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November 30, 2001 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-30

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Onehundred eleven years fediora f redo


November 30, 2001

l 9 *

'It's a

very uncomfortable situation'

Students who receive FBI
interview requests encouraged to
cooperate, seek legal counsel
By Kylene Kiang
Daily Staff Reporter
A panel of civil liberty advocates and attor-
neys attempted last night to calm fears and clari-
fy issues related to letters sent by the U.S. Justice
Department asking Middle Eastern men to par-
ticipate in interviews as part of an investigation
into the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The letters
were sent out to 566 men in southeastern Michi-
gan between the ages of 18 and 33.
The event was organized to inform letter recip-
ients of their legal rights. As many.as 80 of the
recipients are University students.
LSA junior Michael Simon, campus co-chair
of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that
the letters, which were sent out last week, do not
indicate that a person can have a lawyer and
translator present during the interview.

"It's a very uncomfortable situation. To young
people, international students who may not know
English very well, a team of federal investigators
is likely to scare the heck out of them," Simon
"Another thing to be concerned about are the
consequences of being questioned. If you say the
wrong thing, who knows what might happen. It
could be as serious as deportation and we just
don't know. That's why we urge legal representa-
tion," he said.
The Washtenaw County ACLU will provide
free legal consultation and representation to any-
one being asked for an interview by the FBI.
University Student Legal Services will also offer
free, one-on-one consultation. In addition, sever-
al University faculty members have volunteered
to sit in on the interviews.
"Ninety-eight to 99 percent of the time federal
agents will decline to interview you in the pres-
ence of an attorney," said Noel Saleh, an Arab-
American Anti-Discrimination Committee
immigration attorney. "It's a terrible catch-22 sit-
uation ... Even if you've done nothing it is a no-

win situation for anyone who receives this letter."
"They have a lot of experience in getting peo-
ple to talk even when they don't want to. You
certainly don't want to say something that's not
true," he added.
ACLU Legal Director Michael Steinberg said
that although interview participation is voluntary,
"you don't lessen the chances of them coming
back and knocking on your door."
A University student who wished to remain
anonymous received the Justice Department let-
ter and said he is still in shock.
"I heard it on the news that 5,000 people
(nationwide) would be questioned and I thought
nothing of it. I laughed, actually," he said.
"I have been in this country for so long that I
did not think I would become involved. I will
definitely discuss it with my lawyer first. After
that I will probably talk to (the investigators)," he
Campus ADC President Paul Saba, an LSA
senior, expressed his discontent with what he
described as the government's obvious racial tar-
See FBI, Page 7

Officials and attorneys from the ACLU, Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee
and University Student Legal Services answer questions last night about the FBI's
requests to interview Middle Eastern men as part of Its terrorism investigation.

U.S. fears clash



Afghan factions

LSA sophomore Priyanka Malhotra and other students gather last night to celebrate Ramadan and break the fast in the Stockwell Residence
Hall lounge. Ramadan will continue for another two weeks.
Stude nts ofal cultures join
toge therfo r Ramadan feast.

Los Angeles Times
CHAMAN, Pakistan - Signs that Northern
alliance troops have begun to press toward the Tal-
iban's sole remaining stronghold in Afghanistan,
the southern city of Kandahar, focused new atten-
tion yesterday on the U.S. goal of bringing stability
to that ethnically divided country.
Despite mounting pressure from anti-Taliban
and U.S. forces in the area, leaders of the mori-
bund regime continued to urge supporters to hold
"Until the situation in Kandahar is resolved,
don't hand over your weapons or give up a single
man," Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammed
Omar was quoted as saying by a local Taliban offi-
cial in the southern town of Spin Boldak, near the
border with Pakistan.
What raised questions for U.S. policy-makers,
however, was not the defiance of the Taliban, but
the possibility of ethnic and tribal confrontations if
the northern alliance advances too far into the
southern heartland of Afghanistan's Pashtun
In Washington, Pentagon officials expressed
skepticism that alliance forces had reached the city
of Kandahar itself.
"That could indicate the Kandahar province,"
Rear Adm. John Stuffiebeem, deputy director of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a Pentagon brief-
ing. "We can't deny that ... but I could not con-
firm, and I've not seen any reports that any
opposition groups have entered Kandahar city at
this point."
Stufflebeem acknowledged that the Pashtun
leaders whose forces have "ringed" Kandahar may
well have concerns about any northern alliance
surge southward toward the city but said the Unit-

