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September 12, 2001


Atlantic Fleet

September 12, 2001

Page updated at 10:30 a.m.

Pacific force protection measures heightened

U.S. Pacific Command forces and installations are at the highest state of alert. We are taking increased force protection measures to ensure the safety and security of our people and military installations within the Pacific Theater of Operations.

People attempting to enter military bases can expect significant delays and increase of traffic as our security forces impliment their security procedures.

Please check the U.S. Pacific Command Web site for additional updates.

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VIDEO : THE U.S. SUPPORTED THE JIHAD WITH BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WHEN THEY WERE AGAINST THE RUSSIANS - from an interview conducted in 1997, the guy is the late historian, eqbal ahmad. he describes u.s. cia complicity in creating the global armed islamist movement, and the long term consequences of "proxy wars"...

Khuldunia On-line

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Wednesday September 12 07:42 AM EDT

Attacks evoke memories of Pearl Harbor

By Joel Reese Daily Herald Staff Writer

As Joe Triolo watched black smoke billow from the World Trade Center buildings in the stunning terrorist attack Tuesday, his mind reeled back to Pearl Harbor, 1941.

On that day of infamy, Triolo, 81, stood on the deck of the USS Tangiers as the swooping Japanese planes blazed machine-gun fire and dropped hundreds of bombs. He vainly shot at them with a machine gun as the harbor around him became engulfed in fiery devastation.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing this morning - it was just like Pearl," said Triolo, a Waukegan resident who watched Tuesday's horror unfold on his TV. "I just couldn't believe we were going through the same thing we did 60 years ago."

Triolo was lying in his bunk on the USS Tangier, reading the Sunday comics, when the alarms sounded at Pearl Harbor. He made it up the stairs to the surface, but many of his fellow sailors - including his boyhood best friend - didn't emerge from below the deck.

Those memories were vivid in Triolo's mind Tuesday as he watched the buildings collapse in flaming plumes of smoke and wreckage.

"Even as we're speaking, someone in those buildings might be striving to stay alive," he said. "That would be similar to those who were at Pearl and were trapped in the ships for days."

Fellow Pearl Harbor survivor Guy Squeo said Tuesday's carnage brought back similar memories: "That black smoke - that's the same smoke I saw when all the ships went up at Pearl," said Squeo, 83, of Winfield. "When I saw what was happening this morning, I thought, 'This can't be another Pearl.' But this is worse, because there are more people."

The Pearl Harbor bombing, a total shock to Americans who felt invulnerable, killed nearly 2,400 people. Many likened Tuesday's attacks to the 1941 bombing because of its out-of-the-blue surprise, its images of fiery ruin and the powerful imprint it will leave on the generations who witnessed it.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, speaking to CNN, carried the comparison further. "We must have the same response and the people who did it must have the same end as the people who attacked Pearl Harbor," he said.

But while Pearl Harbor and Tuesday's attacks were both surprise assaults, the similarities end there, argued University of Illinois military history professor John Lynn.

"Because this is a sneak attack, we see it in similar moral terms as Pearl Harbor, but it's very different," Lynn said. "In Pearl Harbor, there was a central enemy. There was a way to respond. Here, it's terrorism. We don't know how to respond, or who to respond to."

And, Lynn added, the multi-pronged assault might not actually be such a surprise, given the American involvement in battle-ravaged areas across the world.

"We might not be in a state of war, but there would be people who would say, 'There are missiles being fired at our children every day, and you're unrealistic if you don't see yourself at war,'æ" he said.

The surprise element enrages Marty Naughton, a WWII veteran and Wheeling resident, who says at least the Pearl Harbor attack occurred while much of the world was already at war.

"When you declare war on an enemy, you see an enemy. This is an unseen enemy," he said. "But this is definitely the second day of infamy."

• Daily Herald news services contributed to this report.

Wednesday September 12 03:56 PM EDT

Pacific Fleet Mobilized After Attacks

The U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet has deployed 15 warships in the eastern Pacific Ocean in response to the terrorist attacks on the eastern U.S. seaboard.

Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Gordon, Pacific Fleet media officer, said that the guided missile destroyer USS Russell, salvage ship USS Salvo, and fleet oiler USNS Yukon, all based at Pearl Harbor, were specifically deployed in response to the attacks.

He said that the other 12 ships, based in San Diego and Seattle, were conducting routine training off Southern California and the Pacific Northwest and diverted to respond to the national task effort.

Gordon said that all of the ships were deployed to protect the air, sea and undersea space between the West Coast and Hawaii.

Navy Warships Patrol Local Coastline

A number of Navy ships are currently operating in the Pacific, participating in training, and are awaiting possible orders.

They are cruisers USS Mobile Bay and USS Valley Forge, destroyers USS Stethem, USS Higgins, USS Russell, USS Decatur, USS Shiloh and the aircraft carrier USS Stennis.

The aircraft carrier USS Constellation is also under way from Hawaii and is due back in San Diego Saturday.

The other San Diego ships added to the list Wednesday morning include the USS Rentz, USS Sides, USS Thach and the USNS Yukon.

Wednesday September 12 10:39 PM EDT

San Diego Military Security Remains Tight

Security remains tight at local San Diego military bases and drivers were faced with long delays while trying to enter area facilities.

Access to non-military personnel was restricted and officials directed nonessential personnel to stay home Wednesday.

All vehicles were searched entering area bases and delays at the gates of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Naval Air Station North Island were as much as five hours. Motorists were also delayed up to two hours crossing the Coronado Bridge.

Civilian Navy employees were asked to "check with their supervisors to determine whether or not they are required to arrive for work," according to a Navy statement.

Non-military personnel were also being told to stay home from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar until further notice.

"All appropriate measures are in place to ensure the safety of Miramar personnel, aircraft and assets," USMC Sgt. Steven Davis said.

Navy Offers Shuttle Service

With access to area Navy bases restricted and traffic tie-ups ensuing, the Navy announced that shuttle buses will be available for base workers beginning Thursday.

Shuttle bus service will be available from the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot and the General Dynamics parking lot. Parking in both lots will be open only to cars with Department of Defense decals.

Identification will be required to board shuttles, which will have priority access to the bases. The buses will run every 15 minutes between 5:30-9:30 a.m. and 3-6 p.m., and every hour in between.

Navy bases continue to advise nonessential workers to stay home. Employees are asked to call their supervisors to determine whether to report to work.

Because of long delays accompanying base entrance, the Navy encouraged people to use mass transit or carpool.

The shuttles will run as follows:

Naval Base Coronado

Bus service to North Island and Naval Amphibious Base Coronado will be available from Qualcomm Stadium; bus service to North Island will be available from the General Dynamics parking lot; boat service to North Island and NAB will be available from Navy Pier, with parking and shuttle service to the boat available at General Dynamics.

Submarine Base

Bus service will be available from the General Dynamics parking lot.

Naval Station San Diego at 32nd Street

Bus service will be available from Qualcomm Stadium.

Qualcomm Stadium is at 9449 Friars Road. The General Dynamics parking lot is off Pacific Highway near Washington Street.

Information on the Navy shuttles is available by calling (619) 556-9396.

Gates Open For Essential Personnel

The following gates at Navy facilities will be open for essential personnel:

Naval Station San Diego: Gate 6, which is the main gate; Gate 9 for inbound traffic only; Gate 43, Dryside; and Gate 15, for inbound traffic to the Navy Lodge only.

Naval Air Station North Island: Main gate for inbound and outbound traffic.

Naval Amphibious Base: Main gate for inbound and outbound traffic; and Post 11 for inbound and outbound traffic.

Fleet Antisubmarine Warfare Base: Post 3, for inbound and outbound traffic.

Naval Medical Center: Main gate only.

Point Loma: Main gate only.

Navy Warships Patrol Local Coastline

A number of Navy ships are currently operating in the Pacific, participating in training, and are awaiting possible orders.

They are cruisers USS Mobile Bay and USS Valley Forge, destroyers USS Stethem, USS Higgins, USS Russell, USS Decatur, USS Shiloh and the aircraft carrier USS Stennis.

The aircraft carrier USS Constellation is also under way from Hawaii and is due back in San Diego Saturday.

The other San Diego ships added to the list Wednesday morning include the USS Rentz, USS Sides, USS Thach and the USNS Yukon.

The Port of San Diego remains open under restricted access. All boats and ships entering the bay must first be inspected by the Coast Guard.

Wednesday September 12 3:13 AM ET

U.S. Military on Highest Alert

By SUSANNE M. SCHAFER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Aircraft carriers and guided missile destroyers moved into the waters near New York and Washington after President Bush placed the U.S. military on its highest alert status in response to deadly terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

``We have been attacked like we haven't since Pearl Harbor,'' said Adm. Robert J. Natter, commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet in Norfolk, Va.

The ships Natter sent to stand off the East Coast included the carriers USS John F. Kennedy and USS George Washington, which were headed to New York, an Atlantic Fleet spokesman said. Each has a crew of 2,500 to 3,000 sailors, and the JFK's airwing has about 1,500 sailors.

The USNS Comfort, a hospital ship in Baltimore harbor, also was made available.

Also deployed were amphibious ships, guided missile cruisers and guided missile destroyers that are capable of responding to threats from the air and sea. The amphibious ships were carrying Marines and sailors to provide security, surgical teams and limited hospital bed capacity.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet had a number of ships underway in the Pacific Ocean, a Navy official at Pearl Harbor said.

The USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier was steaming off San Diego and two guided missile cruisers, three guided missile destroyers and five guided missile frigates were at sea in the eastern Pacific, he said.

The USS Russell guided missile destroyer, the Navy rescue ship USS Salvor and the Navy oiler USNS Yukon were off Hawaii.

Bush was in Florida at the time of the attacks Tuesday morning and was flown to Air Force bases in Louisiana and Nebraska before returning to Washington for an Oval Office address to the nation Tuesday evening.

Congressional leaders were taken to the safety of an undisclosed location outside Washington, and military aircraft were seen patrolling the skies above the capital.

Natter placed naval installations under his command on the highest security condition. He is in charge of 188 ships, 1,223 aircraft, 37 shore stations and more than 125,000 sailors and Marines and civilian employees. The Atlantic Fleet provides combat-ready forces to support American and NATO commanders around the world.

Elsewhere in the country, fighters, airborne radar and refueling planes were scrambled, according to an air national guard spokesman at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command also was on its highest alert status.

``We have all of our air sovereignty aircraft - fighters, surveillance and other support aircraft - ready to respond,'' NORAD said in a statement.

The U.S. portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway also was closed, said Lynn Duerod, spokeswoman for the Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit.

On the Net:


Wednesday September 12 3:14 AM ET

Terrorists Attack N.Y., Washington

By DAVID CRARY, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - In the most devastating terrorist onslaught ever waged against the United States, knife-wielding hijackers crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center on Tuesday, toppling its twin 110-story towers. The deadly calamity was witnessed on televisions across the world as another plane slammed into the Pentagon and a fourth crashed outside Pittsburgh.

``Today, our nation saw evil,'' President Bush said in an address to the nation Tuesday night. He said thousands of lives were ``suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.''

Said Adm. Robert J. Natter, commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet: ``We have been attacked like we haven't since Pearl Harbor.''

Establishing the death toll could take weeks. The four airliners alone had 266 people aboard and there were no known survivors. Arlington County, Va., fire chief said deaths at the Pentagon ranged between 100 and 800.

In addition, a union official said he feared 300 firefighters who first reached the scene had died in rescue efforts at the trade center - where 50,000 people worked - and dozens of police officers were missing.

``The number of casualties will be more than most of us can bear,'' a visibly distraught Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said.

Police sources said some people trapped in the twin towers managed to call authorities or family members and that some trapped police officers made radio contact. In one of the calls, which took place in the afternoon, a businessman phoned his family to say he was trapped with policemen, whom he named, the source said.

Firefighter Rudy Weindler spent nearly 12 hours trying to find survivors and only found four - a pregnant woman sitting on a curb and three others in the rubble of a building in the trade center complex.

``I lost count of all the dead people I saw,'' Weindler said. ``It is absolutely worse than you could ever imagine.''

No one took responsibility for the attacks that rocked the seats of finance and government. But federal authorities identified Osama bin Laden (news - web sites), who has been given asylum by Afghanistan (news - web sites)'s Taliban rulers, as the prime suspect.

Aided by an intercept of communications between his supporters and harrowing cell phone calls from at least one flight attendant and two passengers aboard the jetliners before they crashed, U.S. officials began assembling a case linking bin Laden to the devastation.

U.S. intelligence intercepted communications between bin Laden supporters discussing the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, according to Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch , the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The people aboard planes who managed to make cell phone calls each described similar circumstances: They indicated the hijackers were armed with knives, in some cases stabbing flight attendants. The hijackers then took control of the planes.

All of the planes were bound for California and thus loaded with fuel.

The Boston Herald, quoting a source it did not identify, reported that authorities had seized a car at Logan airport that contained Arabic-language flight training manuals. The source said five Arab men had been identified as suspects, including a trained pilot. At least two of those men flew to Logan on Tuesday from Portland, Maine, the Herald said.

The luggage of one of the men who flew to the airport Tuesday didn't make his scheduled connection. The Boston Globe reported the luggage contained a copy of the Koran, an instructional video on flying commercial airliners and a fuel consumption calculator.

The FBI refused to comment on the reports.

The airport was evacuated and shut down until further notice.

At the World Trade Center, the dead and the doomed plummeted from the skyscrapers, among them a man and woman holding hands.

