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Predator UAV drones) equipped with high-tech surveillance equipment in the search for the sniper.
* 5:20 p.m. Wednesday, October 2:
Windows shot at craft store in the unincorporated Aspen Hill area of Montgomery County, Maryland. No one hurt.
* 6:04 p.m. Wednesday, October 2:
James D. Martin, 55, killed in grocery store parking lot in nearby Wheaton, Montgomery County.
* 7:41 a.m. Thursday, October 3:
James L. "Sonny" Buchanan, 39, killed while cutting grass at an auto dealership in unincorporated White Flint area of Montgomery County.
* 8:12 a.m. Thursday, October 3:
Taxi driver Prem Kumar Walekar, 54, killed at gas station in Rockville, Montgomery County.
* 8:37 a.m. Thursday, October 3:
Sarah Ramos, 34, killed outside Silver Spring post office. (Montgomery County)
* 9:58 a.m. Thursday, October 3:
Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, 25, slain as she vacuumed her van at a gas station in Kensington, Montgomery County.
* 9:15 p.m. Thursday, October 3:
Pascal Charlot, 72, killed while standing on a Washington street.
* 2:30 p.m. Friday, October 4:
43-year-old woman wounded in craft store parking lot in Fredericksburg, Virginia (Spotsylvania County).
* 8:09 a.m. Monday, October 7:
13-year-old boy wounded as he is dropped off at school in Bowie, Maryland (Prince George's County).
* Wednesday, October 9:
Investigators found a Tarot card with the words, "Dear policeman, I am God," near a bullet casing outside the school.
* 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, October 9:
Dean Harold Meyers, 53, killed at gas station in Manassas, Virginia (Prince William County).
* 9:30 a.m. Friday, October 11:
Kenneth H. Bridges, 53, killed at a gas station in Fredericksburg.
* 9:15 p.m. Monday, October 14:
Linda Franklin, 47, fatally shot as she and her husband loaded packages into their car at Home Depot store in Falls Church, Virginia (Fairfax County). She was a banking and financial analyst for the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center in Washington. For the first time, witnesses were able to give information about license plates on vehicles they said were fleeing the scene. One witness described the driver as a short man of slight build who appeared to be Middle Eastern.
* 8 p.m. Saturday, October 19:
37-year-old man in critical condition after being shot outside a Ponderosa restaurant in Ashland, Va. (HanoverCounty).
* 6 a.m. Tuesday, October 22:
Conrad Johnson, a bus driver and 35-year-old father of two, was shot dead in the chest as he stood at the top of the steps on the bus in Aspen Hill, Md.
* 3:19 a.m. Thursday, October 24:
Members of the sniper task force arrested two suspects around 3:30 a.m. without incident at a rest stop off I-70 in Frederick County, Md., about 50 miles northwest of the nation's capital. They were spotted at 1 a.m. sleeping in a blue 1990 Chevrolet Caprice at the Maryland rest stop. The Caprice was registered to a Camden, New Jersey address. A Bushmaster XM15 .223-caliber rifle was found behind the seat with a gun scope and tripod. The Caprice had been modified with a hole bored in the trunk. The arrests occurred after authorities earlier descended on the suspect's previous home in Tacoma, Washington that was believed to hold evidence important to the investigation. The break in solving the case was a phone call from the sniper bragging about a liquor store robbery last month in Alabama in which two people were shot, one of them fatally. Investigators matched it with the Sept. 21 robbery in Montgomery, Ala., where they found a fingerprint from one of the men. John Allen Muhammad, 41, was arrested at the rest stop after being sought for questioning in the sniper killings and was traveling with his 17-year-old stepson John Lee Malvo. John Lee Malvo, who authorities said is a citizen of Jamaica, attended high school in Bellingham, Wash., last year. Muhammad's ex-wife, Mildred living in Clinton, Maryland was being questioned by the FBI Wednesday before her ex-husband's arrest. The Immigration and Naturalization Service refused to comment publicly on the exact nature of Malvo's immigration status. Here are facts the INS does not want you to know: Lee Malvo is an illegal alien from Jamaica who jumped ship in Miami in June 2001. He was apprehended by the Border Patrol in Bellingham, Wash., in December 2001, but was then let go by the INS district in Seattle in clear violation of federal law and contrary to what the arresting Border Patrol officers intended, according to law enforcement sources.
John Allen Muhammad changed his name from John Allen Williams after converting to the Islam religion with black radical Muslim ties.
John Allen Williams was assigned to the 15th Engineer Battalion at Ft. Lewis. In 1990, he was assigned to the 84th Engineering Company in the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Nuremburg, Germany. In 1992 he was reassigned to the 13th Engineering Battalion at Ft. Ord, Ca. In 1993 he returned to Ft. Lewis as a member of the 14th Engineering Battalion. John Allen Williams was as an expert marksman with the M-16 in the U.S. Army, according to a defense official. He served in the Louisiana National Guard from 1978 to 1985, served on active duty in the Army from Nov. 6, 1985 to April 26, 1994. He became a veteran of the Persian Gulf War and was discharged at Ft. Lewis, Washington. He also served in the Oregon guard from 1994 to 1995. He was awarded the Southwest Asia Service Medal and the Kuwait Liberation Medal for his participation in the Persian Gulf War, the Army Achievement Medal; the Army Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Non-Commission Officer Professional Development Ribbon.
