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War on Terrorism Continues - 2002-11-27


And now with the latest developments in the international war on terrorism, here’s Melinda Smith.

Security is tight in Kabul after a number of terrorist incidents. The latest – a rocket attack Tuesday on the main International Security Assistance Force on the outskirts of the Afghan capital. Kabul’s chief of police, General Basir Salangi.

GENERAL BASIR SALANGI, KABUL’S CHIEF OF POLICE
"Al-Qaeda are still somehow active in Afghanistan, especially along Afghanistan's border areas. They have phones, they still have the ability to create problems, including the huge explosion in the center of the city that killed and injured many poor people who were busy buying bread to feed their families."

Among other recent incidents, authorities found a large amount of explosives at a power station east of Kabul.

There was a large explosion in a residential area of the capital. And an alleged suicide bomber was apprehended. Identified as an Iraqi national, he was wearing a vest with a detonating device containing 10 kilograms of explosives.

Authorities say the man had targeted defense minister Qasim Fahim after having failed in an attempt to assassinate Afghan president Karzai. The past week has also seen several international terrorist arrests.

In Indonesia police are questioning Imam Samudra. After his arrest, he reportedly confessed to being the ringleader in October’s Bali bombings that killed nearly 200 people. Indonesian police report they have made 13 more arrests in the attacks.

In France, anti-terrorism agents have rounded up six suspected Islamic militants. They’re accused of helping British national Richard Reid who pleaded guilty in October to trying to blow up a Trans-Atlantic flight with a bomb in his shoe.

In the United States authorities have confirmed that a top al-Qaida chief, Abdul Rahim al Nashiri, is in U.S. custody, according to anti-terrorism expert Skip Brandon.

SKIP BRANDON, ANTI-TERRORISM EXPERT
“This is a person who’s totally dedicated to destroying people from the West, to destroying Americans and American interests. This is what he does for a living and does with great dedication and, unfortunately, great zeal.”

Al-Nashiri is believed to have organized and financed the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000. He reportedly fled the country four days before the attack, giving his final instructions by phone. Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed.

Al-Nashiri is suspected of directing the 1998 bombing of the U-S embassy in, Nairobi Kenya in which 231 people were killed and the simultaneous attack on the U.S. embassy in Tanzania. And this year he’s suspected of trying to kill tourists and blow up ships in the Straight of Gibraltar.

Now undergoing questioning by U.S. intelligence, al-Nashiri has reportedly provided information about future terrorist plots, the people he recruited and the cells he created.

Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri was close to al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden. He was reportedly with bin Laden in Afghanistan last year when the U.S. began its campaign against the Taleban regime and the al-Qaida terrorist network.

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