Shortly after 7 p.m., crews began heading into ground zero of the attack to search for survivors and recover bodies. All that remained of the twin towers by then was a pile of rubble and twisted steel that stood five stories high, leaving a huge gap in the New York City skyline.

``Freedom itself was attacked this morning and I assure you freedom will be defended,'' said Bush, who was in Florida at the time of the catastrophe. As a security measure, he was shuttled to a Strategic Air Command bunker in Nebraska before leaving for Washington.

``Make no mistake,'' he said. ``The United States will hunt down and pursue those responsible for these cowardly actions.''

More than nine hours after the U.S. attacks began, explosions could be heard north of the Afghan capital of Kabul, but American officials said the United States was not responsible.

``It isn't us. I don't know who's doing it,'' Pentagon spokesman Craig Quigley said.

Officials across the world condemned the attacks but in the West Bank city of Nablus, thousands of Palestinians celebrated, chanting ``God is Great'' and handing out candy. The United States has become increasingly unpopular in the Mideast in the past year of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, with Washington widely seen as siding with Israel against the Arab world.

At the Pentagon, the symbol and command center for the nation's military force, one side of the building collapsed as smoke billowed over the Potomac River.

The first airstrike - on the trade center - occurred shortly before 8:45 a.m. EDT. A burning, 47-story part of the trade center complex, long since evacuated, collapsed in flames just before nightfall.

Emergency Medical Service worker Louis Garcia said initial reports indicated that bodies were buried beneath the two feet of soot on streets around the trade center.

``A lot of the vehicles are running over bodies because they are all over the place,'' he said.

Said National Guard member Angelo Otchy of Maplewood, N.J., ``I must have come across body parts by the thousands. I came across a lady, she didn't remember her name. Her face was covered in blood.''

For the first time, the nation's aviation system was completely shut down as officials considered the frightening flaws that had been exposed in security procedures. Financial markets were closed, too.

Top leaders of Congress were led to an undisclosed location, as were key officials of the Bush administration. Guards armed with automatic weapons patrolled the White House grounds and military aircraft secured the skies above the capital city. National Guard troops appeared on some street corners in the nation's capital.

Evacuations were ordered at the tallest skyscrapers in several cities, and high-profile tourist attractions closed - Walt Disney World, Mount Rushmore, Seattle's Space Needle, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

The Federal Reserve, seeking to provide assurances that the nation's banking system would be protected, said it would provide additional money to banks if needed.

In Afghanistan, where bin Laden has been given asylum, the nation's hardline Taliban rulers rejected suggestions he was responsible.

Bin Laden came to prominence fighting alongside the U.S.-backed Afghan mujahedeen - holy warriors - in their war against Soviet troops in the 1980s. But former followers say he turned against the United States during the 1991 Gulf War , seething at the deployment of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War campaign to oust Iraq from Kuwait. He has repeatedly called on Muslims worldwide to join in a jihad, or holy war, against the United States.

Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper, said he received a warning from Islamic fundamentalists close to bin Laden, but had not taken the threat seriously. ``They said it would be a huge and unprecedented attack, but they did not specify,'' Atwan said in a telephone interview in London.

Eight years ago, the World Trade Center was a terrorist target when a truck bomb killed six people and wounded about 1,000 others. Just the death toll on the planes alone could surpass the 168 people killed in the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.

This is how Tuesday's mayhem unfolded:

At about 8:45 a.m., a hijacked airliner crashed into the north tower of the trade center, the 25-year-old, glass-and-steel complex that was once the world's tallest.

Clyde Ebanks, an insurance company vice president, was at a meeting on the 103rd floor of the south tower when his boss said, ``Look at that!'' He turned to see a plane slam into the other tower.

``I just heard the building rock,'' said Peter Dicerbo, a bank employee on the 47th floor. ``It knocked me on the floor. It sounded like a big roar, then the building started swaying. That's what really scared me.''

The enormity of the disaster was just sinking in when 18 minutes later, the south tower also was hit by a plane.

``All this stuff started falling and all this smoke was coming through. People were screaming, falling, and jumping out of the windows,'' said Jennifer Brickhouse, 34, from Union, N.J.

The chaos was just beginning. Workers stumbled down scores of flights, their clothing torn and their lungs filled with smoke and dust.

John Axisa said he ran outside and watched people jump out of the first building; then there was a second explosion, and he felt the heat on the back of his neck.

Donald Burns, 34, was being evacuated from the 82nd floor when he saw four people in the stairwell. ``I tried to help them but they didn't want anyone to touch them. The fire had melted their skin. Their clothes were tattered,'' he said.

Worse was to come. At 9:50, one tower collapsed, sending debris and dust cascading to the ground. At 10:30, the other tower crumbled.

Glass doors shattered, police and firefighters ushered people into subway stations and buildings. The air was black, from the pavement to the sky. The dust and ash were inches deep along the streets.

Bridges and tunnels were closed to all but pedestrians. Subways were shut down for much of the day; many commuter trains were not running.

Meanwhile, at about 9:30 a.m., an airliner hit the Pentagon - the five-sided headquarters of the American military. ``There was screaming and pandemonium,'' said Terry Yonkers, an Air Force civilian employee at work inside the building.

The military boosted security across the country to the highest levels, sending Navy ships to New York and Washington to assist with air defense and medical needs.

A half-hour after the Pentagon attack, a United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 jetliner en route from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco, crashed about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

Airline officials said the other three planes that crashed were American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 from Boston to Los Angeles, apparently the first to hit the trade center; United Airlines Flight 175, also a Boeing 767 from Boston to Los Angeles, which an eyewitness said was the second to hit the skyscrapers; and American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757 en route from Washington-Dulles to Los Angeles that hit the Pentagon.

``We're at war,'' said Gaillard Pinckney, an employee at the Housing and Urban Development office in Columbia, S.C. ``We just don't know with who.''

Giuliani said it was believed the aftereffects of the plane crashes eventually brought the buildings down, not planted explosive devices.

Hyman Brown, a University of Colorado civil engineering professor and the construction manager for the World Trade Center, speculated that flames fueled by thousands of gallons of aviation fuel melted steel supports.

``This building would have stood had a plane or a force caused by a plane smashed into it,'' he said. ``But steel melts, and 24,000 gallons of aviation fluid melted the steel. Nothing is designed or will be designed to withstand that fire.''

At mid-afternoon, Giuliani said 1,500 ``walking wounded'' had been shipped to Liberty State Park in New Jersey by ferry and tugboat, and 750 others were taken to New York City hospitals, among them 150 in critical condition.

Well into the night, a steady stream of boats continued to arrive in the park. ``Every 10 minutes another boat with 100 to 150 people on it pulls up,'' said Mayor Glenn Cunningham. ``I have a feeling this is going to go on for several days.''

Felix Novelli, who lives in Southampton, N.Y., was in Nashville with his wife for a World War II reunion. He was trying to fly home to New York when the attacks occurred

``I feel like going to war again. No mercy,'' he said. ``This is Dec. 7th happening all over again. We have to come together like '41, go after them.''

The attack on Pearl Harbor claimed the lives of 2,390 Americans, most of them servicemen.

Published Wednesday, September 12, 2001


Troops in Carolinas gear up for rescue or response call

Nuclear site in S.C., Coast Guard, military bases all go on alert


Staff Writers

Moments after the start of the worst terrorist attack in history, Carolinas military bases and governments clamped down security, and Carolinas troops prepared to help rescuers and perhaps take part in an armed response.

Among the activity:

Govs. Mike Easley and Jim Hodges said there were no credible threats against North Carolina or South Carolina. But both increased security at state buildings and called in emergency officials, much as they would before a hurricane strikes.

Coast Guard boats increased patrols.

And at Savannah River Site, a massive facility near Aiken, S.C., that stores high-level nuclear waste, security was tightened, production facilities were shut down and all nonessential personnel were sent home.

Hodges ordered the S.C. National Guard to call in all critical personnel and put other troops on standby. Easley said the N.C. Air National Guard's C-130 transport planes are on standby in case they're needed to ferry people or cargo.

"Everyone feels a bit less secure than they did this morning," Easley said.

N.C. legislators met as scheduled Tuesday afternoon, one of the few state or federal government operations in the Carolinas to function normally.

Senators heard a somber prayer from chaplain Mike Morris: "Oh God, we pray for a world at peace but today understand and respond to our righteous anger, even our desire for retribution, our great sorrow. Oh God, comfort, comfort your people."

A few Carolinas troops are already on their way to help the recovery effort.

The Charlotte Air National Guard sent three members, an enlisted Guardsman from Morganton and officers from Sanford and Fayetteville, to Washington to work with teams recovering bodies from the Pentagon. Their names are not being released for security reasons.

"They're going up to help with search and recovery, specifically on the mortuary affairs side," said Capt. Allan Cecil, spokesman at the Guard's base at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.

Mortuary affairs' duties include preparing bodies for burial.

At military bases across the Carolinas, auxiliary gates were closed, and at main entrances, crews searched some vehicles and allowed only essential personnel to enter.

Explosive-sniffing dogs conducted random checks at Cherry Point Naval Air Station in Pamlico County, on the coast. At Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, S.C., the clubs, theater, schools, commissary, base exchange and all recreational facilities were closed until further notice.

At Camp Lejeune, home to 150,000 civilians and Marines including the Second Expeditionary Force, troops trying to return to their units resulted in a two-lane, mile-long traffic jam at the main gate. A similar line of Marines waited to enter the New River Marine Air Station, also in Onslow County.

"I think we're all assuming there's going to be some sort of response. I think we're all ready. This is what we're all about," said Staff Sgt. B.J. Cashion, 33, as he waited in his pickup to enter Camp Lejeune.

"My wife sure thinks we're going somewhere soon," said Pfc. Brian Bishop, 24, a mechanic at the air station who waited on his motorcycle. "I was lucky she let me leave the house this morning. She kept wanting me to come back to hug the kids."

At the Army's Fort Jackson, just outside Columbia, Staff Sgt. Dean West said, "There's a lot of anger."

West, who works at the U.S. Patriot military clothing store near the base, said the business was empty most of the day because most base personnel weren't allowed to leave. But West has other things to worry about.

"My wife is scared we're about to have World War III," he said. "The tensions are real high. Everybody is nervous and scared."

Staff writers mark johnson, Peter smolowitz and jennifer talhElm contributed.

"Everyone feels a bit less secure than they did this morning." N.C. Gov. Mike Easley "

Wednesday September 12 6:46 PM ET

U.S. Military Tightens Security

By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - In remarks suggesting U.S. military retaliation for the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told U.S. troops worldwide Wednesday that ``in the days ahead'' they will be added to the long history of American military heroes.

``We face powerful and terrible enemies, enemies we intend to vanquish,'' Rumsfeld said in a videotaped message to all Defense Department employees around the globe.

``The task of vanquishing these terrible enemies - and protecting the American people and the cause of human freedom - will fall to you,'' he said.

Rumsfeld noted the U.S. military's history of heroism.

``At the Pentagon yesterday, heroes were here again. I know I am speaking to many now - especially those of you in the field, those of you who wear the uniform of our country - who will in the days ahead also be called heroes,'' he said.

A text of Rumsfeld's remarks were distributed by his aides at the Pentagon.

At a news conference, Rumsfeld told reporters that an American response must be ``sustained and broadly based,'' though he did not refer specifically to military retaliation.

Tuesday's attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, he said, were ``the definition of a new battlefield.''

``It is a different kind of conflict,'' Rumsfeld said. He spoke to reporters in a grave tone at a news conference in a Pentagon briefing room that still reeked of acrid smoke from the smoldering fires.

Meanwhile, a Navy aircraft carrier sailed into the waters off New York's Long Island on Wednesday and other warships stood guard off the East Coast as the U.S. military remained on high alert against further terrorist attacks.

At his news conference, Rumsfeld said an estimate from the Arlington County Fire Department, which led the fire fighting effort, that as many as 800 people may have perished in the attack was ``considerably high.''

Rumsfeld declined to provide an estimate, although reports from the military services indicated the toll might be closer to 150.

Asked whether the Bush administration was prepared to take bold action against the perpetrators, Rumsfeld replied, ``Time will tell. I'm kind of old fashioned. I'm inclined to think if you're going to cock it you throw it'' - in other words, if you threaten to retaliate you must carry through.

``So my instinct is you go about your business and do what you have to do,'' he added.

``Anyone who thinks it's easy is wrong. I think it will take a sustained and broadly based effort.''

Secretary of State Colin Powell said President Bush was determined to punish those behind the attacks.

``We will find out who is responsible for this and they will pay for it,'' he said.

In a show of solidarity, the NATO alliance declared Wednesday that the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington can be considered an attack on the whole alliance - provided it turns out they were directed from abroad.

The decision grants the United States backing from its 18 NATO partners for military action, NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson said.

It was the first time this solidarity principle has been invoked in the 52-year history of the alliance.

In addition to the aircraft carrier USS George Washington standing watch off Long Island and the carrier USS John F. Kennedy at an undisclosed location further off the East Coast, the Navy was moving several cruisers and destroyers out of port in Norfolk, Va., headquarters for the Atlantic Fleet.

Also, the USS Carl Vinson and its battle group were patrolling the Persian Gulf, and the USS Enterprise - which the Vinson had just relieved after six months at sea - was ordered to remain in the area instead of heading home, officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The carrier battle groups normally include cruisers and submarines, which could be the launch pads for long-range cruise missile strikes should a retaliatory attack be ordered.

