2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 1, 2003
Syria sends bombing suspects to Turkey NEWS IN BRIEF
22 named in last trying to overthrow Turkey's "constitu- t
month's Istanbul suicide
ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) - Syria
handed over 22 suspects to Turkey yes-
terday in connection with four deadly
suicide bombings in Istanbul, the
semiofficial Anatolia news agency
The suspects, all Turks, reportedly
fled the country after the attacks,
which targeted two synagogues in
near-simultaneous bombings Nov. 15
and the British consulate and a British
bank in twin attacks five days later. A
total of 61 people were killed.
Citing a statement from paramilitary
police, Anatolia said the suspects
included Hilmi Tuglaoglu, a close
associate of Azat Ekinci, a central sus-
pect in the blasts.
News reports have named Ekinci as
a key accomplice in the synagogue
bombings, saying he used fake identi-
ties and cash to buy pickup trucks that
were packed with explosives. The
reports said Ekinci had traveled to
Iran, received military and explosives
training in Pakistan between 1997-99
and fought in Chechnya.
The suspects were being questioned,
the statement added. There were no
details about Tuglaoglu's alleged
involvement, though police said his
wife was also brought from Syria.
The report came amid signs of
progress in the investigation.
A Turkish court on Saturday charged
a key suspect captured last week with
tional order" - a crime equivalent to g
treason. The first major suspect to be
charged in the attacks, he is accused of
having given the order to carry out the
truck bombing of the Beth Israel syna-
Police identified him by his initials,
Y.P., but nearly all major Turkish news-
papers said he was Yusuf Polat. The
daily Radikal said he was born in 1974
in Turkey's southeastern province of
The daily Milliyet and other news-
papers reported yesterday that Polat
and others confessed to belonging to a
10-man cell that was an extension of
the al-Qaida terror network. Police also
had evidence that the attackers
received support domestically and
from abroad, Milliyet reported.
Newspapers reported that members
of the cell, including several of the sui-
cide bombers, had met while training
in Afghanistan, and that Polat fought in
Istanbul Gov. Muammer Guler did
not directly address the news reports
but said there were "resemblances to
an al-Qaida link" in the attacks.
"However, we have to obtain all the
official evidence, all the links, all the
clues. It wouldn't be right to talk about
the links without all the official evi-
dence," Guler said.
He added there was no evidence yet
linking the attacks to the militant Turk-
ish Islamic group, Hezbollah, which is
not linked to the Lebanese group of the
Police refused to comment on the
RAMALLAH, West Bankffi".. _
Security wall hinders Israeli, Palestinian talks
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia on Saturday harshly criticized Israel's
West Bank security barrier, threatening to pull out of peace negotiations if construc-
tion of the structure isn't halted.
Qureia's tough words came hours before he traveled to neighboring Jordan for a
meeting with U.S. envoy William Burns, who was returned to the region in hopes of
reviving the stalled "road map" peace plan.
Palestinian officials said Qureia was expected to tell Burns that he is optimistic
that he can persuade Palestinian militants, in talks beginning tomorrow in Egypt, to
halt attacks on Israel. But Qureia also planned to ask Burns to put pressure on Israel
to halt construction of the barrier and to withdraw from Palestinian areas.
Qureia did not comment after Saturday night's meeting. He is seeking to present a
truce agreement to the Israeli government in hopes of reaching a cease-fire deal that
could revive talks on the road map. The U.S.-backed plan calls for a series of steps
leading to an independent Palestinian state by 2005.
During Saturday's meeting, Burns repeated the U.S. commitment to establishing a
Palestinian state, but said the Palestinians must end "terror and violence" against
Israel, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan.
Burns also repeated President Bush's belief that Israel must "end the daily humili-
ation of the Palestinian people and rebuild trust," the statement said.
Parties to use Medicare as issue in elections
When it comes to the Medicare bill awaiting President Bush's signature, Republi-
cans are eager to cash in their political winnings at the polls in 2004.
Democrats want the cards shuffled and dealt again, quickly, for fear of losing a
topic that has worked to their advantage for a generation.
