8A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 22, 2001
AMERICA AT WAR
CIA covert actions, funding rise
as results of war against terrorists
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - President Bush
last month signed an intelligence
order directing the CIA to undertake
its most sweeping and lethal covert
action since the founding of the
agency in 1947, explicitly calling for
the destruction of Osama bin Laden
and his worldwide al-Qaida network,
according to senior government offi-
The president also added more than
$1 billion to the agency's war on ter-
rorism, most of it for the new covert
action. The operation will include
what officials said is "unprecedented"
coordination between the CIA and
commando and other military units.
Officials said that the president, oper-
ating through his "war.cabinet," has
pledged to dispatch military units to
take advantage of the CIA's latest and
Bush's order, called an intelligence
"finding," instructs the agency to
attack bin Laden's communications,
security apparatus and infrastructure,
senior government officials said. U.S.
intelligence has identified new and
important specific weaknesses in the
bin Laden organization that are not
publicly known, and these vulnerabil-
ities will be the focus of the lethal
covert action, sources said.
"The gloves are off," one senior
official said. "The president has given
the agency the green light to do what-
ever is necessary. Lethal operations
that were unthinkable pre-September
11 are now underway."
The CIA's covert action is a key
part of the president's offensive
against terrorism, but the agency is
also playing a critical role in the
defense against future terrorist
For example, each day a CIA docu-
ment called the "Threat Matrix,"
which has the highest security classi-
fication ("Top Secret/Codeword"),
lands on the desks of the top national
security and intelligence officials in
the Bush administration. It presents
the freshest and most sensitive raw
intelligence on dozens of threatened
bombings, hijackings or poisonings.
Only threats deemed to have some
credibility are included in the docu-
One day last week, the Threat
Matrix contained 100 threats to U.S.
facilities in the United States and
around the world - shopping com-
plexes, specific cities, places where
thousands gather, embassies. Though
nearly all the listed threats have
passed without incident and 99 per-
cent turned out to be groundless,
dozens more take their place in the
matrix each day.
It was the matrix that generated
the national alert of impending ter-
rorist action issued by the FBI on
Oct. 11. The goal of the matrix is
simple: Look for patterns and spe-
cific details that might prevent
another Sept. 11.
"I don't think there has been such
risk to the country since the Cuban
missile crisis," a senior official said.
During an interview in his West
Wing office Friday morning, Vice
President Dick Cheney spoke of the
new war on terrorism as much more
problematic and protracted than the
Persian Gulf War of 1991, when
Cheney served as secretary of defense
to Bush's father.
The vice president bluntly said: "It
is different than.the Gulf War was, in
the sense that it may never end. At
least, not in our lifetime."
In issuing the finding that targets
bin Laden, the president has said he
wants the CIA to undertake high-risk
operations. He has stated to his advis-
ers that he is willing to risk failure in
the pursuit of ultimate victory, even if
the result are some embarrassing pub-
lic setbacks in individual operations.
The overall military and covert plan is
intended to be massive and decisive,
"If you are going to push the enve-
lope some things will go wrong, and
(President Bush) sees that and under-
stands risk-taking," one senior offi-
In the interview, Cheney said, "I
think it's fair to say you can't predict
a straight line to victory. You know,
there'll be good days and bad days
along the way."
U.S. law enforcement and intelli-
gence agencies recently received an
important break in the effort to track
down terrorist leaders overseas,
according to officials.
The FBI and CIA have been given
limited access in the last several
weeks to a top bin Laden lieutenant
who was arrested after Sept. I1 and is
being held in a foreign country. The
person, whose various aliases include
"Abu Ahmed," is "a significant play-
er," in the words of one senior Bush
official. Ahmed was arrested with five
other members of al-Qaida. He is
believed by several senior officials to
be the highest-ranking member of al-
Qaida ever held for systematic inter-
Though Ahmed has not given
information about future terrorist
operations, he has provided some
details about the October 2000
attack on the USS Cole in a Yemeni
port, when 17 sailors were killed.
One source said he also has infor-
mation about the planned terrorist
attacks in the United States that
were disrupted before the millenni-
um celebrations in December 1999.