Also deployed were amphibious ships, guided missile cruisers and guided missile destroyers that are capable of responding to threats from the air and sea. The amphibious ships were carrying Marines and sailors to provide security, surgical teams and limited hospital bed capacity.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet had a number of ships underway in the Pacific Ocean, a Navy official at Pearl Harbor said.

The USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier was steaming off San Diego and two guided missile cruisers, three guided missile destroyers and five guided missile frigates were at sea in the eastern Pacific, he said.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command also was on its highest alert status.

``We have all of our air sovereignty aircraft - fighters, surveillance and other support aircraft - ready to respond,'' NORAD said in a statement.

The U.S. portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway also was closed, said Lynn Duerod, spokeswoman for the Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit.

At the Pentagon, smoke continued to billow from the area where a hijacked American Airlines jet barreled into the building at full throttle on Tuesday, just moments after two other hijacked commercial jetliners sliced into both towers of the World Trade Center.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. George Rynedance said the fires, stoked by jet fuel from the crashed plane, had been brought under control by about 3 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

Wednesday September 12 10:46 AM ET

U.S. Military Waits with 'Very Large Hammer'

By Charles Aldinger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Grim-faced defense officials refused to speculate on any quick military response to the worst attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor, but stressed the culprits of Tuesday's coordinated strikes would be punished.

``We have a very large hammer that can be brought to bear in a number of ways at any time,'' one of the officials told Reuters on Wednesday. ``That's not a threat, it's a fact.''

The officials, who asked not to be identified noted in interviews the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise had been stopped in the Indian Ocean en route back to the United States and was awaiting possible orders to return to the Gulf to join the carrier USS Carl Vinson.

The Vinson recently replaced the Enterprise on patrol south of Iraq and the Enterprise was stopped abruptly on Tuesday as a precautionary measure. The move came after hijackers slammed commercial aircraft into the Pentagon in suburban Washington and the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York -- buildings where tens of thousands of people work.

Normally, the Navy keeps only one carrier in the Gulf as a base for warplanes policing ``no-fly'' zones over southern Iraq.

``I think President Bush made it very clear,'' one senior defense official said referring to his address to the nation late on Tuesday about the aerial assault that shocked the United States into a virtual standstill. ``If it takes a day, or a week, or a year, who is responsible for this will pay dearly.''

While the United States laid no immediate blame for the attack, officials said exiled Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden and his followers were high on the suspect list.

Bin Laden, who is accused of masterminding previous anti-American attacks, including the bombing of embassies in Africa, is believed to be living in a remote area of Afghanistan under the protection of the Taliban.

Concerned over a repeat of U.S. cruise missile attacks in reprisals on Afghanistan that followed the 1998 embassy attacks in Africa, the ruling Taliban, a radical Islamic group, issued hasty denials that the man they describe as their guest was capable of mounting such a vast coordinated conspiracy.


But U.S. defense officials said the military would be ready for any contingency.

``We have land-based aircraft, Navy carriers and other ships that can fire cruise missiles,'' said one. ``We don't need to wave that threat. Everybody knows it.''

The Enterprise and the Vinson each carry more than 60 warplanes, and their ``battle groups'' include a total of more than a dozen escort missile-carrying surface ships and submarines.

``We have stopped the Enterprise and she is standing by,'' said one Pentagon official. ``It is certainly a prudent, precautionary step.''

While officials refused to comment on whether there was any indication of who was responsible for the attacks, Army Gen. Henry Shelton, chairman of the Pentagon Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news conference on Tuesday the armed forces were ready.

The Taliban said on Wednesday it was premature to talk about extraditing bin Laden.

As fears mounted over possible U.S. retaliatory strikes on Afghanistan, Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, repeated the Taliban position it could consider extradition if proof were presented against bin Laden.

``It is premature,'' Zaeef said in Islamabad when asked if his movement would consider expelling bin Laden. ``If any evidence is presented to us, we will study it.''

Wednesday September 12 3:40 PM ET

Bush Calls Attacks 'Acts of War'

By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush condemned terrorist attacks in New York and Washington as ``acts of war'' on Wednesday and won pledges of funding from Congress to aid in recovery and protect the nation's security. European allies gave their backing to an anticipated military response.

``This will be a monumental struggle of good versus evil. But good will prevail,'' the president said. He said the nation was prepared to spend ``whatever it takes,'' and pledged to rally other nations to a global battle against terrorism.

Bush mapped his response - and sought to reassure a shaken nation - as the administration disclosed it had ``specific credible information'' that the White House and Air Force One were intended targets in Tuesday's attacks. ``The plane that hit the Pentagon may have been headed for the White House,'' said spokesman Sean McCormack.

Officials said evidence in the fearsome events pointed to suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden , harbored in Afghanistan . And while Secretary of State Colin Powell suggested earlier in the day that no military response was imminent, Bush said, ``We will rally the world'' in a war on terrorism, fought now on American soil.

Congress convened in the Capitol for the first time since the parallel attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon across the Potomac River from the nation's capital. Lawmakers hastened to approve legislation declaring the United States was ``entitled to respond under international law.''

``We literally and figuratively stand shoulder to shoulder'' with the president, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said after senior lawmakers met with Bush at the White House.

The administration began detailing a range of actions it was taking to respond to the attack and ease a return to normalcy.

- The Treasury Department (news - web sites) announced the United States and its wealthy allies had pledged their central banks would make a coordinated effort to keep the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history from leading to ``disruption to the global economy.''

- The Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites) said it would lift summertime clean air gasoline requirements three days ahead of schedule to avert any possible shortages in supplies. Some consumers have been buffeted by price hikes.

- The Transportation Department said airline passengers who were diverted to Canada on Tuesday would be permitted to complete their journeys to their American destinations. The rest of the nation's air traffic system remained shut down, pending implementation of stricter security measures.

- Powell told reporters at the State Department he had been in touch with NATO officials about paving the way for an eventual international response to the attacks. A short while later, NATO allies declared that the attacks could be considered an attack on the whole alliance if it turned out they were directed from abroad. As a result, said NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson, the United States could make use of NATO's one-for-all and all-for-one principle - in place since 1949 but never invoked.

The disclosure that the White House and Air Force One might have been targets dovetailed with the president's actions in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. In Florida at the time, he flew to a military base in Louisiana rather than back to Washington, then on to a second facility in Nebraska, his aircraft protected by military escorts.

Bush's spokesman, Ari Fleischer (news - web sites), used words meant to soothe. ``We believe the perpetrators have executed their plan and therefore the risks are significantly reduced,'' he said.

A mile or so from where he spoke, search and rescue teams worked in the remains of the portion of the Pentagon that collapsed on Tuesday, hit by a hijacked jetliner. Officials said 100 or fewer military personnel remained unaccounted for at the Pentagon, as well as an unknown number of civilians.

At midmorning, local hospitals reported 72 victims had been brought in for treatment. Some had been released, but nine were in critical condition, 24 hours after the plane struck.

Those numbers would pale in comparison to the carnage in New York, where two more hijacked planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The buildings collapsed, with thousands feared lost.

Tourists strolled freely outside the White House on a beautiful late summer day. Federal agencies reopened, and likewise the Smithsonian museums along the Mall. And yet, in a sobering reminder of the attacks, military Humvees were stationed along city streets as the military police maintained a security presence.

There were other barriers to a return to normalcy.

Officials gave an order to evacuate the Pentagon, then rescinded it. And a noon target for reopening the nation's air traffic system passed without any announcement on when flights would resume.

In a day-after scare, employees at the Agriculture Department's main building along the National Mall were evacuated about 9 a.m. but were allowed back in an hour later. Reports of unidentified aircraft in Canadian airspace prompted the evacuation, Chris Gomez, deputy director of the department's office of operations, told employees.

Another U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there were three unidentified aircraft over Canada and the Canadian Air Force was tracking them, but added that the United States was not greatly concerned.

Making the rounds of the morning television programs, Powell reinforced Bush's Tuesday night pledge that the attacks would be avenged. Administration officials say their early investigation has pointed to suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden, but the secretary of state made it sound like no military response was imminent.

He said the administration was ``far from selecting any particular targets for retaliation

``We have to build a case first,'' he said.

Congress convened with prayers and expressions of resolve that the perpetrators would be found and punished. ``The world should know that members of both parties and both houses stand united in this,'' said Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

Powell said Americans have made the judgment: ``We are at war and they want a comprehensive response. They want us to act as if we are at war and we're going to do that - diplomatically and militarily.''

The State Department, which closed after the attacks, opened again. Powell said one-quarter of U.S. embassies were still closed as a precaution.

Bush, responding publicly to the attacks for the second time, said they were ``more than acts of terror. They were acts of war.''

On Tuesday night, in an address from the Oval Office, he condemned them as ``acts of mass murder.''

``Our military is powerful, and it's prepared,'' a somber Bush said in his Oval Office address.

Bush said in his televised address, ``We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.''

Wednesday September 12 3:33 PM ET

NATO Says Attack on U.S. Was Attack on Alliance

BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) - NATO invoked a mutual defense clause for the first time in its history Wednesday, opening the way for a possible collective military response to Tuesday's attacks on the United States.

``The (NATO) Council agreed that if it is determined that this was an attack directed from abroad against the United States, it shall be regarded as an action covered by Article V of the Washington Treaty, which states that an attack against one ally is an attack against them all,'' Secretary-General George Robertson told a news conference.

The article commits each of the 19 member nations to take ''such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.''

Asked whether this meant NATO would take joint action, Robertson said: ``The country attacked has to make the decisions, it has to be the one that asks for help. ... The U.S. is still assessing the evidence available. They are the ones to make that judgement.''

In Washington, Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) said the statement would ``tee up'' a possible collective response once the United States identified the perpetrators and their sponsors.

Wednesday September 12 02:47 PM EDT

Law Enforcement, Military Flying Over Bay Area

By KPIX - The PIXPage Staff

The FAA has not decided when to allow commercial airplanes to fly again, but there is still air traffic in the skies.

Many local law enforcement agencies in the Bay Area are patrolling by air. Military planes are also allowed to fly, and some flights transporting blood have left for the East Coast.

However, commercial air traffic has not resumed anywhere in the United States. All the airports in the Bay Area remain closed, and could remain so for the rest of the day Wednesday.

Friday, September 14 3:28 PM SGT

Taliban anticipating massive US attack, vows revenge

KABUL, Sept 14 (AFP) -

Afghanistan's Taliban said Friday it expected to be hit by a massive attack by the United States and vowed that it would take revenge.

"We are ready to pay any price to defend ourselves and to use all means take our revenge," a spokesman for the Islamic militia's supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar told AFP by satellite phone from the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar.

The spokesman's comments came a day after the United States said for the first time that it considered Osama bin Laden a suspect in the investigation into Tuesday's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

"Now they are indicating in clear words that they are going to strike," the spokesman, Abdul Hai Mutmaen, said.

The spokesman said he expected the attack to be far more extensive than the limited cruise missile strikes launched by the US in 1998 over bin Laden's alleged involvement in the bombing of American embassies in Africa.

"It will be at a very high level. Last time they only attempted to strike a (bin Laden) camp. This time they want to eliminate the whole system and government."

Despite the impending threat of US military action, the Taliban has refused to hand bin Laden over. In a statement issued on Thursday, Omar said bin Laden could not have orchestrated the attacks on the US.

An English version of Omar's statement was presented to the international press in Islamabad on Friday.



September 14, 2001 -- WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is talking with Russia about using former Soviet military bases in central Asia as staging areas for massive military assaults on Osama bin Laden, The Post has learned.

Senior diplomatic officials in both countries revealed last night that plans to use two Russian bases in Tajikistan - and the former Soviet air base at Bagram inside a portion of Afghanistan under the control of anti-Taliban forces - are at the center of ongoing talks between the United States and Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country has been victimized by terror bombings of Moscow apartment buildings linked to bin Laden, has revived an offer he made a year ago for the United States to use bases in Tajikistan for possible joint operations against bin Laden and the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan.

Secretary of State Colin Powell said President Bush spoke twice by phone to Putin on Wednesday about joint measures the two former Cold War rivals might take to combat their common enemy: militant Islam.

Asked specifically about whether the United States will use the Russian bases as staging areas for military operations in Afghanistan, Powell said only: "There are lots of ways the Russians can help. It's their neighborhood."

The White House has said it is prepared to launch massive and sustained military action against those responsible for Tuesday's attacks, but has not made final decisions on the details.

Options being debated include repeated air strikes and possible ground assaults and commando raids, sources said.

The United States could stage long-range air raids and missile attacks from aircraft carriers and bases in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, but Pentagon planners have acknowledged the need for a staging area in the volatile region if it becomes necessary for ground operations.

"If you look on the map, the Tajik and Afghan bases are the most logical and reliable staging areas for what I think is being contemplated," said Kenneth Katzman, former CIA analyst and Afghan expert for the Congressional Research Service.

Likely targets of U.S. bombing raids and ground assaults would be heavily fortified mountain bunkers and caves.

"There is 100 percent Russian solidarity on this. The Russian government and people realize that we face a common enemy," said Michael McFaul, of the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace.

Russia has maintained a large military presence in Tajikistan since its forces pulled out of Afghanistan in the early 1980s. The 201st Motorized Division is considered one of the best-equipped and -trained units left over from the once-mighty Soviet Red Army, and is located near the Afghan border.

The Bagram Air base, once the center of Soviet military operations in Afghanistan, is located 40 miles north of Kabul in an area controlled by the Northern Alliance, one of the largest anti-Taliban groups still fighting in Afghan's civil war.