Chevrolet Caprice warranted enough suspicion that they ran its license-plate number through a national police database, sources said. Each time they let the driver go after finding no record that it had been stolen or that its occupants were wanted for any crimes. ``We were looking for a white van with white people, and we ended up with a blue car with black people,'' said the Washington, D.C. Police Chief.
In a police interview, Malvo said he and John Allen Muhammad, 41, operated as soldiers. With one designated as lookout, they used a two-way radio to communicate and held off from shooting if traffic conditions were unfavorable. They also watched news accounts of their three-week shooting spree and intentionally moved around the Washington region to confuse investigators. In all, the two are charged or are under investigation in 23 shootings that killed 15 people and wounded seven in seven states and the District of Columbia. Thirteen people were shot in the Washington area in October. Ten of them died.
In an overwhelming number of
cases, serial killers and other mass murderers learned to kill in
the military. Experts disagree whether this means that the army
turns ordinary people into unfeeling killers, or the military
simply attracts a large number of psychologically fragile people
who are prone to become murderers.
Military Training Links String Of Serial Killers
October 25, 2002. Russian
security forces were investigating links between Osama bin
Laden's al-Qaieda organization and Chechen rebels after special
forces dramatically ended the Moscow theatre siege. Most of the
50 Chechen terrorists - including 18 women - were killed when the
Russian forces moved in a dawn raid after filling the theatre
with sleeping gas through the ventilation system. At least 118
hostages were killed during the assault. Many are believed to
have died as a result of the gassing. A number of Arab fighters,
believed to be of Saudi Arabian and Yemeni origin, were among the
group that seized control of the theatre. The hostage-takers had
made several calls to the United Arab Emirates during the siege.
America Still Unprepared -
America Still in Danger
Report of an Independent Task Force Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations
U.S. forces killed Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, a top associate of Osama bin Laden, in northwest Yemen when a Hellfire missile struck the al-Qaida members traveling by car on November 3, 2002. The attack was believed to have been conducted possibly by a CIA missile-carrying Predator drone. Witnesses said they saw an aircraft, possibly a helicopter, in the area. Hellfires can also be launched by attack helicopters. The attack occurred in the northern province of Marib, about 100 miles east of Yemen's capital of San`a, where al-Qaida is considered active.
Saudi Arabia said it would not allow the United States to use its facilities for any attack against neighboring Iraq even if a strike was sanctioned by the United Nations. "Saudi Arabia's position is a position to support the political settlement of this issue because we think it is feasible," Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said.
Germany's foreign spy chief said Osama bin Laden probably is still alive and al-Qaida is recruiting new followers in Arab countries and Europe. He said bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are suspected of having holed up in the Afghan-Pakistani border area southeast of the Afghan capital Kabul. American investigators are questioning a prominent Pakistani surgeon whom they believe treated Osama bin Laden after he escaped from his hiding place in the Tora Bora mountains of Afghanistan. Bin Laden's fifth and favorite wife, Amal al-Saddah, has been put under house arrest in Yemen for questioning. Arab diplomats said "She [al-Saddah] escaped from her hiding place in southern Afghanistan which he [bin Laden] had made his base, only to find herself closely guarded under house arrest in her father's compound."
The chief of Interpol said in an interview he believed Osama bin Laden was still alive, and that intelligence showed al-Qaida was planning a large-scale terrorist attack. Interpol has studied the financial standing of bin Laden and concluded that his fortune remains in tact, hovering, somewhere between $280 million and $300 million. Bin Laden keeps his money mainly in cash, spread among several countries. Intelligence specialists agreed that al-Qaida was planning to stage another "large-scale terrorist operation," which this time would not only target the United States but several countries at once.
The execution of a Pakistani national convicted of killing two CIA employees in 1993 could trigger retaliation against Americans around the world, the State Department warned. Mir Aimal Kasi, 35, is scheduled to be executed in Virginia on Nov. 14, 2002, for the murders of CIA employees Frank Darling and Lansing Bennett as they waited in their cars at a stoplight outside the spy agency's Langley headquarters. "The potential exists for retaliatory acts against U.S. or other foreign interests in response to the execution," the State Department said. Officials said Americans around the world should "increase their security awareness" when they visit places where fellow countrymen congregate, such as residential areas, clubs, places of worship, schools and hotels. "There is a possibility that American citizens may be targeted for kidnapping or assassination," the agency said in a statement. Separately, the FBI issued a bulletin warning of possible terrorist attacks being carried out during the holy month of Ramadan, which started Nov. 6 and runs through Dec. 5. "Al-Qaida and sympathetic jihadists may view Ramadan as having religious incentives and symbolic and operational advantages for conducting terrorist attacks," the bulletin said. The FBI also cited unspecified intelligence indicating al-Qaida may be planning a strike this Ramadan.
A draft report by the joint Congressional committee looking into the Sept. 11 attacks has concluded that the F.B.I. and the C.I.A, in their investigations, did not aggressively pursue leads that might have linked the terrorists to Saudi Arabia. The report charged among other things that the authorities had failed to investigate the possibility that two of the hijackers, Saudis named Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaq Alhazmi, received Saudi money from two Saudi men they met with in California in the year before the attacks. The committee's preliminary findings, which also accuse the Saudi government of a lack of cooperation with American investigators, have caused a bitter behind-the-scenes dispute between the panel's staff and officials at the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. At each agency, officials have disagreed with the draft findings, saying investigators vigorously pursued all available information related to Saudi Arabia. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens
North Korea provided Pakistan with missile parts it needed to build a nuclear arsenal capable of reaching every strategic site in India. Pakistan provided North Korea with designs for gas centrifuges and machinery to make highly enriched uranium for North Korea's latest nuclear weapons project.
