2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Police find threat at
site of latest killing
ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) - A bus driver was
shot to death yesterday as he was about to set out
on his morning route in what authorities fear was
the 13th attack by the Washington-area sniper.
Police also revealed a chilling warning found at a
weekend shooting scene: "Your children are not
safe anywhere at any time."
Conrad Johnson, 35, was fatally wounded just
before 6 a.m. as he stood on the top step of his
bus, setting off a police dragnet and snarling traf-
fic in the suburbs north of the nation's capital. He
died later at a hospital..
The shooting happened in Aspen Hill, the same
community where the shootings began. Since
Oct. 2, the sniper has killed nine people and criti-
cally wounded three others in Maryland, Virginia
The slaying came after two days of public
entreaties by police for the sniper to contact them.
Montgomery County Police Chief Charles
Moose suggested yesterday police had received a
new message from the killer, and he said authorities
were preparing a response. He refused to disclose
details about the message, believed to be the fourth
authorities have received during the investigation.
The warning about children's safety was dis-
covered by police outside a steakhouse just north
of Richmond, Va., where the sniper critically
wounded a man Saturday night.
Moose said the warning came in the form of a
"postscript," but refused to describe the rest of
However, a senior law enforcement official
speaking to The Associated Press on condition of
anonymity said the note demanded $10 million.
More than 140,000 students in the Richmond
area remained home yesterday as schools were
closed for a second day. School officials cited
information from police in shutting down,
prompting questions for Moose, whose office is
leading the sprawling investigation.
Moose said investigators recognized "the con-
cerns of the community" and decided to provide
the "exact language that pertains to the threat."
Schools will reopen today.
In Maryland, Kathy Franco, who was shopping
with her year-old son, Liam, and six-week-old
daughter, Katherine, was angered by the warning
"As a parent, it just completely brings out every
animal instinct," Franco said. "These two are the
most important things in the world for me."
NEWS IN BRIEFf
:HADINESTOMNRU DTH O
U.N. resolution will affect war timing
As the U.S. military presses ahead with preparations for possible war against
Iraq, it is far from clear that an attack to topple Saddam Hussein would begin this
winter as once widely believed.
If Iraq refuses to accept a U.N. resolution restarting weapons inspections,
a U.S.-led attack could happen by December or January. But, for now, the
U.N. Security Council has failed to agree on a resolution to restart tough
And if Saddam agrees to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspections, at least ini-
tially, that could delay military action beyond winter and spring, which are con-
sidered the most suitable times for conducting war in Iraq.
Senior U.S. military officials said yesterday they are ready to act whenever
President Bush decides the time is right.
Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked at a Pen-
tagon news conference yesterday whether he was concerned that Iraq has the lux-
ury of time to prepare its defenses against an American invasion.
"I can tell you we're postured in a way that that will not be a problem," Myers
replied. He said that in strictly military terms, the passage of time can aid both the
attacker and the defender.
First Sept. 11 suspect denies guilt in court
A Moroccan student charged with aiding the Hamburg terrorist cell involved in
the Sept. 11 attacks admitted yesterday he trained in an Osama bin Laden camp in
Afghanistan but denied knowing about the plot against the United States.
Mounir el Motassadeq, 28, is the first person to go on trial in connection with
the suicide hijackings that killed thousands in New York, at the Pentagon and in a
field in Pennsylvania.
El Motassadeq testified that he learned to fire a Kalashnikov assault rifle at the
camp during three weeks of training in mid-2000 but was unaware it was run by
bin Laden's al-Qaida organization until he got there.
"I learned that bin Laden was responsible for the camp and had been at the
camp sometimes," he said. But, he added, "I didn't know that beforehand and I
didn't meet him either."
El Motassadeq, in custody since his arrest in Hamburg two months after the
attacks, faces a possible life sentence if convicted of membership in a terrorist
organization and more than 3,000 counts of accessory to murder.
His attorneys told the court he is innocent and denies prosecutors' charges that
he provided logistical support to the Hamburg cell, which included hijacker
MohamedAtta and two of the other pilots.
Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose
addresses the media about the sniper case
outside Montgomery County Police headquarters
in Rockville, Md.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - In a bers - the
troubling sign for U.S. efforts to push a France, Russ
tough new Iraq resolution through the the new U.S.
Security Council, Russia and France three-hour
said yesterday they weren't satisfied Paris and M
with a revised draft that warns Baghdad could be use
of "serious consequences" if it fails to an attack on
cooperate with weapons inspections. scheduled la
The five permanent council mem- "The Am
on Iraq draft
United States, Britain,
sia and China - discussed
text for the first time at a
meeting yesterday, with
oscow concerned the draft
d by Washington to launch
Iraq. Another meeting was
erican draft resolution ...
does not answer the criteria which the
Russian side laid out earlier and which
it confirms today," Russian Foreign
Minister Igor Ivanov was quoted as
telling Russian journalists after meet-
ing Hans Blix, the chief U.N. weapons
inspector, in Moscow.
France also expressed disappoint-
ment with the latest U.S. offer.
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Pentagon to release
some terror suspects
The Pentagon plans to release some
terror suspects from prison in Cuba
because they are no longer threats and
have no more intelligence information
to offer; Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld said yesterday.
"There are some people likely to
come out of the other end of the chute,"
he said, without disclosing how many
would be released.
Some of the 598 men at the high-secu-
rity prison built at Guantanamo Bay
Naval Station have been held for nearly a
year. They were first rounded up during
the air war that opened the military cam-
paign in Afghanistan, then transferred
from Afghanistan to Cuba in January.
Until now, the only prisoners who
have gotten out of the facility were a
man who was mentally ill and an Amer-
ican moved to the United States for
continued detention, officials said.
Cold weather could
end West Nile threat
Within weeks, if not days, nature will
quietly snuff out a killer in Illinois.
The first hard frost will put West Nile
in the deep freeze, halting a statewide
scourge that has infected 691 people and
killed 43 - by far the deadliest outbreak
since the virus was first detected in the
United States in 1999. The cold will kill
the mosquitoes that carry the virus.
But health officials know the relief
could be as fleeting as frost on an
autumn morning. So they will spend
the winter studying everything -
including the outbreak's geography, its
timing and its victims - that might
help them ward off the virus next year.
As of Monday, there were 3,231
reported human cases of West Nile
virus in the United States this year and
176 deaths, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.
U.S. lists extremists
linked to terror
Moving against Islamic extremists in
Asia linked to the al-Qaida network, the
State Department will list as a terrorist
organization a group suspected in the
Bali nightclub bombing that killed
more than 180 people, a U.S. official
The Indonesia-based Jemaah
Islamiyah, due to be cited Wednesday,
has cells operating throughout South-
It seeks to create an Islamic state
comprising Indonesia, Malaysia,
Singapore and the southern Philip-
pines, according to report in May by
the State Department's counterterror-
Listing the group as a terrorist organ-
ization will make it a crime to con-
tribute funds to it and will bar its
members from receiving visas to enter
the United States.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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