The Russians have also been pushing for months to give economic aid and military support to the Northern Alliance fighters, and those plans intensified yesterday with meetings in Tajikstan that were also attended by Iran and India.

Thursday September 13, 09:54 PM

US military studying retaliation plans-officials

By Charles Aldinger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military is studying a range of options from heavy bombing to use of elite troops in preparation for retaliation against those who struck America, U.S. officials say.

"The pressure is on political leaders to decide whether, when and how to hit back. The military would have to be a part of it. Broad contingencies are being looked at, from soup to nuts," one of the officials, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters.

Another senior U.S. official suggested that a raid against Afghanistan, where fugitive guerrilla leader Osama bin Laden is believed to be based, could come as early as this weekend or next week.

Pentagon officials, mindful of this week's stern warning from Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld not to discuss classified information that might compromise and endanger U.S. forces, flatly refused to discuss planning for any attacks.

"The president has a whole range of options in front of him," Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday, making clear that those options were on both military and diplomatic fronts.

Other U.S. officials, who asked not to be identified, confirmed that the Pentagon's Joint Military Command and other commands, especially with oversight for the Middle East region, were considering everything from use of elite Special Operations troops to strikes by heavy B-2 stealth bombers and cruise missile raids.

Bush has called Tuesday's attacks "an act of war" and it has brought to the forefront many of those military contingencies which have been on drawing boards for months and even years in some cases.


Most officials refused to be specific on possible timing or targets, which President George W. Bush and other U.S. leaders have warned could include not only a responsible organisation but any state guilty of harbouring or supporting the guilty group.

"You don't do it with just a single military strike, no matter how dramatic," Wolfowitz said.

"You don't do it with just military forces alone. You do it with the full resources of the U.S. government. It will be a campaign, not a single action. And we are going to keep after these people and the people who support them until it stops. And it has to be treated that way."

Defence experts have said that high on any list of targets is likely to be Afghanistan, believed to be the headquarters of accused guerrilla mastermind Osama bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi dissident scorned by his country of birth.

A senior U.S. official told Reuters that any military reaction against Afghanistan could come as early as this weekend. He said that a major and sustained air campaign was unlikely in such a case.

"There are a lot of possibilities out there for covert action, for military action of a non-conventional variety behind enemy lines," the official said, adding that, once begun, such military action would go "indefinitely."

"Use of any options, of course, will hinge on the outcome of the investigation" into who was responsible for Tuesday's devastating attacks involving hijacked airliners against both the Pentagon and New York's World Trade Centre, said one official.

"This is all being co-ordinated with intelligence here and in a number of other countries. I would bet that there is a high prospect that other (allied) countries could join in any move," the official added.


In addition to B-2s based in the United States and several hundred smaller attack jets on land within reach of the Middle East, the United States already has the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson based in the Gulf and carrier USS Enterprise on stand-by in the Indian Ocean.

Both heavy B-52 bombers also based in the United States and warships in the "battle groups" of the two aircraft carriers are capable of firing long-range cruise missiles with pinpoint accuracy.

The Taliban rulers of Afghanistan have refused repeated demands by Washington to turn over bin Laden for trial in connection with the August 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa, saying it had not been presented any concrete evidence of guilt.

A grim Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Wednesday that those who carried this week's well-co-ordinated attacks on the United States would get no advance warning of military punishment.

And he warned Pentagon and government workers who discuss classified information about military plans or possible retribution that they were violating the law and risking the lives of servicemen and women.

Wolfowitz noted that the president had asked Congress for an initial $20 billion in extra government funding to help pay for the search for thousands of victims, clean up damage and pay for immediate increased military needs to deal with the emergency and building up force units to confront terrorism.

"It is not just to tell the American people, but to tell the world that $20 billion is a lot of money. But for this country, it is just a down payment on what we are going to do," he said.

"The people who have done this horrible deed against us and who plan other deeds better realize that the American people are aroused," he said.

The White House and the Pentagon are under pressure from some members of Congress to mount a heavy counter-attack as quickly as possible.

Republican Sen. Pete Domenici of New Mexico said in the wake of Tuesday's attacks that "they (those responsible) have awakened the sleeping giant."

"And they will inherit the whirlwind," he added.

US calls up 50,000 reservists

By Susanne M. Schafer, AP

14 September 2001

President Bush will call up to 50,000 members of the National Guard and Reserve to aid recovery and security efforts in the wake of terrorist attacks, The Associated Press has learned.

The President acted on the recommendation of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who presented the proposal during a Cabinet meeting at the White House today.

Government officials stressed that the call–up was not part of a military mobilization aimed at the terrorists who struck Washington and New York. Instead, Mr Rumsfeld wants the troops, the largest number called up since the 1991 Gulf War, to support air patrols over New York and Washington and remain alert elsewhere in the country.

The troops also would help with recovery and security efforts in the affected areas.

Government officials stressed that the call–up was not part of a military mobilization aimed at the terrorists who struck Washington and New York on Friday. Instead, Mr Rumsfeld wants the troops, the largest number called up since the 1991 Gulf War, to support air patrols over New York and Washington and remain alert elsewhere in the country.

The troops also would help recovery and security efforts in the affected areas.

Military closes Islamabad airport

14 September 2001

Pakistan closed Islamabad International Airport to commercial flights for more than two hours before dawn Friday for movement of military equipment.

The airport was sealed off from 4 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. local time (2300-0130 GMT) for what was reported to be a "very intense movement of military hardware".

It was not clear whether the closure was linked to possible American attacks on Afghanistan territory.

Friday September 14 11:05 AM ET

Congress Approves Military Force

By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation on maximum alert, President Bush is activating up to 50,000 members of the National Guard and Reserve in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. The Senate voted by resounding 96-0 and 98-0 counts to provide $40 billion and authorize military force to fight terrorism.

Bush met with his Cabinet at the White House Friday morning, the constant hum of helicopters overhead. He planned to call up the Guard and Reserve members to aid in recovery and security efforts, officials said.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld opened the meeting with a prayer asking for ``patience to measure our lust for action, resolve to strengthen our obligation to lead, wisdom to illuminate our pursuit of justice and strength in defense of liberty.''

After voting 96-0 for the financial help, the Senate turned immediately to a second measure endorsing the use of force in what Bush and many lawmakers have called a war against terrorists. That vote was 98-0.

Bush was pledging a global campaign to whip terrorism and the likes of Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) at the same time Americans grieve over the attacks that claimed thousands of lives in New York and Washington

Later Friday, Bush was attending a prayer service - all the nation's living ex-presidents except Ronald Reagan were expected - and then visiting the site of the first attack in New York City.

``Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation,'' the president said Thursday as he mapped a military response, consulted with world leaders and consoled the wounded in the wake of coordinated attacks Tuesday on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon . The fight against terrorism, Bush said, ``is now the focus of my administration.''

But recovery was uneven at best in a land on edge.

Authorities hustled Vice President Dick Cheney out of Washington, kept the New York stock markets shut another day and slowly - very slowly - brought the nation's air traffic system back to life. Information in the hands of the government ``suggests we haven't seen the end of this current threat,'' said one U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity. He cited concerns that terrorists may strike in a different manner now that airport security has been improved.

The body count, meanwhile, was grim and getting grimmer.

New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said 4,763 people were reported missing at the World Trade Center site, where hijackers flew two jetliners fully loaded with fuel into the twin towers Tuesday morning. There were 184 confirmed fatalities.

Authorities said they expected 190 deaths at the Pentagon, where a third plane blew a hole in one side of the nation's five-sided defense nerve center. A fourth hijacked plane crashed in a rural area of Pennsylvania, with 65 aboard.

Early Friday, searchers found the flight data and cockpit voice recorders from the jet that crashed into the Pentagon. A day earlier, the data recorder was recovered from the hijacked airliner that crashed in Pennsylvania.

The FAA cleared airports for reopening only after strict new security measures were in place. But even then some airlines didn't fly, others flew shortened schedules. The New York area's three major airports - Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark, N.J. - were opened and then abruptly shut down as FBI officials searched for several people wanted for questioning in the attacks.

As many as 10 people of Middle Eastern descent were detained at New York's Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. But Alan Hoffman, chief of staff to Sen. Joseph Biden , D-Del., said Friday the FBI determined the travelers had no connection to the attacks. Biden told CNN the arrests were based on suspicions of a link, but any connections turned out to be ``totally, totally coincidental.''

In Washington, Congress was moving with uncommon speed to approve tens of billions of dollars for anti-terrorism and rebuilding, and legislation authorizing military action was likely, as well.

Administration officials said no military response was imminent - but that didn't prevent officials from discussing it. ``I think Osama bin Laden ought to say his prayers,'' said House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., shortly after the Bush administration publicly named the Saudi expatriate the main suspect in the attacks.

Three days after the attacks, Bush arranged to travel to New York to ``thank and hug and cry'' with those closest to the worst terrorist attack ever in America.

Before departing, he was attending a prayer service in the nation's capital, and urged all Americans to offer their prayers during the day. Former Presidents Carter, Clinton, Ford and Bush also were expected to attend the service. Among former presidents, only Reagan, suffering from Alzheimer's, was not expected.

In New York, crews working around the clock and battling airborne ash and dust had carted tons of debris away from the Trade Center wreckage.

Their grim task was made even more difficult early Friday when violent lightning ripped the night sky and rain pelted down. Rescue workers pulled on rain jackets and plastic bags and continued their work.

But they reported discouragingly few signs of hope in the rubble of buildings that once housed thousands of workaday New Yorkers. To compound the city's misery, lower Manhattan remained closed off, tens of thousands unable to return to their homes.

At Bellevue Hospital, a blue wall erected around a construction site was crowded with pictures and descriptions of the missing. Many family members stopped by an armory-turned-counseling center. All lived under a seemingly endless plume of acrid, white smoke from the wreckage.

Bomb threats forced the evacuation of Grand Central Terminal and many other buildings around the city. In Washington, a bomb scare forced lawmakers out of the Capitol.

Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell both said they were prodding Pakistan to cooperate in the effort to hunt down their key suspect, bin Laden, a millionaire Saudi exile who uses Afghanistan for his base. The Pakistani government maintains good relations with the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan.

But the United States is urging Pakistan to close its border with Afghanistan and to cut off funding for terrorist groups, a senior White House official said. The U.S. government also asked Pakistan for permission to fly over its territory in the event of military action, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Without addressing the administration's specific requests, Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, in a statement, promised Bush ``unstinted cooperation in the fight against terrorism.''

Paul Wolfowitz, second in command at the Pentagon, hinted broadly at a campaign that wouldn't stop at the borders of countries that harbor terrorists. ``It's not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems, ending states who sponsor terrorism,'' he said.

Fallout from Tuesday's tragic attacks went well beyond New York and Washington as organizers of many of the nation's major sporting events, from professional baseball and football to stock car racing and golf, postponed or canceled their contests.

Military Reserves on Alert

By Alan Elsner, National Correspondent

WASHINGTON, NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States prepared to call up tens of thousands of reserves on Friday and Congress moved toward authorizing the use of military force as Americans took part in a national day of prayer and remembrance for the thousands of victims of this week's assault.

President Bush proclaimed the day of prayer for the hundreds confirmed dead and almost 5,000 reported missing in Tuesday's attack on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon . He was to attend a memorial service in Washington and then travel to New York to show support for the stricken city.

The Defense Department asked Bush to authorize the activation of tens of thousands of military reserve troops for ''homeland defense,'' officials said.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld planned to activate between 30,000 and 50,000 reservists to provide ``strike-alert'' jet fighter protection and perform other duties at domestic military bases.

Bush's approval, expected quickly, would pave the way for the call-up to begin.

Intelligence agencies stepped up an international probe into the hijacking of four planes. Two crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, destroying both skyscrapers; a third smashed a huge hole in the Pentagon near Washington; the fourth crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers apparently fought the hijackers for control.

Congress also moved quickly to pass a resolution that would authorize Bush to order what may be prolonged military strikes in retaliation for the unprecedented coordinated strikes.

The Senate approved the bipartisan measure on Friday, while the House of Representatives was expected to give its concurrence on Saturday. The Senate also approved a $40 billion emergency package for counter-terrorism efforts and for rescue and recovery.

Attorney General John Ashcroft said 18 hijackers were involved and the nation geared up for a war against the organization of Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden , identified as a prime suspect, as well as nations that shelter and support him. Bin Laden, who has been reported to have denied involvement, is based in Afghanistan under the protection of the radical Islamic Taliban government.


Ashcroft added the hijackers were believed to have a significant number of associates still at large.

The nation remained jittery after agents in combat gear stormed a plane at New York's Kennedy airport on Thursday and detained a number of people. All were later released and officials said it was a false alarm.

But New York's Kennedy and LaGuardia and Newark airports were quickly shut down again, only hours after being opened to traffic for the first time since the hijackings.

With most financial markets still closed until Monday and airlines operating a sharply reduced schedule, the nation was still reeling from the attacks.

Television networks continued round-the-clock coverage and sporting events were canceled. Americans raced to buy U.S. flags and flocked to prayer services, avidly following the many heartbreaking stories of people still awaiting word about their missing loved ones.

New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said the list of those missing from the attack that crumpled the 110-story twin towers in the heart of New York's financial district totals 4,763 people. The Defense Department said 126 people were missing at the Pentagon and 64 people were also on board the plane there. Forty-five people were on a fourth hijacked plane that crashed in rural Pennsylvania


Heavy rain fell in New York, turning the site of destruction into a sludgy nightmare, slowing the labor of sifting through the rubble for body parts and evidence.

