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SOURCES AROUND THE WORLD*
December 23, 2001
POINTING TOWARDS WAR ON IRAQ!
month Bush warned that Saddam would soon 'find out' what the U.S. intended
to do about his development of terror weapons, and the U.S. has doubled
its troop numbers in neighboring Kuwait to 2,000."
MORNING HERALD, December 22, 2001
Bush's anti-Saddam rhetoric is ratcheting up, and last week a White House
official was quoted as saying: "We are looking for ways, if the need
presents itself, to use military power [against Iraq], and do it in a way
that is decisive, not a pinprick." The next war looks to pick up where
"Desert Storm" left off.
ROADS NOW LEAD
HERALD, December 22, 2001
Two new fundamentals are coming into play-the horror of September 11 has
focused Washington's attention absolutely on all terrorist threats; and
the military assault on Afghanistan has proved that a tyrannical Muslim
regime can be brought down, apparently without much-feared uprisings elsewhere
in the Muslim world.
The demise of the Taliban and bin Laden's remarkable disappearing act in
the Tora Bora peaks last weekend suddenly has scattered the war against
terrorism. It's ducking and weaving-into
Yemen, down to Somalia and maybe across to Sudan.
There's a chance of firefights in Indonesia,
Malaysia and the Philippines-where terrorist
groups are being linked to bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.
in this war, there is a growing feeling that all roads now lead to Baghdad.
The timing is unclear-it could be well into next year before the Pentagon
and Iraqi opposition groups, if they are to be used, can plan and train
to wage a war against Saddam.
Anarchy, lawlessness and the lack of a central government make
Somalia more of a military challenge.
But neighboring Ethiopia, a Christian regime, is eager to go after Islamic
Somalia and has offered troops.
In The NEW YORKER magazine this week, Seymour Hersh outlined the plan:
200 instructors would train more than 5,000 Iraqi dissidents who, backed
by former U.S. special forces, would take over the vital oil fields of
Basra in southern Iraq.
because Saddam was more powerful than the Taliban,
mean that the U.S. can't or shouldn't look for ways to
him, but it does mean that we should start by planning to
quoted in THE NEW YORK TIMES
The strategy is to dare Saddam to come after them (the U.S.). If he doesn't,
he's lost. If he does, his armies heading south would be destroyed by U.S.
At the same time deliberate unrest in the Kurdish north would force Saddam
to split his army-units that went north could be crushed in the same way
as those that went south.
a war against Saddam Hussein will decisively restore the awe that protects
American interests abroad and citizens at home. We have been running
from this fight for 10 years. In the Middle East everyone knows it. We're
the only ones deluding ourselves."
Marc Gerecht, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute
This week, Rumsfeld urged NATO to position itself for "the next war".
He did not name Iraq but, describing the states that worry the Administration,
he said that any country "supporting global terrorism" that had
"weaponized chemical and biological agents" and is seeking "nuclear,
chemical and biological weapons-and the means to deliver them" should
be of particular concern to NATO.
December 21-Iraq remains the most mentioned
potential target in the next phase of the war on terrorism. But sources
say Secretary of State Colin Powell is cautioning any move against Iraq
for now because it may fracture the coalition of forces fighting bin Laden
and the al -Qaeda. That may change, sources say if there is irrefutable
evidence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is gathering and producing
weapons of mass destruction.
SUCCESS IN AFGHANISTAN CAMPAIGN CAN'T BE ASSURED IN IRAQ
FRANCE-PRESSE, December 22, 2001
of State Colin Powell said the military success of the U.S.-led war on
terrorism in Afghanistan does not assure a similar victory elsewhere, particularly
But in an interview Friday with the WASHINGTON POST, Powell rekindled speculation
that the United States might target Somalia
next in the campaign, saying U.S. officials
were "really looking" at the country because they believe followers
of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network may be hiding there.
