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October 25, 2001 - Image 5

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-25

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Leading the way

AMERICA lINT CRISIS The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 25, 2001- 5A
Bosnian-based network disrupted

The Washington Post

VIENNA, Austria - NATO-led
peacekeepers in Bosnia-Herzegovina
believe they have disrupted a Bosnian-
based terrorist network and are investi-
gating possible links to Osama bin
Laden, a spokesman for the force said
yesterday.
The announcement came after a
series of detentions of foreigners from
Islamic countries over the last three
weeks in Bosnia.
"SFOR believes it disrupted a ter-
rorist organization inside of Bosnia-
Herzegovina," said Capt. Daryl
Morrell, spokesman for Bosnia's
NATO-led Stabilization Force, or
SFOR.
Morrell said the investigation into
possible links between bin Laden and
the suspected terrorist network was
ongoing.
Bosnian police worked with SFOR
to capture the suspects. Morrell would
not comment on what the network's
targets may have been.
Those detained this month on suspi-

cion of links to terrorist activities
include one Jordanian, three Egyptians
and six Algerians.
The Jordanian and the Egyptians
have been extradited to their home
countries.
Two of the Egyptians were wanted
on an Interpol warrant that predated
the Sept. I1 terrorist attacks in the
United States, said Stefo Lehman, a
spokesman for the U.N. mission in
Bosnia.
He identified them as Al Sharif Has-
sam Mahmoud Saad and Al Husseini
Arman Ahmed. Lehman said they
were wanted in Egypt, but he did not
specify on what charges.
The Jordanian was identified as
Hamed Abdel Rahim al Jamal.
One of the six Algerians in Bosnian
custody, Bensayah Belkacem, was
arrested Oct. 8 on the basis of foreign
intelligence information that he
allegedly made telephone calls to a
lieutenant of bin Laden. Police found
blank passports from various countries
in Belkacem's possession and took
him into custody.

"SFOR believes it disrupted a terrorist
organization inside of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
- Capt. Daryl Morrell
Spokesman for Bosnia's NATO-led Stabilization Force

The five other Algerians were
detained in the last week after threats
were made against the U.S. and British
Embassies, forcing them to close.
Local news reports said two of the
recently arrested suspects belonged to
the Armed Islamic Group, an Algerian
terrorist organization, and Egyptian
terrorist groups.
One of the Algerian suspects, Saber
Lahmar, worked for the High Saudi
Commission for Relief, an organiza-
tion that was raided by SFOR last
month.
The soldiers seized computer discs,
money and documents.
Bosnian Prime Minister Zlatko
Lagumdzija said this week that about
20 people were under police scrutiny
for possible terrorist links. Other gov-

ernment officials have said that U.S.
intelligence sources had given them a
list of about 20 Arab names, and they
were checking them.
Bosnia allowed about 1,000 for-
eign fighters from Muslim countries
to enter Bosnia during its 1992-1995
war. Most left after the war, but
some stayed, obtaining Bosnian citi-
zenship. A few of those are believed
to be linked with terrorist organiza-
tions.
"We do have weak borders," said
Lehman, the U.N spokesman. "So it's
easy for people to come into the coun-
try and even to seek refuge here. But
Bosnia is not an anomaly if you look
at the arrests that we're seeing in Ger-
many, in France, all through Europe,"
he said.

AP PHOTO
Northern alliance fighters run during training in a village southwest of the
opposition-controlled town of Tasht-e-Qala in northern Afghanistan yesterday.

Conference between
1,500 former Afghan
leaders seen as ploy

Naval academy looks at
definitions of terrorism

The Washington Post
PESHAWAR, Pakistan - A meeting of
1,500 former Afghan leaders yesterday, billed
as an effort to promote peace and unity in the
besieged and divided country, was snubbed by
key figures and undercut by criticism that it was
being promoted by Pakistan to exercise undue
influence on Afghanistan's political future.
On the surface, the gathering seemed
impressive, attended by Afghan tribal elders,
religious figures and former anti-Soviet resis-
tance commanders dressed in elaborate tur-
bans and robes. It was presided over by Pir
Sayed Ahmed Gailani. a religious leader who
sat in a throne-like chair adorned with a
wooden eagle.
In his welcoming speech. Gailani called for
an interim government to be established
under former King Mohammed Zahir Shah,
with a U.N. security force from Islamic coun-
tries maintaining order. He said an Islamic
constitution should be drafted and national
elections ultimately held.
"Dear countrymen! In this situation we