Several other nearby buildings tottered on unstable foundations, posing a new threat to the thousands of exhausted rescue workers.

At the Pentagon, an official said searchers had found both black boxes -- the flight data and voice data recorders -- from the hijacked plane that crashed into the Pentagon. Officials previously located the flight recorder in the Pennsylvania crash.

Rumsfeld said the United States had yet to decide definitively if bin Laden was behind Tuesday's attacks.

One senior official said more than one extremist organization might have been involved.

Afghanistan's ruling Taliban movement, which shelters bin Laden, warned of revenge ``by other means'' if the United States attacked their country in retaliation for the attacks.

Retaliation options being mulled by U.S. officials ranged from heavy bombing to elite troop strikes.


An ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Friday showed nearly nine in 10 Americans approved of Bush's job performance -- a huge leap in the aftermath of Tuesday's attacks.

Nearly seven out of 10 Americans supported military action against the groups or nations responsible for the attacks, even if that meant a long war with heavy U.S. casualties, the poll found.

Secretary of State Colin Powell became the first senior U.S. official publicly to identify bin Laden -- an implacable foe of the United States -- as a suspect in the attacks.

Aides to bin Laden, accused of engineering attacks on U.S. Embassies in Africa in 1998 from his Afghanistan headquarters, told journalists in Pakistan the shadowy leader denied involvement in this week's carnage, which he described as ''punishment from almighty Allah.''

The leader of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban movement said on Friday neither bin Laden nor Afghanistan had the capacity to train the suicide pilots who crashed the aircraft.

Pakistan said on Friday it had not closed its border with Afghanistan but was conducting more effective checks on people trying to cross either way.

The statement came after some media reported Washington had asked Islamabad to close the border. Pakistan is one of only three countries to recognize Afghanistan's ruling Taliban, which treats bin Laden as a ``guest'' of the country.

Most global financial markets remained mired in uncertainty ahead of Monday's reopening of U.S. trading after Wall Street's longest shutdown since the outbreak of the First World War.

Friday September 14 11:54 AM ET

Military Looking to Buy Jet Fuel, Traders Say

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. military is looking to buy jet fuel in domestic and international markets following Tuesday's terror attacks on American soil, market sources said on Friday.

``They're definitely snooping around,'' said one New York-based oil broker.

There was talk the military was eying two tankers in the U.S. Gulf Coast to carry the jet fuel, according to the broker.

Market sources speculated the military was buying ahead of increased operations, like surveillance flights, and possible retaliation strikes.

On Tuesday, two hijacked commercial planes slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, toppling them into flaming ruin. Another hijacked airliner struck the U.S. Pentagon outside Washington D.C. and a fourth crashed in western Pennsylvania.

On Friday, President Bush was expected to approve a call-up of military reservists. Defense officials have said an initial 30,000 to 50,000 troops would be called up for ``homeland defense'' such as air patrols.

A lack of suitable oil tankers is hampering purchases of jet fuel, oil dealers said.

The U.S. also moved to buy two oil tankers to take 235,000 barrels of marine diesel fuel from Kuwait to Diego Garcia, site of a U.S. Air Force base in the Indian Ocean, and from South Korea to Japan, ship brokers said on Friday.

``The problem is finding ships. If they were American-flagged vessels, they could just commandeer them,'' the oil broker said.

Earlier in Europe, the U.S. Military Sealift Command booked an oil tanker to carry 28,000 tons of aviation fuel from Greece to southern Spain, brokers in Oslo and London told Reuters.

Wholesale jet fuel prices have been plummeting throughout the U.S. on reduced demand by airlines after U.S. commercial traffic was grounded for two days in the wake of the terror attacks, and had a limited resumption on Thursday.

Until talk of military buying, market sources feared excess supplies would surpass current storage facilities.

Friday September 14, 11:36 am Eastern Time

Press Release

SOURCE: Interfax

New Interfax-Military News Agency Formed

MOSCOW--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 14, 2001--Interfax, the leader on the Russian news market, and the Military News Agency, which in a short time has become a noticeable media outlet covering national security issues and events in Russian military circles, have announced the formation of the new Interfax-Military News Agency.

``The speed, reliability and importance of Interfax reports on military subjects are well known. However, now, after pooling efforts with the excellent military journalists from the Military News Agency, we will offer our subscribers new information products that we hope will be useful for everyone who takes interest in these subjects,'' said Mikhail Komissar, chairman of the Board of Directors of the new agency and general director of Interfax.

``We intend to cover as systemically, objectively and professionally as possible the developments in the Armed Forces, the Interior Ministry, the Federal Security Service, the Federal Border Service and other security and special services in the military-industrial complex,'' Maj. Gen. Vladimir Kosarev, the general director of the new agency said.

Interfax-MNA subscribers will be getting the most detailed information about processes taking place in the Armed Forces in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union, the progress of the army reform, about military exercises and hostilities, the new projects of design bureaus, the production and testing of arms systems, planned contracts for export deliveries of armaments. They will be the first ones to learn about appointments and dismissals in the military-political leadership, in defense and law enforcement.

Interfax-MNA will inform its subscribers about the situation in the military-industrial complex and the development of military-technical cooperation with foreign countries.

Interfax-MNA will be issuing a newswire disseminated in real time in Russia and English and also weekly and monthly analytical reports.

For additional information about Interfax-Military News Agency call: 250-8832 or 963-0422 or visit the site www.militarynews.ru


Tanya Romanchenko, +7-095-251-4684

Friday September 14 12:05 PM ET

Mandela Urges Caution in Response

KIMBERLEY, South Africa (AP) - Former South African President Nelson said the Bush administration should think carefully before launching a military response to terrorist attacks in the United States.

``The countries - both the masterminds and those who have executed this action - must be accurately identified and punished, most severely,'' Mandela said Friday on a visit to the central mining town of Kimberley.

But, he added, ``the United States must avoid any course of action which will be as unpopular as that of the terrorists.'' He said Washington's response to Tuesday's airborne strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon ``must not be allowed now to raise, to intensify, hatred against the Arab nations and the Muslims.''

Mandela, 83, was awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize for his role is bringing about a peaceful end to apartheid.

Friday September 14 11:18 AM ET

U.S. Wants to Fly Over Pakistan

Pressured Pakistan Pledges Cooperation With U.S. (Reuters)

By GEORGE GEDDA, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration is asking Pakistan for permission to let U.S. military aircraft fly through its territory if airstrikes are ordered against terrorist targets in neighboring Afghanistan , a senior White House official says.

The disclosure came after Secretary of State Colin Powell publicly acknowledged for the first time Thursday that the Afghanistan-based group led by alleged terrorist Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) is suspected in this week's attacks against New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon .

The senior official, asking not to be identified, said the administration wants Pakistan to close its 1,560-mile border with Afghanistan, presumably to prevent bin Laden's operatives from leaving Afghan territory. The official also said Pakistan will be pressed to stop giving money to terror groups.

In Islamabad, a top Pakistani official said his government has informed the United States that it needs more time to consider the U.S. requests.

Pakistan's intelligence chief, Lt. Gen. Mehmood Ahmed, who heads talks in Washington, was told that Washington's requests ``center around a possible U.S. strike on Afghanistan and how Pakistan would be expected to cooperate,'' said the Pakistani official, asking not to be identified.

He said the United States was discussing a comprehensive strike to wipe out a whole network of terror operating from secret bases in Afghanistan.

Sen. Joseph Biden , D-Del., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he was assured of Pakistani cooperation in a meeting with Ahmed Thursday night. Biden was not specific and a Biden spokesman, Jonah Blank, declined Friday to reveal the details of what was discussed or promised.

``They will be cooperative in every way,'' Biden said Friday on CBS' ``The Early Show.'' ``It's a matter of which pain they want to endure. They need us and they don't want to be isolated.''

The White House official, meanwhile, said President Bush is not expected to retaliate for Tuesday's attacks for weeks or perhaps months because he first wants to build a global coalition in opposition to terrorism.

As part of intensified diplomatic contacts, Bush called Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Friday morning. In a 10-minute conversation, Sharon offered condolences and Bush urged the prime minister to make progress with the Palestinians on ending Middle East violence, White House spokesman Sean McCormack said.

In a telephone call on Thursday, Musharraf gave Powell ``a commitment to work with us,'' State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. Powell's top aide, Richard Armitage, had met with senior Pakistani diplomats earlier in the day.

The extent of Pakistan's willingness to cooperate is not clear, because Musharraf had not been apprised of the list of U.S. requests at the time of Powell's call.

It also is not clear whether bin Laden is the only serious suspect to emerge since Tuesday's devastation in New York and Virginia.

Afghanistan's strict Muslim Taliban rulers have given haven to bin Laden and his allies for years.

Over a similar period, Pakistan had been losing favor with the United States after valued service as a Cold War ally. The souring of relations was accelerated by Islamabad's close ties with the Taliban.

The strategic U.S.-Pakistani alliance may be resurrected, now that Washington needs Pakistan's help in rooting out terrorism in Afghanistan.

Powell reaffirmed Thursday that the United States will take aim not only at the terrorists responsible for Tuesday's attacks but at those who back them.

Once the United States confirms who is responsible, the objective will be ``to rip that network up,'' he said. ``And when we are through with that network, we will continue with a global assault against terrorism in general.''

According to a Congressional Research Service report, defeating bin Laden's network may be difficult. The report, dated the day before the terrorist attacks, said bin Laden has ``cells'' in 34 countries or territories and boasts 3,000 militant allies.

Afghanistan-based terrorism also is a rare issue on which the United States and Russia see eye-to-eye. High-level meetings have been held in recent years to coordinate policy, and Armitage will be traveling to Moscow next week for another next round.

Russia has been alarmed by a Taliban-backed Islamic insurgency that threatens stability in a number of former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

Russia has led U.S. officials to believe that Moscow would not oppose U.S. military action against Afghanistan. It is not clear, however, whether the administration will seek tangible support from Moscow.

Tuesday September 11, 5:46 pm Eastern Time

SOURCE: Holland America

Security Heightened Aboard the Ships of Holland America Line And Windstar Cruises

SEATTLE, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The management and employees of Holland America Line and Windstar Cruises extend their heartfelt sympathy to all persons who have been affected by today's acts of terrorism in the United States.

Although the company has no reason to believe its ships are at risk, in response to these events, the company is taking every possible precaution to protect its passengers, employees and ships. Holland America has a comprehensive on-board security program.

Company management is in continual communication with all ships, where all operations and on-board programs are proceeding as scheduled, although with heightened security in effect. All cruise itineraries currently are being maintained as published.

Nondenominational memorial services are being conducted today on all ships. Guests on board all Holland America Line ships and Windstar's Wind Surf are being provided with complimentary Internet access to communicate with friends and loved ones.

The company also is working on alternative travel arrangements for any current or future guests who may be affected by current air travel disruptions. The Air/Sea Department will be staffed 24 hours a day.

Guests and travel agents with concerns may call the Holland America/Windstar help desk at 1-800-577-1728.\

For further information, please contact Rose Abello, Erik Elvejord, CTC or Julianne Chase Patton, APR, all of Holland America, +1-206-281-3535, fax, +1-206-281-0351.

SOURCE: Holland America

Wednesday September 12 12:39 AM EDT

Troops, Embassies on Alert Amid Attacks


Troops and ships are moving, and embassies are stepping up security in reaction to the terror attacks on the United States.

American installations around the world stepped up their security measures, and military forces re-deployed in the wake of today's wave of terrorist attacks on targets around the nation.

Four passenger planes were apparently hijacked today in acts of terrorism. Two crashed into the twin towers of New York City's World Trade Center, and one crashed into the Pentagon outside the nation's capital. The last aircraft crashed in western Pennsylvania.

The aircraft carriers USS George Washington and the USS John F. Kennedy left their ports today, headed for the coast off New York to protect it from any further attack.

Five other ships also put to sea — guided-missile destroyers and frigates — and the USS Comfort left its port in Baltimore with a medical crew from Bethesda Naval Hospital, presumably to help in rescue efforts in New York.

The National Guard mobilized all its troops in the New York City area as well.

In Washington, authorities deployed soldiers, including a regiment of light infantry.

Threatcon Delta

American military installations abroad said they were at a high level of alert.

Fighters, airborne radar and refueling planes around the nation were scrambled, all unnecessary military flights were canceled, and North American Aerospace Defense Command was on its highest alert.

Meanwhile, at military bases across the country, officials said only essential military personnel would be given access.

NATO and SHAPE, NATO's operational school in Oberammergau, Germany, said they had not received any specific threat, but they had evacuated all nonessential personnel as a protective measure.

NATO ambassadors in Brussels, Belgium, planned to hold a meeting to discuss the attacks.

The U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, said all U.S. forces in Europe had "taken increased forces protection measures" and had gone to Force Protection Level Delta, among the highest levels of alert.

The U.S. permanent air fighter base in Aviano, Italy, which receives its orders from Stuttgart, confirmed that it was on a Delta state of alert.

Information was unavailable for the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, based in Manama, Bahrain.

"We are not releasing any information at this juncture. We have no comments to make," an official with the U.S. Navy Central Command said.

The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise , which was due to come home from the Persian Gulf, was ordered to remain in the area indefinitely. A second carrier, the USS Carl Vinson , remains in the area as well, an official told The Associated Press.