The US State Department
officially confirmed on Nov. 13, 2002, that the voice on a new
audiotape broadcast by the Al-Jazeera television channel is Osama
bin Laden's. If you attack us, expect more attacks against
you, the voice on the tape says. Just like you
killed, you will be killed. ... The youth of the Muslim nations
will rise against you.
Osama could have been had?
A terrorist threat has been made against Houston, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. according to the FBI. "It's the kind of information that we take very seriously. We'll be passing this information on to those who need to know it; the hospital districts, the hospitals in general and also our counterparts through law enforcement." The threat is unsubstantiated and uncorroborated through intelligence channels. "It's very fresh information that's not very specific but it does talk about possibly targeting hotels and it does talk about possibly either through bombings or perhaps some kind of an anthrax delivery of some sort or another. People should not overreact. This is not the first time we've received this kind of information and it probably won't be the last time."
Muslim rioting triggered by
Miss World article kills 50, at least 200 others were seriously
injured and four churches were torched in the northern city of
Kaduna, Nigeria. People were stabbed, bludgeoned or burned to
death during violent demonstrations. Fearful residents sought
protection at police stations and military bases.
A senior al Qaeda leader
captured recently and in U.S. custody was identified as Abd al-Rahim
al-Nashiri who had close ties to Osama bin Laden and suspected of
being chief of the networks Gulf operations, U.S. officials
said. He is a suspected mastermind of the USS Cole bombing in
October 2000. A Saudi-born individual, he fought in Afghanistan
against the Russians as a very young man.
The Homeland Security Act was
signed into law by President Bush on November 25, 2002.
More about the Homeland Security Act
President Bush named former
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on Nov. 27 to lead an
independent investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks. The 10-member
commission will be evenly divided between Republican and
Democratic appointees. The independent panel will have 18 months
to examine issues. Many hail Kissinger for his brilliance and
broad experience but some opponents have gone as far as branding
him a war criminal. Secrecy was a Kissinger hallmark. He would be
sympathetic to White House requests that certain information be
kept from the public. All through the summer, the White House
steadfastly opposed legislation calling for an independent
Former Secretary of State Henry
Kissinger abruptly resigned as chairman of the independant panel
that will investigate the Sept. 11 attacks, citing controversy
over potential conflicts of interest with his private-sector
clients. Mr. Kissinger's resignation was apparently triggered by
a legal opinion from Republicans and Democrats on the Senate
Ethics Committee, who said that all members of the commission
would have to comply with Congressional financial disclosure
requirements. Mr. Kissinger was faced with the question of
breaking the confidentiality of his clients. Among firms that pay
a minimum of $250,000 a year to Kissinger are several with heavy
investments in Saudi Arabia.
Former Sen. George Mitchell resigned as vice chairman of the independant panel. He would be required to disclose all the clients of his lawyer lobbying firm, Piper Rudnick. Among recent clients were two Mideast governmentsYemen and the United Arab Emiratesand a firm owned by Mohammed Hussain Al-Amoudi, a Saudi magnate under scrutiny from U.S. anti-terror investigators.
Further Evidence Of 911 Foreknowledge?
Swiss researchers say they are 95 percent certain that a recent audio tape attributed to the Saudi dissident, Osama bin Laden, is not genuine.
Hardline Islamists opposed to the U.S. military presence in Pakistan took power on Nov. 29 in a strategic province bordering Afghanistan where U.S. agents are hunting Taliban and al Qaeda operatives. Muhammad Akram Durrani of the six-party Islamic alliance was voted in as chief minister in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). It raised concerns in the West that Pakistan's religious groups could undermine President Pervez Musharraf's support for the U.S.-led war on terror and the hunt for remnants of the Taliban and their al Qaeda allies in Pakistan.
Al Qaeda and a Somali-based Islamist group were the prime suspects in bomb and missile attacks on Israeli tourists in Kenya on Nov. 28, 2002. Just minutes before suicide bombers drove a car into the lobby of an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa, missiles were fired at a plane full of Israeli tourists taking off nearby. The top of the list of suspects is the Somali-based Islamic extremist group Al-Itihad al-Islamiya, known also as AIAI or as the Islamic Union. The group was the main militant Islamist political movement in the Horn of Africa. It was active, sometimes militarily, in parts of Somalia and ethnic Somali areas of Ethiopia. They also possess ties to al Qaeda.
Government officials met secretly with airline CEOs to warn them that al-Qaida may be planning to fire shoulder-launched infrared-homing missiles at commercial jets in the U.S. The meeting was by the Transportation Security Administration on Nov. 5, 2002. Terrorists will try to smuggle shoulder-launch missiles into the United States. The FBI gave a warning six months ago that civilian aircraft could be targeted by al-Qaeda terrorists firing missiles from the ground. It was a failed attack on a US military jet at Dhahran in Saudi Arabia this year that prompted the FBI to issue its bulletin on the threat to civilian aircraft. Airlines were urged to consider installing anti-missile defense systems after the terrorist attempt to bring down an Israeli plane in Kenya on November 28, 2002. A Department for Transport source said, Technically it is feasible to fit these devices, but it would be extremely expensive and would not protect against all types of missile. We believe the best protection is good intelligence and security around airport perimeters.