Either way, the landmark legislation will be an issue next year.
While Bush said it means Medicare "will be modern and it will be strong," his
Democratic rivals all opposed it. Some sought additional political mileage by joining
a futile, last-minute filibuster aimed at killing the bill in the Senate.
Like all complex legislation, this one was the result of dozens of compromises,
large and small, as well as shifting tactics.
As president, Bush decreed that any drug benefit should apply broadly. "All
seniors should have the choice of a health care plan that provides prescription
drugs," he said in last winter's State of the Union address.
That effectively eclipsed the view of many Republicans that only low-
A member of the British police forensic team removes flowers from
the gate of the bombed British Consulate as workers clean up the
grounds in Istanbul, Turkey yesterday.
reports. They said only that Y.P. was
arrested Tuesday at an Iranian border
crossing in eastern Agri province, and
that he had gone to the Beth Israel syn-
agogue before the attack and ordered
Turkey has long accused Iran's gov-
ernment of fueling radical Islam in
Turkey and has alleged that members of
an Islamic radical group suspected in a
series of killings trained in Iran and
received support from its government.
The daily Hurriyet said Y.P. was
tracked down through his cell phone
records after allegedly calling a suicide
bomber minutes before the attack. The
Anatolia news agency reported yester-
day that materials used to make bombs
were found in a house in Istanbul that
Authorities have charged another 20
people in connection with the blasts,
but for lesser roles. All the suicide
bombers were Turks.
U.S. favors N1
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - The United
States would like NATO eventually to take over
the military mission in Afghanistan, where an
American-dominated force is still hunting down
remnants of the Taliban rule that collapsed two
years ago, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
In an interview on the eve of a NATO defense
ministers conference, Rumsfeld said he had not
proposed such a transition from U.S. control but
that it was a goal "we certainly have favored,"
Rumsfeld arrived in Brussels yesterday for NATO
talks on a range of defense and security issues, includ-
ing the situation in Iraq and the outlook for a realign-
ment of U.S. forces in Europe. The latter topic is
focused mainly on ways of reducing or shifting U.S.
troops in Europe to make the overall American mili-
tary more suited to fighting terrorism and other non-
Defense ministers were meeting today and
tomorrow, followed by talks among foreign min-
isters on Thursday and Friday.
Asked about deadly attacks in recent days against
Spaniards, Japanese and South Koreans in Iraq,
Rumsfeld said he did not expect the violence to
lead any U.S. allies to abandon the mission.
"The countries who have forces there recognize
that it's a dangerous place and there are terrorists
who are killing people and wounding people -
not just coalition forces but Iraqis, in increasing
numbers," he said.
Commenting on an expanded NATO role in
Afghanistan, Rumsfeld praised the alliance for
taking a first, limited step: assuming control over
income older Americans and those
41T OAfgh" "should be covered.
TO to lead Afghan mission "JUAN,Puerto RICO
U..to transfer 100
"I'm not predicting anything, but we certainly have favored priSoners from ecam
llia.I. ove v r ne1 C.
- Donald Rumsfeld
the International Security Assistance Force that
keeps the peace in Kabul, the Afghan capital, and
trying to put together even more troops so the
peacekeeping mission can be expanded beyond
Kabul to as many as six provincial cities.
That security force has not been involved in the
American-led combat missions against Taliban
In advance of this week's NATO talks, alliance
officials expressed confidence that plans will
proceed for a German-led NATO security force to
move into the northern Afghan city of Kunduz
That operation is supposed to be a pilot project
for a broader NATO plan to provide protection
for "provincial reconstruction teams" in other
cities - if it can muster the troops.
"I think it's a good thing," Rumsfeld said. "And
my guess is it will happen."
He added that NATO involvement eventually
might expand even further.
"At some point the task may mature to the
point where NATO would want to take on a still
larger responsibility," he said. While the Penta-
gon chief did not foresee alliance troops replac-
ing U.S. troops entirely, he would not rule out
NATO eventually taking primary control of the
"I'm not predicting anything, but we certainly
have favored that, over time," Rumsfeld said.