One of the Fifth Fleet's boats, the guided-missile frigate USS Nicholas , left Malta early today after arriving Monday for four-day visit.

The U.S. Embassy in Valleta, the Maltese capital, had no comment. Security was increased around the British aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious , which was also in Valletta harbor.

Words of Caution

The state of American embassies abroad varied depending on the area.

In Europe, things were a little less dire. In London, a press officer told ABCNEWS the U.S. Embassy expects to be open for "business as usual" on Wednesday.

Plans for the American embassies in Paris and Rome were still to be determined. Embassy officials reportedly have told Americans to keep a high state of vigilance and take appropriate measures to increase security and decrease vulnerability.

In the Middle East, officials were taking stronger steps. The embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, was evacuated. It remained to be determined if it would be reopened on Wednesday.

In Cairo, Egypt, the embassy sent a warning to U.S. citizens urging them not to send their children to school on Wednesday.

U.S. details reservist call-up

September 14, 2001 Posted: 1:51 PM EDT (1751 GMT)

By Bob Franken

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Pentagon has announced that after Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's request for authorization to activate up to 50,000 National Guard and Reserve troops, and President's Bush's approval, U.S. military planners have assigned allotments for 35,500 of them.

The Army will supply 10,000, the Air Force 13,000, the Marines 7,500, the Navy 3,000 and the Coast Guard 2,000.

The specific units will be named, according to Pentagon sources, by the individual services, which are still formulating plans.

According to the Pentagon, "These reservists are being called upon to provide port operations, medical support, engineer support, general civil support and homeland defense."

Rumsfeld requested the callup as part of a Bush administration plan reacting to Tuesday's terror attacks on the Pentagon and New York's World Trade Center.


Washington -- 14SEP2001 (AirlineBiz.Com) CNN is reporting that USAF fighters were launched from Otis AFB and Langley shortly after the first airliner hit the WTC. F-15s scrambled from Otis AFB on Cape Cod to intercept the second jet on its way to the WTC but missed the intercept by minutes. F-16s were scrambled from Langley to intercept the AA 757 before it hit the Pentagon. It is not clear if military jets were tracking the UA 757 which later crashed near Pittsburgh.

Officials said a Presidential order would have been necessary to shoot down any of the airliners. There are specific procedures a civilian pilot must follow when intercepted by a military aircraft. Officials say there are still numerous terrorist in the country and additional targets can not be ruled out. In other news, it is reported that one or more of the terrorist may have received training by the U.S. military at the Air War College and Lackland AFB, TX. The Air War College mission and vision: "The mission of the Air War College is to educate senior officers to lead at the strategic level in the employment of aerospace forces, including joint, combined, and coalition operations, in support of national security. Our Vision: The foremost center for aerospace education and thought preparing the world's best strategic leaders."

Subj: [RMNEWS2] US marines land in Pakistan for surveillance

Date: 9/15/2001 4:45:24 PM Pacific Daylight Time

The Times of India


US marines land in Pak for surveillance: Report


ISLAMABAD: Amidst reports of US marines landing in Pakistan for surveillance against Taliban and terrorist mastermind Osama Bn Laden, the international airlines stopped using Pak-Afghan air corridor and the country's airport was put on high alert.

The Nation daily on Saturday reported that a special plane carrying over two dozen foreigners landed at the Chakala Airbase in the wee hours on Friday.

Another daily The News quoted an eyewitness as saying that he had seen a small contingent of US troops having already landed in Islamabad.

It said, according to unofficial reports, a contingent of over 50 personnel from the Special Services Group of the US Marines 'Green Seals' have landed for conducting 'target oriented' operations against Bin Laden, the prime suspect in the terrorist strikes in the US.

However, it said there was no official confirmation on this from any quarter.

Diplomatic sources confirmed the arrival of two American aircraft, but declined to give further details.

Heavy contingents of army were deployed to provide security at all airports across the country including Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, media reports said.

US special forces 'land in Pakistan'

(09/16/2001) (Agencies)


Newspapers in Pakistan say foreign troops have already arrived in the country.

The Nation reports a special plane carrying over two dozen foreigners landed at the Chakala airbase.

The News quotes an eyewitness as saying he saw a small contingent of US troops landing in Islamabad. There is no official confirmation of the reports.

The paper says, according to unofficial reports, over 50 personnel from the Special Services Group of the US Marines' Green Seals have landed.

It adds they plan to conduct 'target-oriented' operations against Osama bin Laden, prime suspect behind the terrorist strikes in the US.

Diplomatic sources have confirmed the arrival of two American aircraft but refused to give further details, the Press Trust Of India reports.

The Pakistani Army has taken over Karachi airport and has increased its presence at other airports in the area, according to media reports.

It's unclear whether the army takeover is in preparation for a strike against neighbouring Afghanistan.

Pakistan is under intense pressure from both the US and Afghanistan's Taliban regime following Tuesday's terrorist attack.

9-15-2001 -  From: http://www.debka.com/

One Israeli Killed and One Injured, in Drive-by Shooting Saturday Night on Ramot-French Hill Road in North Jerusalem

First Ground Forces of US Operation Vs Bin Laden Land Early Saturday in Pakistan

Vanguard Are Units of US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions - They Came Down in N. Punjab, Jumping-off Point for S. Afghanistan’s Arghastan Valley Where Bin Laden Hideouts

Iran Closes Its Frontier With Afghanistan

Britain Runs Paratroop-Commando

Airlift to Oman

Turkish Forces Are Poised on Iraqi Frontier

For Thrust into Choman Valley of Iraqi Kurdistan Where Kurdish Fundamentalists Are Sheltering Bin Laden’s Lieutenants

America Braces for Second Suicide Terrorist Wave

Between 30 and 50 Islamic Zealots Believed Standing by to Strike US Strategic Targets

From: http://www.geostrategy-direct.com/geostrategy-direct/


Compiled by Bill Gertz

Bin Ladin watch

London’s Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reported last week that Saudi terrorist leader Osama bin Ladin is organizing mujahideen fighters who are moving in large numbers to Afghanistan.

The plan is to create a “political and military battalion of mujahidin, which may play a key role in the course of events in Afghanistan,” the newspaper said.

The number of Arab fighters in Afghanistan is about 12,000 and most are fighting on the side of the Taleban movement.

Israeli intelligence: Iraq financed attacks

Iraq recruited Saudi billionaire fugitive Osama Bin Laden and his Islamic allies to carry out the suicide attacks around the United States, according to Israeli intelligence.

Israeli officials and intelligence analysts said the suicide hijackings that downed the World Trade Center and destroyed parts of the Pentagon was too large an operation for any one group. The analysts said the operation was also too big even for a coalition of Islamic terrorists headed by Saudi billionaire fugitive Osama Bin Laden.

Russia bombers to probe U.S. defenses

Russian strategic bombers were deployed recently to a Far Eastern airfield and are expected to test U.S. air defenses during large-scale nuclear exercises this week, according to U.S. intelligence officials. The strategic war games began Monday with flights of long-range Tu-160 Blackjack and Tu-95 Bear H bombers, along with Tu-22 medium-range maritime bombers. The exercises are expected to be larger than nuclear strike exercises held in December.

The Blackjacks were moved recently to Andyr air base in the Russian arctic. The bombers are expected to fly routes over the polar icecap toward Canada to test out the North American Aerospace Defense Command warning system, known as NORAD.

Saturday September 15 9:15 AM ET

U.S Missile Cruiser Left Japan Home Port-Kyodo

TOKYO (Reuters) - A U.S. guided missile cruiser left Japan on Saturday, the first to leave its base in Yokosuka southwest of Tokyo since the terror attacks on New York and Washington this week, Kyodo news agency reported.

Japan is home to about 48,000 U.S. military personnel -- nearly half the U.S. presence in Asia -- and the U.S. facilities including those on its southern island of Okinawa are the forward bases for the U.S. military in the region.

Kyodo said that Navy officials had confirmed the departure of Cowpens, a Ticonderoga-class cruiser, which it said was equipped with an Aegis air defense system allowing simultaneous attacks on multiple targets. But it added that the officials had declined to disclose its objective or destination.

A duty officer at Yokosuka naval base said he could not comment on ship movements.

The administration of President Bush planned meetings on Saturday to plot a war against terror after the nation paused to grieve the victims of attacks against symbols of its financial and military power.

U.S. officials have said the key suspect remains Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden, who is holed up in Afghanistan under the protection of the radical Islamic Taliban government.

Military experts, however, have said it would be difficult to make firm deductions about the imminence of an attack merely from movements of U.S. vessels based in Japan.

Attack 'could come this weekend'

By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent

(Filed: 15/09/2001)

AMERICA geared up for war yesterday with Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, warning the country's servicemen that they would be called on to vanquish "powerful and terrible enemies" in the months ahead.

The rallying call came as defence officials said an attack on Afghanistan, which has given safe haven to Osama bin Laden, could come as early as this weekend.

As President Bush authorised the call-up of 50,000 reservists, the Senate gave him unanimous backing to use "all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organisations or persons" who carried out the attacks.

Mr Rumsfeld told US servicemen around the world in a videotaped address that much had already been asked of them, but "more, much more will be asked of you in the weeks and months ahead".

"The task of vanquishing these terrible enemies and in protecting the American people and the cause of human freedom will fall to you. I know you are ready. I know America can continue to count on your selflessness and courage," he said. The Pentagon is believed to be considering a range of military options against Afghanistan, from heavy bombing to the insertion of special forces.

Amid continued speculation over an attack on Afghanistan, the Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, urged Afghans to "face any American attack with courage and self-respect".

Meanwhile, America's preparations for war continued to build. Two tankers were ordered to take 235,000 barrels of marine diesel fuel to Diego Garcia, the US Air Force base in the Indian Ocean. A number of B52 bombers capable of launching cruise missiles are believed to have been deployed there.

Another oil tanker was booked to deliver 28,000 tonnes of aviation fuel from Greece to southern Spain. It is believed to be bound for the Moron air base, used by US Air Force KC10 tanker aircraft to refuel bombers crossing the Atlantic during the Kosovo conflict.

Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, told the Commons that with hundreds of Britons killed in Tuesday's attacks, "the United Kingdom has both an interest and an obligation to provide assistance to the US to help bring those responsible to account and remove the threat that terrorists pose to the international community".

Work was continuing to determine what military contribution Britain could make "to assist in bringing to account those who organised, abetted and incited these acts".

The British Chiefs of Staff have been meeting regularly since the attacks to look at the various military options they could offer the Americans and a number of extra liaison officers have been sent to the Pentagon.

"But the truth is they don't really need us," a source said. "We are always happy to work alongside them, but it is much more about political support than military assistance."

The US Armed Forces dwarf those of every other nation. There are 470,000 regular soldiers, with 7,600 main battle tanks, plus 170,000 Marines. The US Air Force has 2,300 combat aircraft and the US Navy more than 200 ships, including 12 aircraft carriers.

The 82nd Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and the 101st Airborne Division, at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, have been ready to fly out to the Middle East since shortly after the terrorist attacks. Two carrier task forces of the US Fifth Fleet are already in the Middle East, where there are more than 30,000 servicemen, including the 1st Infantry Division, which is on exercise in Kuwait, where 500 Abrams tanks are also based.

There are more than 300 American combat aircraft in the region, including about 40 F15s and F16s at Prince Sultan Air Base, south of Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia, 36 F15s and F16s at Incirlik, Turkey, and 24 Warthog "Tankbusters" at Ahmed al Jabr in Kuwait.

Saturday September 15 9:28 AM ET

Six British Navy Ships Pass Through Suez Canal

CAIRO (Reuters) - Six British navy ships passed through Egypt's Suez Canal heading south on Saturday to participate in military exercises, a British naval source said.

``The ships will be engaging in exercises which were previously arranged and are not related to the recent events,'' the source told Reuters, referring to Tuesday's terror attacks in the United States.

He would not disclose the ships' final destination or give any further details.

He said the support vessels Diligence and Sea Crusader with mine hunters Cattistock, Quorn, Walney and Inverness passed through the canal early on Saturday. Canal sources said the waterway rarely saw such a large convoy of British military ships.

NATO invoked its mutual defense clause on Wednesday for the first time in its 52-year history, opening the way for a possible collective response by the Atlantic alliance, which includes Britain, to the attacks.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said Britain would help punish the unknown enemies who carried out the ``hideous and foul'' attacks. The United States has named Afghanistan-based Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden as a suspect.

9-16-2001  pics on this page: http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/news/4321512

AMERICA has ploughed billions of dollars into building an awesome arsenal since the end of the Cold War.

And it can now back up its massive air power and traditional military might with futuristic superweapons.

GROUND ASSAULT COMMANDOS guided by the Land Warrior system will go to war with amazing two-barrelled rifles which can hit hidden targets

Elite soldiers will carry a new two-barrelled rifle called the objective individual combat weapon, which can even wipe out opponents hidden in trenches or behind vehicles.

The lower barrel fires Nato-standard 5.56mm ammunition allowing commandos to use bullets off the bodies of downed allies.

But the upper barrel can hurl 20mm shells more than half a mile to explode in the air over the target and unleash a rain of death.

The sight at the top of the rifle is an advanced laser guidance system that sets where the shells will explode for maximum damage.

The US Special Forces who carry the gun will also be equipped with the hi-tech Land Warrior system.

Their helmet visors include a sophisticated computer display that adjusts to light levels and uses infra-red for night vision, plus a targeting system which highlights friendly troops in green and enemies in red.