The Soviet-made missile
launcher used in a failed attack on an Israeli passenger plane on
Nov. 28 had a serial number close to one on a launcher of the
same type found last year after a failed Al Qaeda attack on an
American warplane in Saudi Arabia, senior government officials
said. Suspicion of Al Qaeda involvement was further strengthened
by a statement on an Islamic Web site attributed to the group,
claiming involvement in both Mombasa incidents. U.S. officials
also suggested an affiliated Islamic extremist network from
Somalia, al-Itihaad al-Islamiya, may have played a role.
Reported Dec. 2, 2002. U.S. postal workers are being given potassium iodide pills to protect against thyroid cancer in the event of a radiological emergency. The USPS said it was buying nearly 1.6 million pills from Tampa-based Anbex, Inc.
Americans are being given smallpox vaccinations under the first wave of a mass inoculation. Military personnel, civilian medical workers, and workers such as police, the emergency services, and other healthcare staff will be getting the jab.
American intelligence officials are investigating whether a Russian scientist transferred a particularly lethal strain of smallpox to the government of Iraq in the 1990s. The allegations involve a smallpox strain stored at the Research Institute for Viral Preparations in Moscow. Intelligence officials say an informant has reported the institute's late director, virologist Nelja Maltseva, moved the smallpox on a trip to Iraq in 1990. It could have included an especially deadly strain of smallpox involved in an outbreak 30 years ago in the remote Kazakhstan city of Aralsk. It is possible that strain is also resistant to known vaccines. Even if a vaccine were available, it would not stop the spread of this rare strain of smallpox, but it could help limit the number of deaths. The Aralsk smallpox strain could be easily spread by missile, in the air across wide areas.
The self-styled leader of Chechnya, Ahmed Zakaiev, claimed in London that Chechen terrorists are planning a new wave of attacks against Russian civilian targets, including nuclear power stations. "If the Chechen militants attempt to seize a nuclear power plant or dare to spread radioactive materials to pollute land and air, that would be equivalent to the declaration of nuclear war against Russia," former Nuclear Minister Viktor Mikhailov said in an interview published in the daily Izvestia. "The response to the Chechens will be very cruel." Mikhailov was commenting on speculation voiced by top Chechen envoy Akhmed Zakayev that rebels might try to strike a Russian nuclear power plant or other nuclear facilities.
Russian and India together urged the Islamabad government [on Dec. 4, 2002] to "eliminate the terrorist infrastructure" in Pakistan and halt movement of terrorists across its border. Russia joined India and the United States in alleging that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has not halted the movement of Islamic militants across the 1972 cease-fire line and international border that divides the disputed Jammu-Kashmir region between India and Pakistan.
North Korea said [Dec. 4] it had rejected a call by the International Atomic Energy Agency to open its nuclear weapons program to inspections, saying the U.N. nuclear watchdog was abetting U.S. policy toward the North.
The London-based Al Quds Al Arabi daily reported that Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal has been touring Arab capitals and urging them to sign an agreement that would pledge to resist any U.S. effort for regime change in the Arab world. The newspaper said Riyad wants Arab League members to sign such a pledge during their next summit. The proposed accord would also commit league members to oppose any U.S. attempt to freeze the assets of any Arab government.
Analysts say the bad economy is
fueling the hike in crime. With law enforcement focused on
terrorism, gang-related violence in America's cities is rising.
LA - The Gang Murder Hellhole Of America
http://www.nagia.org/ National Alliance of Gang Investigators Associations
http://www.ngcrc.com/ National Gang Crime Research Center
http://www.iir.com/nygc/ National Youth Gang Center
http://www.ncovr.heinz.cmu.edu/docs/home.htm National Consortium on Violence Research
Mexican Anti-Americanism in America
a public interest group that investigates and prosecutes
government corruption and abuse, has filed a complaint calling
for a criminal investigation of the October 2001 anthrax
contamination at the Brentwood Postal Facility that resulted in
the deaths of two postal employees. Postal officials were aware
that the building was contaminated by anthrax yet kept the
facility open four extra days, thereby endangering workers and
the general public. USPS and U.S. government officials knew on
Wednesday, October 18, 2001, that "mail was leaking"
anthrax spores into the environment at the Brentwood facility,
and that a second anthrax spore swab test confirmed that the
swabs 'tested hot.' Despite this knowledge, USPS and U.S.
government officials kept the Brentwood facility open (in
violation of their own written emergency regulations) for an
additional four days, until Sunday, October 21, 2001, when the
news broke of the postal employee deaths.
U.S. intelligence agencies believe the North Korea wants tributyl phosphate (TBP) from China as part of the uranium-based nuclear-arms development program, which the CIA estimates is about two years away from being able to produce fuel for nuclear bombs. North Korea could build several plutonium bombs right away and add one bomb every year until 2005.
The terrorist group Hezbollah has moved some 8,000 Katyusha rockets into southern Lebanon in recent months. Intelligence analysts fear that on a cue from Iran's capital, Tehran, these may be unleashed on Israel. The hope is that Israel's resulting response will strain the American alliance just as it readies to strike Iraq. The National Commission on Terrorism concluded in 2000 that ''Iran remains the most active state supporter of terrorism.'' Iran has given arms and finances to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and sent a ship full of armaments to the Palestinian Authority. Iran has harbored fleeing al-Qaeda fighters and served as a transit point for al-Qaeda and Taliban officers to ship gold out of Pakistan into Sudan. Iran's development of weapons of mass destruction is more advanced than Iraq's. The potential for establishing democracy in Iran is much higher than it is in Iraq, where there is a danger that the current tyrant will merely be replaced by another.