Powell said the differences between the Taliban regime and that of Saddam
Hussein were vast, and warned that expanding the war to Iraq, as some hawks
in Washington are advocating, would require a completely different strategy.
Iraq and Afghanistan are "two
different countries with two different regimes, two different military
capabilities," Powell said.
"They are so significantly different that you can't take the Afghan model
and immediately apply it to Iraq," Powell said, stressing, however,
that the United States is "constantly looking" at ways to oust Saddam.
Iraq "is very much always on our agenda. We are constantly reviewing
our plans," he said. "But I think it's too much of a leap to say:
'This worked here--let's see how it lines up in a similar fashion with
respect to Iraq'."
'WAR YEAR' IN 2002
December 21, 2001
provisional government on which the world has pegged its hopes for a peaceful
Afghanistan prepared on Friday to take power, but U.S. President George.
W. Bush warned that 2002 would still be a "war year."
Bush, in an interview with reporters in Washington, said great progress
had been made in his "war on terrorism'' but warned that peace was
not at hand.
"Next year will be a war year as well because we're going to continue to
hunt down these al-Qaeda people in this particular theater, as well as
other places,'' he said.
"Our war against terror extends
way beyond Afghanistan. And at some point
in time maybe some president will come and say you have the expertise that
we don't, would you mind maybe have some of your troops with ours. And
the answer is, 'you bet,''' Bush said.
MAY TAKE LEAD IN AFGHANISTAN
PRESS INTERNATIONAL, December 22, 2001
is joining the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and
could be a candidate to pick up the lead when Britain relinquishes it in
three months, a British official told UPI on Friday.
Britain said it would put together and lead the expedition for three months
and wants out by April 30 at the latest.
Germany at one point was mentioned as a possibility for taking the lead,
but balked at coming under U.S. command.
Some analysts have suggested that three or four months from now, by the
time Germany could take over the leader role, the United States could have
wrapped up its operation in the area eliminating
Germany's problem with serving under the United States.
December 22-Germany's parliament approved
on Saturday the deployment of up to 1,200
troops in Afghanistan as part of a peacekeeping
force with a six-month mandate to help protect the new Afghan interim administration.
In a special sitting, deputies voted by 538 to 35 in favor of the mission,
with eight abstentions. The sitting was free of the fireworks of a month
ago when the government narrowly avoided defeat in a debate over a German
contribution to the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan.
ARMS TO BIN LADEN AFTER SEPT. 11 ATTACK
WASHINGTON TIMES, December 21, 2001
continued to supply arms to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorists even
after the group began the September 11 attack on America, says a senior
The official said that a week after the terrorist attack, the ruling Taliban
and the al-Qaeda fighters embedded among them, received a shipment of Chinese-made
SA-7 missiles. The shoulder-fired anti-aircraft
weapons are similar to the U.S. Stinger.
This official says the shipment raises serious questions about Beijing's
pledge to help fight terrorism.
We already know the Taliban and al-Qaeda got sizable arms shipments from
China, which borders Afghanistan on the north. Opposition forces found
huge amounts of Chinese ammunition in the caves of Tora Bora. Defense Secretary
Donald H. Rumsfeld says Chinese have been
found fighting among al-Qaeda.
FIGHTERS LIFTED TO SAFETY
December 21, 2001
was just before midnight Nov. 11 when Russian-made
Antonov aircraft without markings began
landing at the bombed-out airport of Konduz in northern Afghanistan. The
Northern Alliance's conquest of the Afghan city was still five days away,
and a small group of Pakistani military intelligence officers and soldiers–all
of whom had been serving with the Taliban–waited anxiously on a runway,
together with a large number of Pakistanis wounded in battle lying on blankets.
The planes were coming to take them home.