Satellite-enabled voice messaging in the helmet allows a commando to speak in a whisper and be heard by any other member of the attack force.


But when even whispering is out of the question, a wrist-mounted keyboard allows the commando to type messages one-handed that scroll across the visors of other troops.

America's deadly arsenal 1-4:





49ft 7in

145ft 9in


43ft 4 in
65ft 11in
GBU-2B bombs


GBU-2B bombs

Another new deadly weapon is the super-cavitating torpedo which can travel under water at the speed of sound before eventually launching into the air.

Then it becomes a smart missile, flying directly to its target, allowing US warships and submarines to attack a target hundreds of miles away with minimum warning.

But by far the largest piece of new kit is the airborne laser — a killer beam fired from a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet.

The laser carries a massive two megawatts of energy — enough to power several small towns — but is so accurate it can pick out and destroy an individual in a crowd 180 miles away without harming people around him.

America's deadly arsenal 5-8:





8ft 6in


12ft 9in


73ft 6in
Harm missiles


54ft 7in
Harm missiles

A full fleet of these planes is not expected until 2008, but at least two prototypes are in working condition.

The smallest new fighters are called Robot Swarm — thousands of tiny machines concealed within an armoured vehicle that smashes its way into buildings.

Then the robots — looking similar to radio-controlled toys — swarm out like ants, each carrying explosives, stun guns or poison gas.

President George W Bush is already sending aircraft carriers and support oil tankers to the Persian Gulf and has called up 50,000 reservists, putting America on a war footing.

Weapons ranging from B52 bombers to nuclear submarines armed with Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles and rapid reaction airborne forces are available.

The aircraft carriers would provide the ideal base for attacks on the hostile terrain of northern Afghanistan.

Ship-launched and air-to-ground missiles and bombs can deliver maximum fire-power with minimum risk to American servicemen.

America's deadly arsenal 9-12:





157ft 7in
Cruise missiles


136ft 8in
GBU28 bombs


45ft 7in
54ft 10in
Laserguide bombs


30ft 4in
47ft 8in
Laserguide bombs

They include the GBU15 system, which can deliver either a 2,000lb bomb or a 2,000lb penetrating bomb with pinpoint accuracy.

Equipped with either a television imaging or infra-red heat-seeking system, it can be fired up to 18 miles from its target.


US Air Force pilots also have the GBU28 missile, developed to penetrate Iraqi command centres deep underground. It has a laser-guided 4,400lb penetrating warhead.

The favoured weapon system used by the US against bin Laden in the past — the Tomahawk cruise missile — is highly accurate and can be fired from a range of 1,000 miles, but is not as powerful as the GBU weapons.

And if Britain is called to stand shoulder to shoulder with America, the RAF now has the bunker-busting Storm Shadow missile.

America's deadly arsenal 13-16:





64ft 1in
62ft 8in
Paveway bombs


37ft 6in
Maverick bombs


42ft 10in
63ft 9in
GBU28 bombs


47ft 7in
GBU28 bombs


DEBKAfile Details Planned US Offensive Against Afghanistan, Iraq

GMP20010915000196 Jerusalem DEBKAfile WWW-Text in English 15 Sep 01

[Unattributed report: "The Dye Is Cast -- But It Will Be a Long Haul"]

The United States if going to war to avenge itself for the catastrophic hijack-suicide attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The first stage of the conflict, according to initial, conservative estimates, could last two to three years. Its success will determine the scope and timeframe of the second phase.

DEBKAfile's military experts can disclose that the U.S. 82nd and 101st airborne divisions, or nearly half of the airborne combat forces at the immediate disposal of U.S. President George W. Bush, are currently being airlifted to bases in Pakistan.

The bulk of these forces will be moved to the northern Punjab region of Pakistan and take up position near the city of Dera Ismail and in the valleys at the foot of the Suleiman mountain range, across from their main target -- the Afghan city of Kandahar.

The United States also intends to lay siege to, or capture, the Afghan cities of Medan, Galdek and Maroof as well as the Arghastan Valley, where, according to intelligence provided by Russia, India and Israel, Osama bin Laden's forces have been concentrated in recent months.

The U.S. operations will include air bombardments and missile strikes against Afghanistan's principal cities: Kabul, Jalalabad and Kandahar.

Afghanistan is not the only target. Washington is planning a three-stage offensive against Iraq with the participation of U.S., British and Turkish forces.

DEBKAfile's military sources reported back on Friday, September 9, that the Turkish army is on a state of war alert.

Now, our sources add that the Turkish army is poised along its border with Kurdish northern Iraq. It intends to invade the Shouman region and capture the cities of Biyar and Tiwal in the Urman district. The two cities are controlled by Jund al-Islam, a radical Muslim group funded by bin Laden.

The United States now understands that the 200 Taleban fighters who arrived there in mid-July, puzzling many observers, were members of Bin Laden's general staff, pulled out of Afghanistan two months earlier as part of his preparations for Tuesday's terror attacks in New York and Washington. Now they will be quarries of a US-Turkish hunt in one prong of the thrust into Iraq.

A simultaneous attack second attack will be spearheaded in the Basra area by some 30,000 British soldiers, currently being airlifted into bases in Oman.

DEBKAfile's military sources report that two-thirds of that force was present in Oman Saturday. U.S. and British planes already based in Kuwait, and in Saudi Arabia will provide air cover for the British forces operating Basra - if the Saudi government agrees to its air bases being used in the U.S. operation.

Prong three of the Iraqi wing of the multiple offensive will target the central region, including Baghdad. Airlifted infantry and armor, as well as missiles and tanks, will be used in an effort to destroy the Iraqi infrastructure and topple Saddam Hussein's regime. No final decision has been made on a timetable for the three assault waves into Iraq.

These operations, lasting between two and three weeks, are only the first steps in the coming conflict, which Bush has described as "the first war of the 21st century".

Bin Laden had not been blind to the likelihood of U.S. retaliation. According to U.S. intelligence estimates, he and his cohorts have been preparing for months for the assaults and have readied their response.

Intelligence specialists believe Bin Laden and his associates, including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad -- the terror master's main operational arm -- will carry out a series of attacks on U.S. army bases, especially air and naval facilities, in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

For the first time, the Americans have acknowledged the presence of an enemy within.

Members of bin Laden's group have been trained by the U.S. army and some still serve in various U.S. military units, raising the prospect that attacks could be launched from within the bases themselves.

Bin Laden's men will make a supreme effort to attack aircraft carriers, along with such strategic targets in the United States, such as CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia or FBI headquarters in Washington. Before the Tuesday's calamities, this scenario would have sounded fantastic. Other targets may include atomic energy stations, where the highest state of alert is already in effect. U.S. military units rushed to the stations have set up defensive perimeters around them. Oil fields and terminals -- including, for the first time, fields in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait -- are other potential targets.

Bush's ability to wage a drawn-out war will largely depend on the toll Bin Laden's reprisals take in terms of lives and U.S. public support for the president's military campaign.

The main question will be - not who will win, but the price the victor will pay for his victory -- and the loser's winnings, if any, on his way to defeat. That defeat may not even be final or lasting.

It's also important to consider two potential features of the first stage of this war.

1. It is only a start. Even if the U.S. military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq are successful -- and there is no guarantee of this -- Bin Laden and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad will still have large pockets at their command in Yemen, Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia and several former Soviet Moslem republics. The largest contingent of Bin Laden-funded Islamic extremist fighters are deployed in the Faragna Valley which lies athwart regions of Krygyzstan, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Last year, Bin Laden's forces opened up a corridor from Faranga to the Sinkiang province of northern China, linking up the Moslem fighters in that strategic valley and militant Chinese Moslem groups of the Chinese Uighur tribes. This tribes are undergoing combat training in special training camps that Bin Laden established in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan.

There is no knowing now how US strategists mean to deal with these the forces Bin Laden maintains in these far-flung regions. They cannot be left out of the American equation because as long as they exist, Bin Laden retains an operational capability. Will they be left to the Russians and Chinese? Perhaps the Moslem governments of Asia Minor will invite the U.S. forces or NATO to do the job?

2. This war opens up the potential for nuclear, chemical and biological weapons use.

U.S. leaders have emphasized since Friday night that the United States will employ its "entire arsenal" in the coming campaign. Even British prime minister Tony Blair, speaking in parliament on Friday, September 14, noted the danger the West faces from terror attacks could include nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

Israel has voiced strong support for the formation of an anti-terror coalition. But at this stage, the Bush administration prefers to bring Syria in -- which means excluding Israeli from - its anti-Bin Laden alliance, in the hope of providing maneuvering room for Saudi Arabia to collaborate. Getting Damascus on board would also sever the Syrian-Iraqi link that has recently grown stronger, as well as snapping its connection with the militant Lebanese Hizballah. Those Shiite extremists would have no option but to break away from a Syrian government that goes to war against Bin Laden.

The US war scenario carries advantages for Israel, but is an ill wind for the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the relentless campaign of violence he launched a year ago.. Some Israeli media reported, inaccurately, that Washington wants the Palestinians in the coalition fighting Bin Laden.

According to DEBKAfile's Washington sources, that view is confined mainly to secretary of state Colin Powell, who believes Palestinian participation might pave the way for other Arab countries to join. It might even help encourage certain European nations made cagey by their large Moslem populations and economic and strategic links to oil states in North Africa and the Middle East, to take up arms against the Saudi terrorist leader.

Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, who strongly opposes a Palestinian role in the US-led bloc of nations against Bin Laden, made his views clear to President Bush when they talked over the telephone on Friday.

The next day, Abu Ala, Palestinian parliament Speaker, termed the suicide terror attacks in New York and Washington saddening. But, he said, the world must understand that the real terrorism was that committed by Israel against the Palestinians. Addressing a Palestinian cabinet meeting, Abu Ala said Sharon was well aware that a meeting between foreign minister Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat would be tantamount to Israeli recognition of the legitimacy of the Palestinian struggle. That was the point Sharon made to Bush over the phone and the reason why he was prepared for a major row with Peres to prevent the meeting taking place.

It is his understanding too that Israel will not be called upon for an active role in the first stage of the American confrontation with Iraq and the Bin Laden terrorist movement. But he expects to be called upon in the next stage.

In an extraordinary encounter in Washington Friday, September 14, Arab ambassadors bombarded Secretary Powell and other administration officials with questions about the nature, form and objectives of the planned US military retaliation. US officials rapped out that they did not want questions only a single answer from all the Arab governments: Were they for or against America.

[Description of Source: Jerusalem DEBKAfile WWW-Text in English -- Independent, electronic newsletter focusing on international terrorism, security affairs, and espionage; root URL on filing date: http://www.debka.com/

Sunday September 16 11:27 AM ET

Major Developments in Terrorist Attacks

By The Associated Press,

Recent developments related to Tuesday's terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and crash of jetliner in Pennsylvania:

- Pakistani senior officials will visit Afghanistan to warn the Taliban that it faces a massive assault if it does not hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States.

- Bush meets with top advisers at Camp David in virtual council of war; urges nation to get on with life but warns that it will be different.

- Reservist call-up dubbed ``Operation Noble Eagle.'' As of midnight Saturday, only the Coast Guard had begun mobilization.

- By Sunday, 180 confirmed dead at World Trade Center ruins, with 115 identified; the number of missing grows to 5,097. Pentagon death toll remains at 188.

- Second man arrested in New York as material witness.

- The State Department says it is willing to consider welcoming Iran into an international coalition to fight terrorism. Talks would be first between the two countries in more than two decades.

- Vice President Dick Cheney suggests the CIA change its policy of not paying operatives with ties to terrorist groups; says agency needs ``unsavory characters'' on its payroll to improve intelligence.

- As Americans attend Sunday services, Pope John Paul II says he is ``heartbroken,'' and urges restraint in efforts to find the terrorists. A local choir near Rome sings ``Blowin' in the Wind'' and waves an American flag.

- Two are killed and dozens injured as 50,000 Hindu nationalists march in a Muslim area of southern India, shouting slogans against Pakistan and the Taliban in a protest of terrorist attacks in the United States.

Sunday September 16 8:56 AM ET

Boston Harbor Reopens After Being Swept for Bombs

BOSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard reopened Boston harbor on Sunday after sweeping the port and piers for bombs, five days after the air attacks that blasted the World Trade Center and the Pentagon , a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said.

``The harbor was closed for about an hour,'' said one U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman, while law enforcement personnel swept the piers for bombs and Coast Guard vessels patrolled the harbor.

``We received two bomb threats earlier this morning. They were very unspecific so the captain of the port ordered the harbor closed,'' said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Zach Zubricki.

The QE II and her sister ship, the Caronia, waited just outside the harbor as the bomb sweeps were done.

Both liners were scheduled to arrive in Boston on Sunday after being turned away from New York. Emergency personnel commandeered the Cunard Lines piers on the west side of Manhattan as the clean-up and recovery work from Tuesday's attack on the World Trade Center continued.


Hijackers trained by US - NAVY LINK SURFACES



Alleged Hijackers May Have Trained at U.S. Bases

The Pentagon has turned over military records on five men to the FBI

By George Wehrfritz, Catharine Skipp and John Barry NEWSWEEK

Sept. 15 -- U.S. military sources have given the FBI information that suggests five of the alleged hijackers of the planes that were used in Tuesday's terror attacks received training at secure U.S. military installations in the 1990s.

THREE OF THE alleged hijackers listed their address on drivers licenses and car registrations as the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla.--known as the "Cradle of U.S. Navy Aviation," according to a high-ranking U.S.Navy source.