FBI Expert: Killing Bin Laden Won't Stop Terror
US concerned at nuclear smuggling in Central Asia
Relatives hope 9/11 trial to boost Saudi lawsuit
Sept 11 hijackers probably used gas - FBI agent
FBI Agent Tells of Vast Probe Into 9/11 Attacks
A ship carrying a dozen Scud-type
missiles believed to originate in North Korea was intercepted in
the Arabian Sea on Dec. 10, 2002. U.S. officials said the
missiles were initially headed for Yemen. The Spanish Navy
stopped and boarded the ship after its crew refused to identify
themselves. The North Korean captain of the So San initially told
Spanish officials the ship was carrying cement. The North Korean
ship carrying Scud missiles that was intercepted by Spanish
warships in the Arabian Sea was headed to Yemen and was allowed
to continue its journey after the United States determined that
the shipment was not in violation of any international law. North
Korea has developed two new versions, the Scud-C and Scud-D (or
Nodong), as well as a super-missile based on Scud technology, the
Taepodong 1 with a range of up to 8,000 kilometers (4,971 miles).
They are originally intended to carry nuclear or conventional
warheads but North Korean designers are believed to have modified
the missile to carry chemical and bacteriological warheads.
* The US imposed sanctions on North Korea after it sold Scud-C missiles to Yemen in 1999-2000 - a sale defended by Yemen itself as a legitimate arms deal. Yemen said then that it had no further plans to buy North Korean Scuds.
* In 1987-88, Iran is believed to have bought up to 100 Scud-B missiles from North Korea, adding to missiles and launchers already bought from Libya and Syria. North Korea is also believed to have helped supply technology for Iran to build its own Scuds.
* Syria reportedly acquired 150 Scud-Cs along with launchers from North Korea in 1991.
* Pakistan, Egypt and Libya have also reportedly received missiles or missile technology from North Korea.
Al Qaeda might pirate a ship and crash it into another vessel or into a refinery or port. Once aboard pirates try to disable a ship's radio systems before the crew can send a distress signal to local coast guard units. The pirate boats are typically equipped with several outboard motors on the back, allowing them to go up to three times as fast as the tankers. The pirates also use a low-tech version of stealth technology by choosing boats made of wood, which are hard to spot on radar. Laws in many ports bar the equipping of tankers with deck guns. Many companies also ban the crews from carrying guns. The International Maritime Bureau has begun calling for the creation of special shipping lanes reserved for commercial vessels in waterways with military force used to exclude fishing boats and pleasure craft.
American intelligence agencies have reached a preliminary conclusion that Iraq's 12,000-page declaration of its weapons programs fails to account for chemical and biological agents missing when inspectors left Iraq four years ago. In addition, Iraq's declaration on its nuclear program, they say, leaves open a host of questions. Among them is why Iraq was seeking to buy uranium in Africa in recent years, as well as high-technology materials that the United States and Britain have said were destined for a program to enrich uranium.
Jordanian police arrested a Libyan and a Jordanian accused in the killing of a U.S. diplomat in October saying a top al-Qaida operative supplied the two men with guns and money for a terrorist campaign in Jordan.
American forces will not be allowed to use Pakistani territory for launching any attack on Iraq. However the US government continues using various bases in Pakistan to hunt down Al Qaeda terrorists. There are only 12 US men belonging to CIA or FBI in Pakistan who were supervising the operation against Al Qaede terrorists in tribal areas.
An increasing number of federal
agencies are pursuing plans to use pilotless surveillance
aircraft to help patrol the Mexican and Canadian borders, protect
the nation's major oil and gas pipelines and aid in other
homeland security missions. Among the agencies now committed to
deploying UAVs are the Coast Guard and Border Patrol, both of
which are moving to the Homeland Security Department. Other non-Defense
Department agencies, such as the Transportation Department, are
in the early stages of exploring possible security roles for
drones. Meanwhile, the Energy Department has been developing high-altitude
instruments to measure radiation in the atmosphere. Drones, which
are controlled remotely on the ground, can hover over an area for
hours, sometimes days, to provide accurate and timely information.
Health and Human Services
Secretary Tommy Thompson said he does not plan to be inoculated
with the smallpox vaccine and recommends that other Cabinet
members not request the inoculation either. President Bush said
he will take the vaccine along with U.S. military forces but was
not recommending the risky inoculation for most Americans. The
inoculation will be free for those who want it. The government
will make the vaccine available to the general public beginning
in late spring or early summer, although it is not recommended
for most people. The vaccine carries rare but serious side
effects. More than 50 million Americans have skin diseases or
weakened immune systems that leave them dangerously vulnerable to
the live-virus vaccine. One or two out of every 1 million
patients will be killed by the vaccine, and 15 will face life-threatening
complications. A new strategy calls for mass revaccination of all
healthy people over 31 who were given smallpox vaccine as
children and are believed to be immune to its severe side effects.
The new approach would more safely build up the population's
immunity to smallpox while protecting the health workers and
family members who would be most likely to get infected.
Members of the National
Commission on Terrorist Attacks:
Thomas Kean, chairman, former New Jersey governor
Jim Thompson, former Illinois governor
Fred Fielding, former White House counsel to President Reagan
John Lehman, former Secretary of the Navy
Slade Gorton, former U.S. senator from Washington
Lee Hamilton, vice chairman, former U.S. representative from Indiana
Max Cleland, outgoing senator from Georgia
Timothy Roemer, outgoing U.S. representative from Indiana
Jamie Gorelick, former deputy attorney general
Richard Ben-Veniste, former minority chief counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee
Kean said he does not see any potential conflicts of interest and will make any financial disclosure required.