The planes belonged to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda. Under cover of the Pakistani
airlift, 3,000 of the group's fighters
were secretly lifted to safety from the
besieged towns of Konduz and Khandabad about 15 miles to the south. The
double airlift lasted five nights. The planes arriving to ferry Pakistani
fighters home were closely shadowed by a phantom airlift extracting al-Qaeda
personnel. The rescued Pakistanis were
flown to air bases in northwest and central Pakistan. The al-Qaeda men
were taken long distance to the Persian Gulf emirates, landing, according
to Gulf sources, in Abu Dhabi and the Somali town of Baidoa.
They soon disappeared, trucked to the Saudi
and Yemen frontiers and apparently put
down to cross on foot. On Tuesday, Dec. 18, Yemeni special forces engaged
a group of just-landed senior al-Qaeda operatives in the al Husoun tribal
region of Marib but met fierce resistance and were repulsed after losing
PRESS, December 22-More American troops
will be sent to the Tora Bora area of eastern Afghanistan to help look
for clues to the whereabouts of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Defense
Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Friday. He declined to say how many soldiers
would take part.
are about 2,000 U.S. Marines in southern Afghanistan,
mostly in and around the Kandahar airport. Others that could be tapped
for the Tora Bora mission are hundreds
of Marines on several amphibious warships in the Arabian Sea,
military officials said.
December 22-Two U.S. military sources
confirmed Thursday that up to 500 Marines
could be ready as soon as this weekend to begin searching caves in Tora
members. The sources emphasized that Gen. Tommy Franks, head of U.S. Central
Command, has not given final approval to the mission.
December 22-George W. Bush says Osama
bin Laden may have "slithered out" of Afghanistan, but he will not
escape the global reach of U.S. forces.
He commented: "I don't know where he is. I hadn't heard much from him
recently, which means he could be in a cave that doesn't have an opening
to it any more; or could be in a cave where he can get out or may have
tried to slither out into neighboring Pakistan. We don't know."
ON THE HIGH SEAS!
LANES PRESENT CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER FOR MAJOR PORTS IN THE WEST
20 TERROR SHIPS
OBSERVER, December 23, 2001
and American intelligence services are hunting the world for at least 20
ships thought to make up a terrorist fleet linked to Osama bin Laden's
al-Qaeda group, The Observer can reveal.
Security and shipping sources said British, U.S. and European intelligence
services have been desperately searching for bin Laden's 'phantom fleet'
amid fears the vessels could be carrying
poisons, explosives or weapons.
would be cities where large residential areas are sitting near to docks,
ideally docks that carry gas or oil. Cities that fit the bill could include
has a large liquid natural gas trade, San
Francisco and Sydney. Despite the bridges
across the Thames, London
would also be vulnerable as large ships could easily penetrate as far as
Canary Wharf-which has been the target of IRA terrorist attacks. Terrorism
experts believe the ships could even be
fitted with primitive radioactive 'dirty bombs' or hijackers could
take over boats carrying nuclear or chemical waste.
ships were identified at least three months ago as a result of a joint
intelligence operation thought to be led by the Norwegian security service
and America's CIA with the help of international shipping registries.
The search has been hampered by the controversial 'flags of convenience'
system, under which many ships are registered as Panamanian, Liberian
or Cypriot to avoid stringent checks on their crews and cargoes.
FRANCE-PRESSE, December 22-British anti-terror
police Saturday searched a freighter intercepted in the English Channel
as the press voiced fears that Islamic extremists were planning a major
attack here over Christmas.
Police backed by a navy frigate intercepted and boarded an Indian-owned
cargo ship 30 miles (50 kilometers) off the southern English coast early
Friday in what Scotland Yard described as a "major security operation."
SAYS SADDAM HAS DEATH SQUAD
December 22, 2001
Iraqi defector says Saddam Hussein has a squad of 30
terrorists scattered around the world ready to strike at any time.
The secret squad specializes in sabotage, urban warfare and hijacking.
VANITY FAIR magazine says it is the cream of a secret 1,200-strong commando
force called al-Qarea, or the Strikers.
