During the last week, the war on terrorism has seen deadly attacks in Afghanistan and a raised level of security to prevent possible attacks planned to coincide with the September 11th observances. Carolyn Weaver has more.
In Afghanistan Thursday, at least 26 people were killed and more than 150 injured when a car bomb exploded on a busy street in Kabul. A few hours later in Kandahar, two men opened fire on a car carrying Afghan President Hamid Karzai. U.S. Special Forces assigned to protect Mr. Karzai killed the gunmen. At least six other suspects reportedly were arrested Friday.
Al-Jazeera, the Arab television network, broadcast a video tape which appears to show the September 11th hijackers plotting their attack – though the authenticity of parts of the tape is doubtful. Al-Jazeera identified four of the men in this room as hijackers on the 9/11 flights. The tape includes a suicide message given by one of the hijackers, Abdul Aziz Alomari. However, experts say shots that show specific targets such as this photograph of the damaged Pentagon were obviously inserted after the attacks.
U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT
“The increased threat level is based on specific intelligence received and analyzed by the full intelligence community.”
On the eve of the September 11th anniversary, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced a higher state of alert for possible terrorist attacks at home and abroad.
“The recommendation has been made to increase the national threat level currently classified at elevated risk to high risk.”
He said the decision to increase the state of alert was based on information received from senior Al Qaida operatives within the last 24 hours.
Overseas, security was tightened around the U.S. embassy in the Philippines and embassies in Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia will be closed for at least several days.
In the U.S., heightened security preparations for the 9/11 anniversary included round the clock air patrols by fighter jets over Washington and New York and Stinger missiles positioned outside the Pentagon. President Bush said the tightened security was in order.
"We take every threat seriously. The threats that we have heard recently remind us of the pattern of threats we heard prior to September the 11th.”
On Tuesday, he also told an audience at the Afghan Embassy in Washington that no one should equate terror with the Islamic religion.
“Islam is a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. It's a faith that has made brothers and sisters of every race. It's a faith based upon love, not hate.”