NAME - Thomas H. Kean
AGE-BIRTH DATE - 67; April 21, 1935.
EDUCATION - B.A., Princeton University, 1957; M.A., Columbia University Teachers College, 1964.
EXPERIENCE - Member, New Jersey Assembly, 1968-77; speaker, 1972-1973; minority leader, 1974; New Jersey governor, 1982-1990; chairman, Republican Governors Association, 1987; led U.S. delegation to the World Conference on Education for All in Thailand, 1990; vice chairman, U.S. delegation to the Fourth U.N. World Conference on Women, 1995; served on advisory board to the President's Initiative on Race, 1997-1998; chairman, National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 1996-present; president, Drew University in Madison, N.J., 1990 to present; chairman of Republican Doug Forrester's unsuccessful 2002 campaign for U.S. Senate in New Jersey; director, UnitedHealth Group, 1993-2002; director, Amerada Hess Corporation; director, Aramark Corp.
OTHER EXPERIENCE - Former chairman, Carnegie Corporation of New York; former chairman, Education Commission of the States; former director, Bell Atlantic Corp., now Verizon; former director, CIT Group; former chairman, National Environmental Education and Training Foundation; board member of Fiduciary Trust Company International, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Pepsi Bottling Group, World Wildlife Fund, America's Promise, National Center for Learning Disabilities, National Endowment for Democracy.
FAMILY - Wife, Deborah. Twin sons, Tom and Reed. One daughter, Alexandra.
Fiduciary Trust International, a financial company, had 87 employees who died at the World Trade Center. Aramark ran the food court on top of 2 World Trade Center as well as concessions and tours of the observation deck. Several of its employees died in the tower.
New Chairman of 9/11 Commission had business ties with Osama's Brother in Law
911 Commission - Forgedda Boudit
An independent commission charged with investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will have just $3 million and a little more than a year to explore the causes of the attacks. By comparison, a federal commission created in 1996 was given two years and $5 million to study legalized gambling. Some of the victims' relatives say they doubt the commission can do a thorough job. One potential conflict that interests some victims' relatives is the tie that three commission members have to law firms that lobby for airlines. Another is Kean's service as a director of energy company Amerada Hess Corp., which entered a 1988 alliance with Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia on a venture in Azerbaijan. Delta Oil reportedly is controlled by two Saudi families who have been investigated for financial ties to Osama bin Laden.
Dozens of suppliers, most in
Europe, the United States and Japan, provided the components and
know-how Saddam Hussein needed to build an atomic bomb. Iraq's
report to the U.N. says the equipment was either sold or made by
more than 30 German companies, 10 American companies, 11 British
companies and a handful of Swiss, Japanese, Italian, French,
Swedish and Brazilian firms. It says more than 30 countries
supplied its nuclear program. It details nuclear efforts from the
early 1980s to the Gulf War and contains diagrams, plans and test
results in uranium enrichment, detonation, implosion testing and
warhead construction. Iraq admits to having a pilot plan in
September 1990 to increase the enrichment of recovered uranium to
93 percent using centrifuges. The process is a complicated
extraction and purification method that at full scale requires
thousands of connected, high speed centrifuges. According to
Iraq's report, the most detailed accounting of its former nuclear
weapons program, it was also pursuing electromagnetic isotope
separation as another method to enrich uranium, the key
ingredient for an atomic explosion. The Iraqis had everything
they needed to make nuclear weapons, said the director of the
Wisconsin Project, a Washington-based think tank on nuclear arms
control. "They weren't missing any components or any
knowledge. It was simply a matter of time." Had it not been
for the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq would have had nuclear weapons by
now, thanks to hundreds of suppliers who sold it an impressive
array of equipment and expertise, often with their government's
approval. Some of Iraq's nuclear materials were destroyed during
previous U.N. inspections, and Iraq is now banned from
repurchasing much of it. But reconnaissance photos released by
the Bush administration in October 2002 indicate the Iraqis have
been rebuilding sites previously used for nuclear development.
Full List Of US Weapons Suppliers To Iraq
http://www.unmovic.org/ United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC)
http://www.iaea.org/worldatom/ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
New foot soldiers for Islam's
holy war are streaming into al-Qaida training camps that have
been recently reactivated in eastern Afghanistan, a U.N. report
on the terror group said. The expert group, told a news
conference that al-Qaida operatives might be present in about 40
countries. The U.N. experts warned in the report that al-Qaida
has the potential to obtain nuclear material and build "some
kind of dirty bomb."
Amid the worst infectious
outbreak in 11 years, more than 5,000 recruits at the San Diego
Marine Corps Recruit Depot were inoculated Dec. 15 against a
bacteria that could be fatal if left untreated. The inoculations
were given for sore throats, coughing and other symptoms of Group
A streptococcal pneumonia. Strep A is a bacteria that in its most
common form of illness causes strep throat. But it can also cause
necrotizing fasciitis, a deadly flesh-eating disease.
FBI special agents say they were called off criminal investigations of suspected terrorists
Air marshals charge new policies could
The Sept. 11 attacks would not
have happened if the State Department had followed its own
guidelines and denied visas to the hijackers, two senators said
in a report issued Dec. 18, 2002.
Another senator expressed concern that the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs has done little to reform visa processing procedures and enhance security since the terrorist attacks on September 11.
A congressman said there needs to be more of a focus on the nation's visa programs.