B R T OVUNTAIN/Dily
A United Airlines ticket agent helps a customer at Detroit Metropolitan Airport,
where security has been tight since hijackers crashed United and American
Airlines jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon Sept. 11.
remains on high
alert, FBI says
SHANGHAI, China (AP)-President Bush
and Russian President Vladimir Putin said yes-
terday that terrorist attacks on America unified
their nations like never before, raising hope for
long-sought agreements on a U.S. missile
defense system and cutting nuclear stockpiles.
The negotiations for a new strategic frame-
work were given a forceful nudge by Bush when
he privately urged his Russian counterpart to
quickly compromise or squander the opportunity
to reduce nuclear arsenals.
"The thing that's really bound us together
most right now is our common desire to fight
terrorism," Bush said after their third meeting in
five months. Talks will resume when Putin visits
the United States in three weeks.
White House officials said later that Bush is
prepared to go forward with missile shield plans
without Russia unless a deal can be struck by
January. Indeed, his advisers recommended that
Bush impose the deadline during one-on-one
talks with Putin, but the president decided at the
last minute not to personally deliver the mes-
Though eager to build a missile shield, Bush
does not want to push Putin too hard because the
Russian is critical to the success of U.S. military
assaults on terrorist-harboring Afghanistan.
The meeting, a spicy mix of politics and
promise, took place at the close of an Asia-
Pacific economic summit. that focused on the
U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.
The 20 leaders approved a statement con-
demning the "murderous deeds" of the Sept. 11
'U' graduate student
feels he was unfairly
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with U.S. President George W. Bush yesterday in Shanghai, China, to
discuss arms limitations and the war on terrorism in Afghanistan.
suicide hijackers. In a setback for Bush, they
failed to mention Afghanistan or Osama bin
Laden - suspected mastermind of the attacks
on Washington and New York.
Furthermore, several leaders, including Chi-
nese President Jiang Zemin and the Russian
president, urged Bush to end the war as soon as
possible. Bush h'as said it could last two years.
In a brief news conference, Bush said the
Asian leaders defied terrorists merely by meet-
ing under one roof and denied that their support
of the United States was soft.
"It was strong, it was steady, and it's real," he
The president has ambitious but untested
plans for a defense system that could protect the
United States and its allies from missiles
launched by Iraq, North Korea or other rogue
states. Russia and several other nations fear
developing an anti-missile shield would spark,
another nuclear arms race.
Bush and Putin agreed in July to pursue talks
along two parallel tracks: Putin's desire to
reduce costly nuclear stockpiles and Bush's wish
to scuttle the 29-year-old Anti-Ballistic Missile
treaty that forbids anti-missile tests.
"The events of September 11 make it clearer
than ever that a Cold War ABM treaty that pre-
vents us from defending our people is outdated
and, I believe, dangerous," the president said.
Food for Thought
Yung Krall, author
of "A Thousand Tears
described to this writer
how the Viet Cong and
North Vietnamese used
Eastern-Bloc allies to
spread misinformation in
America. They especially
played on the strained
race relations at the
timo avinn- "Pnnr
to kill bin Laden
According to recent surveys by
Time Magazine, Newsweek and
the University's Institute of
Social Research, more than 60
percent of Americans are willing
to give up some personal free-
doms and civil liberties in order
*to ensur yeso aland- national
One of thilikely results is that
WAmericans persare eore likely,
to be detained at airports, borders
and other high-security areas.
When University paleontology
graduate student Iyad Zalmout
went to Detroit Metropolitan Air-
port early in the morning of Oct.
2 to catch a Delta Airlines flight
to Cincinnati, he left his house
early in anticipation of a longer
Zalmout, who is Jordanian and
came to the United States three
years ago, said he had no problems
with airport security that morning.
"Everything was OK - my shoes
were metal-free just in case I got in
trouble when I checked in," he said.
As Zalmout was waiting for the
plane to take off, the pilot
approached him and asked him to
get off the plane for questioning.
Zalmout was escorted off the air-
"People started looking at me. I
was embarrassed," he said. "I
(wouldn't mind) being questioned,
but not inside the airplane ...