The United States has about 10,000 troops in
Afghanistan, making it one of the most demand-
ing missions the military is executing, along
with the effort to stabilize Iraq with 130,000
Looking ahead to the NATO talks, the
alliance's top civilian official said the peacekeep-
ing mission in Afghanistan was a test of NATO's
"If we do not go to Afghanistan and deal with
its problems, Afghanistan and those problems
will come again to us," NATO Secretary General
Lord Robertson said last week.
"Failure would not only be a disaster for
Afghanistan. It would be a disaster for Europe
and for North America as well," he said, warning
that the country could again become a base for
During the meetings in Brussels, European allies
will be eager to hear Rumsfeld's views on an agree-
ment reached over the weekend by the European Union
to boost its own defense capability.
More than 100 men and boys will be
transferred in the next two months from
the U.S. jail for terrorism suspects in
Cuba, including a teenager who allegedly
killed an American special operations
soldier, a U.S. military official said.
The first of two new transfers is
scheduled for the end of December,
and the other in January, the official
told The Associated Press on condi-
tion of anonymity. The detainees
would be released from U.S. custody,
but it was unclear if any would face
further detention or prosecution in
their home countries.
The official did not say where the pris-
oners would be sent and a military
spokeswoman declined yesterday to pro-
vide details about future transfers from
the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"We do expect there will be other
transfers but because of operational pro-
cedures, I can't talk about any details"
Lt. Col. Pamela Hart said.
Microsoft aims to put
computers in all cars
First Microsoft set out to put a com-
puter in every home. Now the software
giant hopes to put one in every vehicle,
with extraordinarily high drug costs
too. "We'd like to have one of our oper-
ating systems in every car on earth,"
said Dick Brass, vice president of
Microsoft's automotive business unit.
Cars with the Microsoft software will
speak up when it's time for an oil change.
They'll warn drivers about wrecks on the
road ahead and scout alternative routes.
They'll pay freeway tolls automatically.
The software running their brakes will
upgrade itself wirelessly. The Microsoft
platform already is in 23 different car
models, including the BMW 7 series,
Citroen, DaimlerChrysler and Fiat.
Surgery for obese
gains in popularity
Ken Powers knew the potential dan-
gers of having his stomach stapled, but to
a man who had tipped the scales at 475
pounds, those risks didn't much matter.
"If I die on the operating table, having
the surgery to try to better my life, I
thought it was a better thing to do than to
live the way I was living,"he said. By the
tens of thousands, morbidly obese people
who have failed at diets, support groups
and exercise programs are turning to sur-
gery to lose weight.
In 1998, there were 25,800 obesity-
related operations, most of them gastric-
bypass procedures commonly known as
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Vietnam and the Movies
Which movies do Vietnam vets
Continued from Page 1A
Shortly after the firefight, four
men in a BMW attacked another
U.S. convoy in Samarra with auto-
matic rifles, MacDonald said. The
soldiers wounded all four men, and
found Kalashnikov rifles and
grenade launchers in their car.
MacDonald said the attack was
the largest faced by his Task Force
Ironhorse - whose mission
includes the hunt for Saddam.
Military officials in Baghdad said
they haven't reported a deadlier
attack since May 1, when President
Bush declared major combat over.
U.S. officials have only sporadi-
cally released figures on Iraqi casu-
alties, and wouldn't say whether
there has been a deadlier firefight
that went unreported.
Samarra is 60 miles north of
Baghdad in the so-called Sunni Tri-
angle, where opposition to the U.S.
occupation of Iraq has been
Continued from Page 1A
7.2 percent increase in gross domestic
product in the third quarter of this year.
But the growing confidence in the
economy is still marked by "cautious
optimism," which depends on a
decrease in the unemployment rate
in addition to future economic
growth, Curtin said.
Hymans said the last three months
were the best period of job growth
since January 2001. "This is quite a
turnaround from what has happened
since the recession," he said.
The consumer confidence report
follows on the heels of a report by
Business Prf_ Cla2e Frnell thnt the
mmb I rciut E Immm
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