The unit was commissioned by Saddam's son Uday and presented to his father
as "a birthday present".
The 30 men have been given new identities and United Arab Emirates passports,
after a minister in the Gulf state was bribed by Iraqi spies.
According to the defector Abu Zeinab al-Quarairy, a former brigadier-general
in Saddam's feared Mukhabarat intelligence service, the death squad has
a link to the September 11 terror attacks.
He told the magazine: "When I saw the World Trade Center attack on television,
I turned to a friend and said 'that's ours'."
The 41-year-old defector, who fled Iraq in August, said the 30 soldiers
could be anywhere in the world, waiting
for a secret message from Baghdad to spring into action.
HOLY WAR FOUND IN AL-QAEDA CAVE
TODAY, December 21, 2001
to attack America.'' Handwritten in Arabic and underlined on Page 19
of a photocopied training manual, that heading opens a chapter chillingly
titled: ''How to start a war.'"
Lying among the bomb rubble of al-Qaeda's main offices in the village of
Durai, 5 miles west of central Kandahar, weapons manuals, arms catalogues
and scientific textbooks paint a picture of an organization that after
establishing a firm foothold in the Taliban's spiritual home became consumed
with waging a holy war against America.
At the two-story house, the biggest among Durai's 200 or so homes, the
mainly Arab members of al-Qaeda appeared to have been trying to school
members in why and how to fight the USA. Remnants of documents lying in
the now-destroyed building show the lessons included detailed
instruction on building and operating missiles, chemistry, mathematics
and English grammar. One document lists
the top three instructions for students learning how to attack the USA
as ''identify your target,'' ''attack'' and ''assess your strength.''
The rest of the document was burned and unreadable.
HERALD, December 23-Air Force F-15 jet
fighters escorted a jetliner bound from Paris to Miami to a safe landing
in Boston on Saturday after flight attendants and passengers subdued a
man who tried to ignite an apparent explosive
hidden in his shoe, authorities said.
Several people aboard American Airlines Flight 63 suffered minor injuries
in the scuffle as the suspect was forcibly belted into his seat and sedated
by two doctors who were aboard.
PRESS, December 22-Federal prosecutors
in the U.S. have developed several leads in the terrorism investigation
after questioning 5,000 foreign men, most of Middle Eastern descent, the
Justice Department said Friday.
U.S. Justice Department officials said the men were not targeted based
on their nationalities. Only those with passports issued by countries where
Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network is known to operate were sought for
questioning, the officials said.
December 22-A national warning and corporate
security advisory in the U.S. about possible terrorist attacks have been
extended through January 2, CNN has learned.
A spokesman for Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said a national warning
issued December 3 is continuing because the threat--regarded as "credible
but non-specific"--still exists.
December 22-Fifty-eight people around
the country (U.S.) have been arrested and charged in connection with anthrax
hoaxes or threats since the anthrax scare began after Sept. 11, the postal
FRANCE-PRESSE, December 22-Gunmen shot
dead the brother of Pakistan's interior minister Moinuddin Haider in Karachi,
police and ministry officials said.
There was speculation that the killing of Ehtishamuddin Haider, 50, could
be linked to the minister's tough comments against terrorism in recent
"ASKS" FOR LIMIT
SHEVA NEWS SERVICE, December 21, 2001
will continue its terrorism against Israelis living in Judea, Samaria,
and Gaza and its shooting attacks at IDF bases there. Spokesmen for
the political branch of Hamas announced today that it had asked its military
arm to cease attacks within pre-1967 Israel as well as mortar attacks on
Jewish communities in Gush Katif. An example of the practical implications
of the announcement occurred in Hevron this afternoon, when two bombs were
detonated near an IDF force there; no one was hurt.