That was embarrassing to have to
stand up in front of all these pas-
sengers and go out of the air-
Zalmout's name was not on the
Watch List, a document that "con-
tains the names of individuals who
may be able to provide us with some
information regarding the terrorists
attacks," said Dawn Clenney, FBI
special agent in Detroit.
The list was distributed to security
agencies after the Sept. 11 attacks
but is not accessible to the public,
Clenney said the Watch List
might have been the reason some
Muslims and Arab Americans
have been complaining about
harassment in public places,
though she stressed that the
Watch List is-not intended to
point blame at any person, group
or ethnicity for the attacks.
"As far as the FBI, we do not tol-
erate racial profiling," Clenney said.
"Just because someone's name
appears on the Watch List does not
mean that they are suspected of ter-
Clenney said that detaining peo-
told Zalmout that he had been cho-
sen for questioning because of sus-
picious behavior and proceeded to
ask him questions such as his
name, where he was from, what
nationality he was and where he
Clenney said that had Zalmout's
name been on the Watch List, secu-
rity personnel, and not airline
employees, would have approached
"My understanding is the law
enforcement officials would be the
ones to speak with the person and
ask them the questions and deter-
mine if their name is on the Watch
List," she said.
Although Zalmout said he doesn't
mind being questioned under ordi-
nary circumstances and for good
reason, he said he doesn't think
there was a lawful reason for the
"I think that he did that
because I'm a Mediterranean-
looking guy and it's early, maybe
six in the morning," Zalmout
said. "I don't mind waiting three
hours for the airplane and being
questioned just before getting on
the airplane, just to show the pas-
sengers that you are doing your
job ... This is not the right way to
do your job."
Since Sept. 12, the FBI, Michigan
National Guard, Drug Enforcement
Administration, Customs Service,
the Federal Aviation Administration
and Border Patrol have been present
at Detroit Metro.
In addition, parking is not allowed
within 300 feet of the airport. Only
ticketed passengers are allowed
beyond security checkpoints. Pocket
knives are not allowed in carry-on
luggage. Passengers are randomly
screened at checkpoints with hand
"I know that the airport has a
lot of different security improve-
ments in place," said Mary Mazur,
a spokeswoman for the Wayne
County Commission and the air-
Clenney said she hopes citizens
who are stopped for questioning
because of the Watch List or the
heightened security understand that
they are not being stopped without
"We know and we understand that
it can be an inconvenience but it is
just a measure of security. The offi-
cials at the airport are not trying to
force or intimidate someone," she
She added that if anyone feels
that they have been unfairly
harassed or questioned, they can
contact the FBI, as a number of
Muslims and Arab Americans
"We take those complaints very
seriously. This is certainly not the
time for Arab Americans to be
harassed, or intimidated by other
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. com-
mandos are prepared to use .deadly
force on Osama bin Laden, the
nation's top general said yesterday, as
the Pentagon pressed its bombing and
covert ground campaign to hunt down
America's No. 1 terrorist suspect.
Opening a third week of air strikes,
U.S. warplanes hit north of the capital,
Kabul. And Afghan officials reported
air attacks yesterday around the west-
ern city of Herat, Kandahar in the
south and the front line positions near
the city of Mazar-e-Sharif.
Secret missions by special opera-
tions forces also were continuing, two
defense officials said on condition of
anonymity. They gave no details.
Asked whether U.S. forces would
kill bin Laden on sight, Gen. Richard
B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, said it depends on what hap-
pens when he's found.
"If it's a defensive situation, then
bullets will fly, but if we can capture.
somebody, then we'll do that," he said
on ABC's "This Week."
Asked the same question, Secretary
of State Colin Powell told CNN's 'Late
Edition': "Our mission is-to bring him
to justice or bring justice to him."
The U.S.-led military campaign
already has crippled terrorists' bases
and their ability to train in
Afghanistan, Myers said.
"They won't be doing any training
in the near future in Afghanistan," he
Myers said the fight against the rul-
ing Taliban regime and bin Laden's al-
Qaida terrorist network is "a war we
must win if we want to maintain our
The aerial bombing began Oct. 7,
followed by the first publicly acknowl-
edged ground assaults Saturday.
is currently ofering
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