The Pentagon said U.S. special forces inside Afghanistan are now searching suspected sites where al Qaida terrorists may have been working on weapons of mass destruction.
The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan acknowledged defense officials have been collecting and examining intelligence data about al Qaida's efforts to develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, so-called weapons of mass destruction.
Army General Tommy Franks told reporters at the Pentagon the review was aimed at pinpointing suspected locations of al Qaida's weapons-related efforts. "Now we are about the business of checking those sites out as they fall into, as they fall under our control. How long will this take? Well, this will not be something that we'll be reporting every 24 hours, because the situation in Afghanistan is still very fluid. But we're about doing that business now," he said.
General Franks said there have been no substantial findings so far.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said, meanwhile, that the Pentagon is aware of a British newspaper report detailing a variety of documents found in a house in Kabul that deal with weapons of mass destruction.
Mr. Rumsfeld said U.S. forces are also checking out that report.