Four alleged Islamic radicals, three Algerians and a Moroccan, arrested in France and linked to a British terror suspect had possession of a mysterious liquid and an anti-contamination suit, France's interior minister said on Dec. 17, 2002. Agents seized US$5,000 in cash, a computer and extremist Islamic documents also false identity papers, two vials of an undetermined liquid and a protective military suit against biological, chemical and nuclear risks. The ministry statement said the vials contained a mixture used to connect electronic components, and ferric chloride, which is commonly used for soldering electronic circuits. The suspects were possibly preparing chemical attack according to news reports and possibly to pollute public drinking water systems. The suspects had been in contact with Rabah Kadre, who was arrested last month in Britain on terrorism-related charges, and said they had been to terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. It was part of an investigation begun last month into the activities of groups from Chechnya, French daily Le Figaro reported. French counterterrorism agents found suspected detonator components and a chemical that can be used to make explosives in an apartment used by four suspected Islamic militants. The components were hidden in a washing machine in the apartment. A vial of unidentified liquid also was found in the apartment but it did not appear to be a chemical or biological agent. Tests on a second substance found at the apartment showed it to be iron perchlorate, a chemical that can be used to make explosives. Agents also found two empty gas bottles that could be used to pack with explosives and electronic systems made to activate explosives from a distance with the aid of cell phones.
Two large U.S. refineries will
run out of crude oil supplies by the end of December unless some
stockpiled crude was released to make up for the lack of
Venezuelan supplies. Venezuela, a major supplier of oil to the
United States, has seen its production fall from about 3 million
barrels per day (bpd) to less than 300,000 bpd since a national
general strike began on December 2 to protest President Hugo
Chavez. Crude oil futures on Dec. 23 traded as high as $31.95 a
barrel, which is the highest since January 2001, on Iraq war
fears plus the extended stoppage of Venezuelan crude oil. The U.S.
Energy Department previously said it did not plan to loan
stockpiled oil to firms that may have problems getting Venezuelan
crude to supply their refineries. Venezuela, a member of OPEC, is
the fourth-biggest U.S. oil supplier. It takes about 15 days to
move the stored oil to the market after a presidential order to
Iraq may be transferring chemical and biological weapons to Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in a TV interview on Dec. 24, 2002. Sharon said that Israel has information that "weapons he (Saddam Hussein) wanted to hide, chemical weapons, biological weapons, were indeed transferred to Syria." He said that the information has not been fully verified. "We have some information to that effect. We are now working to confirm the information."
Suicide bombers who set off
twin blasts that leveled Chechnya government headquarters were
allowed through several security cordons around the building
because they were disguised as Russian servicemen, officials said
Dec. 28, as the death toll rose to 57. A pair of trucks drove
into the heavily guarded compound and exploded with a combined
force equivalent to a half-ton of TNT. The two trucks had army-registered
license plates, said Chechnya's Emergency Situations Department.
Chechnya's deputy interior minister said there were three suicide
bombers in the two trucks. The men wore Russian military uniforms
and presented military IDs.
Massive Crater In Chechnya Car Blast - No 'Bali Mini-Nuke
India charged that Pakistan has become a terrorist hub and that the Islamabad government was doing little to curb attacks by Islamic militants in India's part of disputed Kashmir. "The epicenter of terrorism has shifted from Afghanistan to Pakistan," India's Deputy Prime Minister said. The head of India's internal security, cited intelligence reports that al-Qaida members had relocated to western Pakistan and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir after fleeing American forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan said the accusations were without merit. "We will continue jihad (holy war) in Kashmir with full force," said Syed Salahuddin, head of the Hezb-ul Mujahedeen, the largest of more than a dozen militant outfits battling Indian troops for Kashmir's independence from mostly Hindu India, or its merger with Islamic Pakistan. Earlier this year, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf assured the United States that he would end cross-border terrorism in Kashmir, shutting down militants' camps and banning dozens of Islamic groups. Many of the banned terrorist groups had changed their names and continued to be active in Pakistan and Kashmir.
Osama's Hunt For The Bomb
The United States has promised to work closely with the authorities in Yemen to investigate the murders of three American missionaries at a Christian-run hospital by a suspected Islamic militant on Dec. 30, 2002. A man arrested in connection with the attack told police he was a member of a local Muslim extremist group, Islamic Jihad. The attacker walked into the hospital posing as a patient, cradling his gun in his clothes as if it were a baby. He went into a room where medical staff were holding a meeting and opened fire. Ali Abdulrazzak al-Kamel, who was arrested soon afterwards, said he carried out the attack to "cleanse his religion and get closer to Allah", unnamed officials said. Abed Abdul Razak Kamel and his alleged collaborator, Ali al-Jarallah, are believed to be members of a terrorist cell closely connected with al-Qaida. Yemeni parliament speaker said he believes the missionary shootings was a response to the November killing of al-Qaida's top operative in Yemen by an unmanned CIA aircraft. While Yemen's government has cooperated with the United States in its global war on terror, anti-American sentiment is high in Yemen.
A baggage handler with wide access to protected areas at Paris International airport was under interrogation by French police after they seized an arsenal of guns and explosives in his car. Abderazak Besseghir, 27, a Frenchman of Algerian origin, was arrested on Dec. 28, 2002, after an airline passenger saw him handling a gun next to his car in Charles de Gaulle airport parking lot, and tipped off police. Investigators discovered an automatic pistol, a machine pistol, five cakes of plastic explosive, two detonators and a safety fuse, as well as radical Islamic and pro-Palestinian documents and information about pilots' uniforms in his car. when they searched his car. Besseghir had access to security zones around aircraft. "He wore an official badge which allowed him to move freely and which gave him access to protected zones," a spokesman said. He had received phone calls from two men with suspected links to an Islamic militant, police officials said. The calls were traced by analyzing Abdrazak Besseghir's mobile phone, said the officials.