Headlines around the world such as "Hamas Calls Off Suicide Bombings"
(AP) and "Hamas Vows to End Suicide Attacks" (CNN)
left the misleading impression that Hamas had decided upon a total ceasefire-when
in fact the Hamas call refers only to pre-1967 Israel, and is not a
"decision" but rather a "call" upon Hamas terrorists to cease
PRESS, December 22-The Palestinian Authority
should dismantle the ability of terrorist groups to launch attacks against
Israel, the U.S. State Department said Friday in dismissing a pledge by
the Hamas group to suspend such operations.
Asked what he made of the Hamas statement, spokesman Richard Boucher said,
"I don't make a whole lot. I'm not very interested in parsing the statements
of a terrorist group like Hamas."
FRANCE-PRESSE, December 22-Palestinian
police and Islamic militants fought running gunbattles which killed six
people and injured more than 60 others, just hours after the hard-line
Hamas group said it was suspending suicide attacks in Israel.
DAILY NEWS, December 22-Palestinian Authority
police arrested the commander of the Islamic Jihad's military wing, Shadi
Muhana, in his home Saturday night, security sources said. Muhana's second-in-command,
Mahmoud Judeh, was also detained.
The move is the latest in a clampdown on militant groups by the Palestinians,
following pressure on the PA by Israel, the United States and the European
PRESS INTERNATIONAL, December 22-Palestinian
Authority officials Friday defended Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's
choice of words Tuesday when he told a crowd of Palestinians from East
Jerusalem that "one dead from us equals 70 dead of them."
The PA said Arafat's words had been misinterpreted by the Israelis.
A top aide to Arafat, Ahmed Abdel Rahman, said Arafat was referring to
a more than 1,400-year-old Hadeeth--or statement by prophet Mohammed--in
which he said one shahid (dead) from Jerusalem (the holy land) equals 70
shahids in any other place in the world.
December 22-Israel's government said on
Sunday it would bar Palestinian President Yasser Arafat from attending
Christmas festivities in Bethlehem because he had not done enough to clamp
down on "terror organizations."
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's security cabinet decided in a telephone
vote to prevent Arafat from traveling to Bethlehem from his West Bank headquarters
in Ramallah, Sharon's office said in a statement.
SHEVA NEWS SERVICE, December 20-Israeli
scientists have completed ten years of research and testing in a secret
laboratory in the Nes Tziona Biological Center, and are about ready to
being mass-production of their newly-developed vaccine against anthrax.
The vaccine has been tested and found to be effective, and unlike the American
vaccine, causes no side effects.
In addition, the American vaccine must be taken in six doses, while the
new Israeli version takes effect after
only one injection. The research
is based on genetic engineering, and was the fruit of cooperation between
the IDF and the Ministry of Health.
SHEVA NEWS SERVICE, December 20-Thousands
of protestors took part in an anti-Israel demonstration in Paris yesterday.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE reports that it was the largest such demonstration
in several years. Many participants raised PLO flags and called Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon and Zionists "murderers." The demonstration
was organized and sponsored by the France-Palestine Solidarity Organization,
the Human Rights League, the Anti-Racism Movement, the Communist and Green
parties, workers unions and organizations of the extreme left. The
protest was preceded by a confrontation between the anti-Israel demonstrators
and approximately 30 youths carrying Israeli flags. There were several
injuries in the ensuing brawl, but the demonstration itself continued without
SHEVA NEWS SERVICE, December 21-Israel's
Foreign Ministry rejected yesterday's UN resolution calling for international
observers to be sent to Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Only Israel, the
United States, and four Pacific Ocean island states voted against the resolution.
The Foreign Ministry called the resolutions "one-sided, hostile and
unhelpful," as they divert attention away from the "war against
terrorism and pressuring Arafat [in this direction]." Foreign
Minister Peres noted that the Mitchell Report stipulates that international
observers would not be dispatched unless both parties to the conflict agreed.
"Most of the countries who voted for the UN resolution also voted for the
Mitchell Report," Peres said.