Another of the alleged hijackers may have been trained in strategy and tactics at the Air War College in Montgomery, Ala., said another high-ranking Pentagon official. The fifth man may have received language instruction at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tex. Both were former Saudi Air Force pilots who had come to the United States, according to the Pentagon source. But there are slight discrepancies between the military training records and the official FBI list of suspected hijackers--either in the spellings of their names or with their birthdates. One military source said it is possible that the hijackers may have stolen the identities of the foreign nationals who studied at the U.S. installations.

The five men were on a list of 19 people identified as hijackers by the FBI on Friday. The three foreign nationals  training in Pensacola appear to be Saeed Alghamdi and Ahmad Alnami, who were among the four men who allegedly commandeered United Airlines Flight 93. That flight crashed into rural  Pennsylvania. The third man who may have trained in Pensacola, Ahmed Alghamdi, allegedly helped highjack United Airlines Flight 175, which hit the south tower of the World Trade Center.

Military records show that the three used as their address 10 Radford Boulevard, a base roadway on which residences for foreign-military flight trainees are located. In March 1997, Saeed Alghamdi listed the address to register a 1998 Oldsmobile; five months later he used it again to register a second vehicle, a late model Buick. Drivers licenses thought to have been issued to the other two suspects in 1996 and 1998 list the barracks as their residences.

NEWSWEEK visited the base early Saturday morning, where military police confirmed that the address housed foreign military flight trainees but denied access past front barricades. Officials at the base confirmed that the FBI is investigating the three students.

Sun Sep 16 17:52:09 2001

La Voz de Aztlan News Flash

Sunday September 16, 2001



United States Ground Troops Land in Pakistan en-route to Afghanistan Invasion

Britain Sending 50,000 Ground Troops

Turkey About to Invade Iraq in three pronged attack

Military experts can disclose that the U.S. 82nd and 101st airborne divisions, or nearly half of the airborne combat forces at the immediate disposal of U.S. President George W. Bush, are currently being airlifted to bases in Pakistan.

The bulk of these forces will be moved to the northern Punjab region of Pakistan and take up position near the city of Dera Ismail and in the valleys at the foot of the Suleiman mountain range, across from their main target the Afghan city of Kandahar.

The United States also intends to lay siege to, or capture, the Afghan cities of Medan, Galdek and Maroof as well as the Arghastan Valley, where, according to intelligence provided by Russia, India and Israel, Osama bin Laden’s forces have been concentrated in recent months.

The U.S. operations will include air bombardments and missile strikes against Afghanistan’s principal cities: Kabul, Jalalabad and Kandahar.

Afghanistan is not the only target. Washington is planning a three-stage offensive against Iraq with the participation of U.S., British and Turkish forces.

Military sources reported back on Friday, September 9, that the Turkish army is on a state of war alert.

Now, our sources add that the Turkish army is poised along its border with Kurdish northern Iraq. It intends to invade the Shouman region and capture the cities of Biyar and Tiwal in the Urman district. The two cities are controlled by Jund al-Islam, a Muslim group supposedly funded by bin Laden.

The United States now understands that the 200 Taliban fighters who arrived there in mid-July, puzzling many observers, were members of Bin Laden’s general staff, pulled out of Afghanistan two months earlier as part of his preparations for Tuesday’s terror attacks in New York and Washington. Now they may be targets of a US-Turkish hunt in one prong of the thrust into Iraq.

Also, Jordanian intelligence has reported a large concentration of Iraqi forces on the main roads leading from Iraq to Damascus and from Iraq to the Golan Heights.

A top Israeli official said in answer to a question from a military intelligence reporter - "We may be back in the 1991 Gulf War, when the administration of Bush Sr. depended heavily on an Arab coalition and demanded that Israeli stand aside. We were therefore prevented from fighting back against the Scud missiles falling on Tel Aviv. Now, too, Sharon has no wish to get involved in American regional considerations. Our only interest is to stop Iraqi forces from reaching the West Bank and linking up with the Palestinians."

10,000 to 18,000 Iraqi troops have Invaded Jordan en route to Israel


La Voz de Aztlan Exclusive. There has been a general "blackout" of U.S. mainstream media news to Americans. - LaVoz@Aztlan.Net




Monday September 17 8:07 AM ET

Taliban Bring Scud Missiles Near Pakistan Border

KHYBER PASS, Pakistan (Reuters) - Afghanistan's Taliban rulers have moved a large arsenal of weapons, including Russian Scud missiles, to positions near the border with Pakistan, a Pakistani army officer said Monday.

``We are already prepared, we are ready to defend the motherland,'' Captain Abid Bahtti told reporters, speaking at an army checkpoint just 2.5 km (one mile) from the border with Afghanistan. ``The Pakistan border is very secure.''

Asked if the situation was warlike, Bahtti said: ''Definitely, but it is not a declared war.''

Troops mass on Afghan border

By Christopher Kremmer, Gay Alcorn and Mark Riley, Herald Correspondents

Afghan and Pakistani troops were reported to be massing on the border between the countries as the United States issued an ultimatum to the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan to give up Osama bin Laden and prepared for a dirty war against terrorists.

The Taliban deployed between 20,000 and 25,000 troops just across the border from the Khyber Pass into Pakistan, a Pakistani army officer reported late yesterday.

At the same time, reinforcements of Pakistani troops had fanned out along the 1,400 kilometre western border with Afghanistan, Captain Ahmed Bahtti said.

"We are also forming our forces, but there has been no firing," he said at a military base in the Khyber Pass, about 200 kilometres west of the capital, Islamabad.

The United States will review its intelligence operations to allow presidents to order assassinations and the recruitment of criminals as spies in the hunt for those behind the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

As the country prepares for massive military strikes against the Taliban militia, the Vice-President, Mr Dick Cheney, said it had to "work the dark side" of intelligence if it was to win its declared war on terrorism.

"It is a mean, nasty, dangerous, dirty business out there and we have to operate in that arena," he said. "We also have to work the dark side. We have to spend time in the shadow."

In other developments:

Pakistani officials were preparing for crisis talks with the Taliban militia's supreme leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, in a desperate bid to avert war between Afghanistan and the US.

The US demanded that the Taliban hand over bin Laden, the prime suspect in the attacks, within the next few days or face military attack.

Rescuers at the World Trade Centre shifted their focus to recovering bodies as a fourth consecutive day passed with no survivors found. The number of dead or missing there reached 4,957, while the death toll in the Pentagon attack stood at 188.

Australian investors, spooked by fears of a plunge in New York, yesterday wiped more than $30 billion off the value of Australian stocks. The All Ordinaries index closed at its lowest in 18 months.

At one stage the insurance company QBE lost about 40 per cent of its market value after it admitted that its exposure to the New York attacks was higher than first anticipated.

In the US, Mr Cheney made clear that the planned assault on terrorism would be far broader than military strikes and the Secretary of State, Mr Colin Powell, said the Administration was "examining everything" related to intelligence, including removing the ban on assassinations.

Mr Cheney said the CIA needed to recruit "very unsavoury characters" if it was to infiltrate terrorist groups.

The intelligence community has come under intense scrutiny after its failure to detect that terrorists planned to hijack commercial planes and crash them into major landmarks last week.

Mr Cheney said he had "no doubt" that bin Laden was behind the attacks but warned that other groups, including the Egyptian Jihad, may have been involved.

Opinion polls show that Americans support the assassination of bin Laden, and when Mr Cheney was asked if he would like the suspect's head "on a platter", he replied: "I would take it today."

However, many lawyers say state-backed killings would breach international law and send a signal that the US is abandoning its stance as a beacon for democracy and legal process.

The country was on a full war footing yesterday, with Mr Bush preparing Americans for a long "crusade" against terrorism and warning them of possible future attacks on US soil.

"We will rid the world of the evil-doers," he said. "They have roused a mighty giant and make no mistake about it, were determined."

US sources say that if the Taliban turns over bin Laden and shuts his network of training camps in Afghanistan, it will be allowed to stay in power. But US officials said the chances of the Taliban agreeing were "very poor".

The head of Pakistan intelligence, Lieutenant-General Mehmud Ahmed, arrived in the southern Afghan town of Kandahar early yesterday and met senior Taliban officials. He was expected to call on Mullah Omar to appeal for the handing-over of bin Laden.

Lieutenant-General Mehmud was reportedly accompanied by Islamic scholars to bolster efforts to persuade the Taliban that surrendering bin Laden would not transgress religious principles.

Unconfirmed reports said he was also carrying evidence, provided by Washington, of bin Laden's involvement in the attacks.

The former Pakistan interior minister and retired general Naseerullah Babar, who is widely credited with creating the Taliban movement, said he believed Mullah Omar could be persuaded to see reason.

But a former Pakistan foreign secretary, Mr Niaz Naik, said he feared the mission to Kandahar would fail. "I don't think we will succeed because we are dealing with people who live in prehistoric times, who are very committed to their views and don't see modern logic or reason," he said.

The Taliban has justified providing refuge to bin Laden by saying there is no hard evidence against him, and that in Afghan culture guests must be protected.

It has said in recent days that bin Laden is under tight Taliban control and could not have had a role in the attacks. But observers cite strong evidence that the multi-millionaire has become one of the movement's main financial backers.

Mullah Omar, a former mujahideen rebel who fought against communist-backed forces during Afghanistan's civil war, has summoned religious leaders to Kandahar to consider declaring jihad, or holy war, against the US if attacked.

Monday, September 17 4:05 AM SGT

Italian defence minister rules out Italian troop role

ROME, Sept 16 (AFP) -

Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino on Sunday said Italian troops would not take part in any US retaliation after the terror attacks and that use of the term "war" was inappropriate.

"The term 'war' is inappropriate. It is not a conflict between states and Italian troops will not go anywhere," Martino told the RAI television station.

"I feel I am in a position to categorically exclude calling on the army," he said.

The defence minister warned that "nobody had better strike randomly," adding that 100,000 Italian soldiers were involved in various peacekeeping missions abroad.

He said the US would certainly take military action once the perpetrators of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and Pentagon had been identified, and only then "will we see what we are called upon to do."

Asked about Saudi-born extremist Osama bin Laden's role in the attacks, Martino said "the idea that one man is behind this tragedy is misguided."

In an interview with the daily Il Messaggero published Sunday, Martino urged the US not to act alone in the event of a military operation.

"As was the case during the Gulf War, the idea that the United States should not act alone but should build a coalition and seek approval from the United Nations is gaining ground."

Martino said he favoured the build-up of a coalition prior to any military riposte "for the obvious reasons that by doing so the operation would be successful."

Fighters Were 8 Minutes Away From WTC

Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2001; 9:18 a.m. EDT

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –– Fighter jets were only eight minutes away from one of the hijacked airliners when it crashed into the World Trade Center, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said in newly released data.

Two other military jets were 12 minutes away when an airliner hit the Pentagon, according to NORAD's official timeline, released Tuesday.

President Bush had not authorized military pilots to shoot down any civilian planes until after the crash at the Pentagon, and military officials have questioned what fighters would have been able to do even if they had been in time. Nonetheless, the NORAD timeline quantifies how close they were to the scene of the Sept. 11 hijackings.

According to the timeline:

–The Federal Aviation Administration alerted NORAD's Northeast Air Defense Sector in Rome, N.Y., at 8:40 a.m. EDT that American Airlines Flight 11 had been hijacked after taking off from Boston en route to Los Angeles. At 8:43 a.m., the FAA notified NORAD that United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston to Los Angeles had also been hijacked.

–NORAD ordered two F-15 jet fighters into the air from Otis Air National Guard Base in Falmouth, Mass., at 8:46 a.m. At about that time, American Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center.

–The F-15s were airborne at 8:52 a.m. Just after 9 a.m., as United Flight 175 struck the World Trade Center, the F-15s were eight minutes away, or 71 miles.

–The FAA notified NORAD at 9:24 a.m. that a third jet, American Flight 77 bound from Washington to Los Angeles, had been hijacked. NORAD ordered two F-16 fighters from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia to intercept the airliner.

–The fighters were airborne at 9:30 a.m., but were 12 minutes, or 105 miles, away when the airliner struck the Pentagon.

After the Pentagon strike, Bush authorized fighters to shoot down any other aircraft that threatened targets in Washington.

United Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco was by then over Pennsylvania, headed back to the East Coast. F-16s from Langley flew protective patterns over Washington after the Pentagon strike, but as Flight 93 headed toward them, it crashed outside Shanksville, Pa., at approximately 10:03 a.m., NORAD said.

Last week, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee questioned Air Force Gen. Richard Myers about why the fighters hadn't been able to get airborne sooner. Myers, since confirmed as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pointed out that far fewer aircraft have been detailed to watch for attacking planes since the end of the Cold War.

He added that when the threat became clear, the military scrambled fighters, AWACS radar planes and tanker aircraft to begin to establish orbits in case other aircraft had been hijacked.

NORAD monitors the skies over the United States and Canada for threats. Its operational center is inside Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station and its headquarters are at Peterson Air Force Base, both near Colorado Springs.

© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press

Pentagon Sends Combat Planes to Gulf

Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2001; 3:06 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON –– The Pentagon on Wednesday ordered combat aircraft to begin moving to bases in the Persian Gulf area, the first concrete sign of preparations to retaliate for last week's terrorist attacks, a senior defense official said.

The combat aircraft will be preceded by teams of Air Force air controllers who will coordinate the refueling of the fighters and bombers as they deploy from the United States to the Gulf region, the official said.

© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press