U.S. intelligence officials have identified approximately 15 cargo freighters around the world that they believe are controlled by al Qaeda or could be used by the terrorist network to ferry operatives, bombs, money or commodities over the high seas, government officials said. The vessels are continuously given new fictitious names, repainted or re-registered using invented corporate owners. U.S. officials have no end of worries about how nautical terrorists could attack U.S. or allied ports or vessels, officials said. They cite such scenarios as al Qaeda dispatching an explosives-packed speedboat to blow a hole in the hull of a luxury cruise ship sailing the Caribbean Sea or having terrorists posing as crewmen commandeer a freighter carrying dangerous chemicals and slam it into a harbor. U.S. officials say they are on alert for signs that al Qaeda would use exotic craft to launch underwater attacks small submarines and human torpedoes, underwater motor-propelled sleds that divers use.
The Office of Homeland Security
lost the first round in a legal fight to keep its activities
secret as a federal judge ruled it will have to answer questions
about its power over other federal agencies. U.S. District Court
Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the office to prove it has
no authority other than helping and advising President Bush. The
ruling favored the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which
is trying to get Homeland Security records on proposals for a
national driver's license and for a "trusted flyer"
program that relies on biometric information to identify airline
passengers. "This is about opening a window into the
activities of what has been, until now, a very secretive entity,"
an attorney for the privacy group said. Homeland Security tried
to get the lawsuit dismissed, claiming it does not have to
release records because it's not an agency. The privacy group
said it did not have enough information to prove otherwise and
asked for permission to find out how the office exercises its
authority. The office, created by President Bush after the Sept.
11 terrorist attacks, has consistently denied that it's an agency.
Earlier this year, Ridge refused to testify before Congress about
the office's budget.
Terrorism alerts based more on political
need than fact?
Homeland Insecurity - Terror Alerts Manufactured?
Los Alamos Directors Resign - Lab Had Ties To 911?
India's deputy prime minister criticized Western nations for sparing Pakistan in the war against terrorism. "We do wish that Western nations acted according to their assertions after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, namely that they would fight terrorism wherever and under whatever pretext it operates. "The least they (Western nations) can do to remain faithful to their own affirmations is not to support or tolerate, in any way, states that are known to shelter, finance, aid and investigate terrorist organizations that have openly declared India as their target," he told an international business conference.
Pakistan on Jan. 4, 2003,
strongly refuted U.S. claims that American troops had the right
to enter Pakistan territory in pursuit of suspected al Qaeda and
Taliban fighters crossing from Afghanistan. A U.S. warplane
dropped a large bomb on disputed land near the Afghan-Pakistan
frontier last weekend after a man dressed as a Pakistani border
guard opened fire on U.S. troops inside Afghanistan, wounding one.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Mian Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri said:
"Operations within Pakistani territory would be conducted
solely and exclusively by our own forces and in response to
decisions taken by Pakistan. The United States has expressed
frustration at the apparent ease with which
many suspected militants have managed to cross from Afghanistan into Pakistan.
Recent attacks by the Armed Islamic Group has dealt a blow to claims by Algeria's military-backed government that it is winning its decade-old battle against Islamic extremists. Algeria's mountainous region is a stronghold of the extremist Salafist Group for Call and Combat, or GSPC. The GSPC is on a U.S. list of terrorist organizations and reportedly has links with Osama bin Laden al-Qaida terror network.
Should disaster strike there are plans to rebuild exact replicas or create architectural clones to replace or resurrect America's national icons in case they are ever damaged or obliterated in attacks and to reconstructe them fairly quickly. 3-D-model mapping technology would be used to restore any or all portions of America's national icons.
North Korea, embroiled in a
nuclear standoff with the United States, said that economic
sanctions would mean war and that Washington should sit down to
talks. South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung rejected US policy on
North Korea, saying pressure and isolation were doomed to failure
as the nuclear crisis deepened. "Pressuring and isolating
communist countries have never been successful -- Cuba is one
example," Kim told a cabinet meeting. "But inducing
such countries to open up through dialogue has always been
successful. "We cannot go to war with North Korea. We can't
go back to the Cold War system and extreme confrontation,"
he said in a statement released through aides. Washington has
been pushing to isolate North Korea and refusing dialogue with
the regime until it first agrees to dismantle its nuclear weapons
British police said on Jan. 7, 2003, they had found a small amount of ricin in a north London apartment and arrested seven north Africans. The men may be Algerian. Ricin is one of the world's deadliest poisons. There is no known antidote. Injected, inhaled or ingested of less than a milligram would kill, causing flu-like symptoms for a few days before death. Gastroenteritis, jaundice and heart failure are typical effects. Symptoms of ricin exposure include fever, stomach pains, diarrhea and vomiting. Ricin causes diarrhea so severe that victims can die of shock from massive fluid and electrolyte loss. Terrorists could kill large numbers of people with ricin if they put it into aerosol, very difficult but not impossible. A crowded, enclosed environment like the London subway would probably be the most appealing target. Ricin is listed among the poisons that Saddam produced. U.S. troops also had found ricin at al-Qaida biological weapons sites in Afghanistan.
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.
Page revised January 28, 2003