ed States cannot dictate the fight on the ground by
opposition forces.
Nonetheless, the developments appeared to
point up the inherent tension between Washing-
ton's clear-cut focus on terrorism and the
blurred political and historical realities of
On other fronts yesterday, there was some dis-
pute as to the current location of an influential al-
Qaida operative from Egypt whose recent capture
by anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan was dis-
closed yesterday.
Family members in Cairo, Egypt, told the Al
Hayat newspaper that Ahmed Omar Abdel Rah-
man, son of a blind sheik who is servinga life sen-
tence in the United States for plotting to blow up
New York landmarks, had been handed over to
U.S. officials in Afghanistan after his arrest.
But U.S. intelligence officials in Washington
reiterated yesterday that Rahman is not in Ameri-
can custody.
Mountaser Zayyat, a Cairo attorney who repre-
sents Gamaa al Islamiya, the extremist group once
headed by the blind sheik,.said he believed that the
northern alliance had taken Rahman to the north-
ern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif by the Northern
Zayyat said in a telephone interview that the
sheik's eldest son, Mohammed, had called the
family from Kandahar to confirm his brother's
arrest on about Nov. 8. He said his brother had
been captured as he tried to flee Kabul.
Rahman had lived in Afghanistan for about
10 years and had become part of Osama bin
Laden's inner circle, according to U.S. officials.
They said he and his brother used their incarcer-
ated father's apparent appeal to help al-Qaida
recruit terrorists.

By Margaret Engoren
Daily Staff Reporter
More than 200 students and community
members - both Muslim and non-Muslim
- gathered in Stockwell Residence Hall last
night to break their fast and celebrate the
ongoing month of Ramadan.
"One of the nicest things about Ramadan
is being able to break the fast with other peo-

ple who have been fasting too," said LSA
senior Jaffer Odeh. "Events like these are
opportunities to bring people together and to
spread information about the Muslim cul-
Ratib Habbal, a member of the education
committee at the Islamic Center of Ann
Arbor, was asked to discuss Ramadan and the
virtues of fasting with the group.
"Ramadan is a very important part of the

year for Muslims. Not only do we refrain
from eating and drinking during the day, we
also use this time of the year to rejuvenate
ourselves. We reflect on the past year and
hold ourselves responsible for our actions,"
Habbal said.
Students noted that more people are aware
of Ramadan this year because of the war in
See RAMADAN, Page 7

ROTC cadets eager
to finish training

Deck the residence halls

By Stephanie Pilat
For the Daily
Since Sept. 11, the routine of the University's
Reserve Officers' Training Corps students has
not changed. They continue the same physical
training and take the same leadership classes -
but their attitudes toward these activities are dif-
"The training that we are doing, I feel more
pressure to really learn it well and understand it.
Before it was important, but it was peace time,
now there is more of a possibility we could be out
there;" said Isabel Moreno, a Nursing sophomore
and Army ROTC cadet. "In school too, anatomy
is not something I can learn for the test and for-
get. I really need to understand it."
LSA junior and Army cadet Sukwon Chang
also said he takes his training far more seriously.
Chang said he can imagine a real battle situation
when he is training in the Arb with other cadets,
and that he has begun rereading Army strategy
"You can't do anything to standard if you don't
read (strategy) enough," Chang said.

one must have a college degree. Right now, the
military needs ROTC participants to continue
their studies and training, so that in the future they
will be prepared to lead troops.
But for Karen Mesko, an LSA junior and Air
Force cadet, staying in school has been frustrat-
ing at times.
"I talked to our captain and asked if I could get
commissioned earlier, but she said no, because I
have to finish the ROTC program. It was hard to
focus on school, because I really didn't want to
be here, I wanted to be there" she said.
Other cadets echoed that sentiment.
"If I had to go right now, I'd definitely go,"
Chang said, but added that he would prefer
"I'd like to avoid war, if possible, but this
world doesn't allow it at this time" he said.
"I'm all for peace. We like to train, but not
really kill people. Pilots don't like bombing peo-
ple. Peace is the best way, but sometimes you
have to put your fist down," said Air Force Wing
Commander and LSA senior Jermaine Jordan.
Chang said his parents, like those of other
cadets, were concerned for his future after the

Study suggests
link between
weight, money
By Jennifer Misthal
Daily Staff Reporter
A study recently published by the University's Insti-
tute for Social Research found a correlation between
two of Americans' obsessions - losing weight and
making money.
"There is an income and education connection.
Those with a college education are less likely to be
overweight at a given age. The lifetime point where
most put on weight is age 30 to 40," said Frank
Stafford, a senior ISR research scientist.
The study essentially showed that losing weight is no
easier than getting rich.
"A lot of people think that both things are hard,
when it really only takes motivation. This correlation
doesn't really surprise me," said LSA freshman Megan
Masciasz. "Between the ages of 30 to 40, people are
getting married and having children. They're also
becoming comfortable with their lifestyle and I think
that makes them less concerned with their appearance."
For 13 years, ISR researchers followed 10,000 Amer-

Kinesiology freshman Ryan Shinska and LSA freshman Ken Sirko decorate a



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