WAR AND CONFLICT
TIMES, December 22, 2001-
recall of its High Commissioner in Pakistan, the sealing of the border
and the mobilization of troops all along the tense frontier are ominous
signs. They come at a time when India
appears set on retaliation for the suicide attack on its parliament by
Islamist militants on December 13, and blames the world for turning a blind
eye to the rising violence in Kashmir because of its preoccupation with
Afghanistan. India sees the hand of Pakistan behind the violence, and is
sending a signal to Islamabad and to Washington that it will no more tolerate
terrorism than will the West. In the tense atmosphere in and around Pakistan,
such a move is bound to provoke a belligerent response. Any
escalation of longstanding animosities between two nuclear powers is extremely
FRANCE-PRESSE, December 22-Pakistan expressed
concern at what it called "massive" Indian troop movements along
their border after India said it would recall its ambassador.
Amid rising tension over last week's attack on the Indian parliament, Pakistan
said it would take "all appropriate counter-measures" against the
reported troop movements.
December 22-Indian and Pakistan troops
exchanged small arms and machinegun fire at border flashpoints on Friday
as tension mounted between the two nuclear capable neighbors, officials
said on Saturday.
A senior Indian defense official said troops had been deployed "wherever
required'' along the border of rebellion-torn Jammu and Kashmir state
but the exchanges of fire were not alarming.
PRESS, December 22-Unidentified gunmen
shot and killed five women and seriously wounded four other people in two
separate incidents in India's disputed Kashmir, police said Saturday.
PRESS INTERNATIONAL, December 22-The United
States has more than 40 kinds of cluster bombs and submunitions, and at
least 18 countries manufacture cluster munitions and at least 50 have stockpiles,
according to a Human Rights Watch report.
An estimated 88 human casualties a month
were recorded in heavily mined Afghanistan in 2000. Unknown numbers of
wildlife and domestic animals also die.
RUIN IN WIDENING CRISIS
OBSERVER, December 23, 2001
middle classes were
bracing themselves for bankruptcy yesterday,
as analysts warned that a financial meltdown had already begun and the
country's new Peronist leaders scrambled for an economic rescue plan in
the wake of nationwide rioting.
As Argentina recovers from two days of looting and street battles that
sent President Fernando de la Rua into flight and left a divided Peronist
party to pick up the pieces, the country
is closer than ever to financial collapse.
was the seventh richest nation in the world a century ago,
when thousands of European immigrants flocked here in search of a better
life. The country's name and its River Plata are reminders of the days
when silver wealth flowed through the port of Buenos Aires.
But the middle classes are shrinking fast. A recent report said 2,000
people were sinking under the poverty line each day and
14 million of the country's 36 million population were living
on less than $4 a day.
FRANCE-PRESSE, December 22-Argentina,
charging into an economic abyss, named senior lawmaker Ramon Puerta as
caretaker president after angry riots killed 27 and tore his predecessor
"I am the provisional president," said Puerta, leader of the Senate
from the far northeast of Argentina and a multimillionaire in the herbal
PRESS, December 22-Banks were prime targets
in Argentina for rock-throwing rioters who rampaged down the avenue Thursday--symbols
of the financial system many Argentines love to blame for their once-rich
A new, less market-friendly government could usher in a broad switch in
economic policy whose effects could go
beyond Argentina's borders. It could influence
how other emerging markets deal with the international finance community.
PRESS, December 21, 2001
top cyber-security unit warned consumers and corporations Friday night
to take new steps beyond those recommended by Microsoft Corp. to protect
against hackers who might try to attack major flaws discovered in the newest
version of Windows software.
The FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center said that, in addition
to installing a free software fix offered by Microsoft on the company's
Web site, consumers and corporations using Windows XP should disable the
product's "universal plug and play" features affected by the glitches.
BULLETIN, Sunday, December 23, 2001
ASSISTANCE: Francine Prater and Michael Turner
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