need tolerance, understanding and political
insight," Gailani said. "We should join hands
to work together, with complete harmony and
sincerity and without any sort of discrimina-
tion, for the construction of a united and great
Afghanistan."
But the 86-year-old king, who lives in exile
in Rome, did not accept an invitation to send
representatives to Peshawar yesterday, and
some of his key supporters harshly criticized
the meeting as a ploy by Pakistan and leaders
of former Islamic militias to take over the
process of constructing a new Afghan gov-
ernment.
Mustapha Zahir, the king's grandson, said
by telephone from Rome that Zahir Shah had
"not officially sanctioned any meeting." A
key supporter in the Pakistani city of Quetta,
Gul Agha Shirzai, said the meeting was full
of "fundamentalists and terrorists" and that
Gailani was "using the king" for his own
ends.
For the past two weeks, Afghanistan has
been under intense military bombardment by
U.S. forces, aimed at destroying the Islamic

A PHOTO
Pir Sayed Ahmed Gillani, head of the National
Islamic Front of Afghanistan, pauses at the
start of a Shura, or meeting, in Peshawar,
Pakistan, yesterday.
Taliban movement and a terrorist network
operated by Osama bin Laden, the Saudi fugi-
tive who lives in Afghanistan and is the prime
U.S. suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks on the
United States.
It is widely assumed here.that the Taliban
will eventually collapse under the attack, and
frantic but confused efforts are being under-
taken by numerous groups, including Pak-
istani intelligence agencies and an array of
former Afghan leaders, to prepare for a new
government that will replace it.

The Baltimore Sun
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Standing in front of a
blackboard scrawled with a list titled "Definitions
of Terrorism," Naval Academy Professor Barbara
Harff searched the room for an answer to a ques-
tion haunting the country: How do we fight a war
in Afghanistan?
One midshipman called out, "I think it would
be better to take out (Osama) bin Laden than to
give him a platform."
The class fell silent. On the blackboard, one of
the definitions of terrorism was assassination.
"This is why we're here," Harff told the stu-
dents in her "Middle Eastern Politics" class. "You
can talk here."
As college students across the country struggle
for ways to define the conflict and comprehend
the difference between terrorism and military
action, these students, dressed like the Navy offi-
cers they will become, have far more at stake in
their quest for answers.
These students are learning about a conflict
they will likely join, some in less than eight
months. This campus in Annapolis is where
debates about the rules of war and the right to
wage one aren't theoretical, but real issues that
these midshipmen will have to reconcile.
The seriousness they bring to these discus-
sions, a daily occurrence across campus since the

Sept.,11 attacks, is palpable from the tension in
the arguments and the debates that follow.
"We don't want to indoctrinate them, have
them speak in one voice," [Harff said. "These stu-
dents are very aware of what they are heading
into. They are willing to risk their lives. The best
thing Ican do as an educator. is teach them to
analyze and think critically."
From her helm at the blackboard, Harff leads her
political science students studying the Arab-Israeli
conflict through the murky waters of historical dis-
putes, religious conflicts and wars in the Middle
East, starting with Muhammad and leading up to
Osama bin Laden. The debates do not always coin-
cide with Department of Defense military policy.
One student argued that the Defense Depart-
ment had made its definition of terrorism too
broad - so broad, he argued, that Northern Ire-
land and Colombia would then be considered ter-
rorist states.
Another questioned whether President Bush
was wrong not to accept the Taliban's initial offer
to hand over bin Laden to an independent court.
When Harff asked if terrorists have to have a
political agenda, senior Chris Kiesel raised his
hand from the back of the room.
"Here's what I don't understand," he said. "Is
terrorism just any action against the status quo? I
mean, could terrorism be considered national-
ism?"

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