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December 08, 2003 - Image 2

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 8, 2003


Afghans angered by bombing mistake

Nine Afghan children
killed in U.S.-led attack
aimed at terror suspect
HUTALA, Afghanistan (AP) - Hats
and shoes littered a blood-stained field
in this desolate Afghan village yester-
day, a day after U.S. warplanes - tar-
geting a terror suspect - mistakenly
killed nine children.
American officials offered their
regrets yesterday and said they were
"deeply saddened" by the deaths. The
United Nations called for an investiga-
tion. And the Afghan government urged
the U.S.-led coalition hunting Taliban
and al-Qaida fighters to make sure such
an accident is never repeated.
In Hutala yesterday, a line of fresh
graves marked the tragedy, and village
men stood quietly by a stream in a dusty
field where the children had been play-
ing. They seemed as bewildered as they
were angry.
"First they fire their rockets. Then
they say it was a mistake," Haji Amir
Mohammed told The Associated Press,
as dozens of American soldiers sent to
investigate the incident offered condo-
lences or lay in the warming winter sun.
"How can we forgive them?"
Villagers said the young victims had
been playing with marbles in a dusty
field beside mud homes in this impover-
ished valley, some 150 miles southwest
of Kabul, when the A-10 ground attack

aircraft homed in.
Military officials said yesterday
they had no idea children were in the
area when they decided to attack. U.S.
Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said
the suspect targeted and killed was a
former Taliban commander named
Mullah Wazir, adding that he was
"deeply saddened" by the "tragic loss
of innocent life."
Khalilzad said the former commander
"had bragged of his personal involve-
ment in attacks on innocent Afghan citi-
zens," including aid groups and Afghans
working on the Kabul-Kandahar road, a
site of frequent violence.
Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, a spokesman
for the coalition, told the AP in Hutala
that it had appeared to the pilot of the
aircraft that "just that person that we
wanted, that terrorist, was in the field.
So we fired on him."
Troops discovered the children's bod-
ies after rushing to the scene to verify
that they had got Wazir. U.S. officers
flew in yesterday to apologize to village
elders, Hilferty said.
But residents were adamant that
the military had acted on bogus
intelligence. Many said the man
killed was not Wazir, and that the
former district commander under
the Taliban had left the village
some days before the attack.
"There are no terrorists, no Taliban or
al-Qaida here," said Abdul Majid
Farooqi. "Just poor people."

Motive sought in prosecutor's slaying
Federal prosecutor Jonathan Luna traveled in recent months to the area of
Pennsylvania where his body was found, and authorities were not immediately
aware of any work-related business that would have taken him to the region, The
Associated Press learned yesterday.
Investigators also were looking into a credit card Luna held without his wife's
knowledge and into postings of messages by someone who went by the name of
Jonathan Luna in websites where people advertise for female sex partners,
according to a federal law enforcement official who spoke to the AP on the condi-
tion of anonymity.
Baltimore FBI spokesman Larry Foust said yesterday that investigators were
still trying to determine a motive for Luna's killing. His body was found Thurs-
day, stabbed 36 times and left face down in a creek.
"This is a'full-court press, but we just don't know. There's a lot of infor-
mation and a lot of misinformation out there," Foust said. "We have people
working nonstop, overturning every stone, going where the facts lead
While a federal la:, enforcement source told the AP that investigators had
found nothing to indicate the killing was related to Luna's work, Luna's father
and friends are convinced his death was tied to his career.
More U.S.-trained Iraqi forces may be needed
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he wants senior commanders in Iraq
to consider whether the Pentagon underestimated how many U.S.-trained Iraqi
security forces would be needed before a sovereign Iraqi government can take
over next summer. Rumsfeld, who spent Saturday in Iraq, said he alone has raised
doubts about whether the current goal of about 220,000 Iraqi security forces
would be adequate, but he asked commanders to review their estimates. He was
interviewed on the flight to Washington, arriving early yesterday after a weeklong
trip that also included a stop in Afghanistan.
"I raised that question not because I have conviction that we need more, but
because I worry that budgets will begin to get committed, and we may not know if
we need more until sometime, for example, in February or March or April," he
said. By then, he said, the money might not be available.
"I'm concerned that we might not have the option of increasing if, in fact, that
proves to be necessary,' he said.
The number of Iraqis now in uniform is now said to be about 140,000, many of
whom were rushed through training programs.

Childrens' clothes are seen placed on the graves of nine children
who were were killed Saturday in a U.S. air strike aimed at a
suspected terrorist in Hutala, Afghanistan.
The 11,500 U.S.-led troops hunting when Afghan officials said 48 civil-
Taliban and al-Qaida remnants in south ians at a wedding party were killed
and east Afghanistan often are support- and 117 wounded by a U.S. Air
ed by air power, and there have been a Force AC-130 gunship in Uruzgan
string of military mishaps. province, which borders Ghazni
The worst occurred in July 2002, province.

Study: Terror cases result in little jail time

tice Department has sharply
increased prosecution of terrorism-
related cases since the Sept. 11
attacks, but many fizzled and few
produced significant prison time, a
study released yesterday finds.
About 6,400 people were referred
by investigators for criminal charges
involving terror in the two years after
the attacks, but fewer than one-third
actually were charged and only 879
were convicted, according to govern-
ment records reviewed by Syracuse
University's Transactional Records
Access Clearinghouse.

The median prison sentence was just
14 days, according to a study by clear-
inghouse co-directors David Burnham
and Susan Long. Only five people
were sentenced to 20 years or more.
Critics seized on the numbers to
question whether Attorney General
John Ashcroft and other top law
enforcement officials have been over-
stating the success of their anti-terror-
ism efforts. Nearly every time Ashcroft
talks about the subject, he reads a long
list of statistics on arrests and convic-
tions to buttress his contention that
great progress is being made.
Sen. Charles Grassley, a senior

member of the Senate Judiciary Com-
mittee with oversight of the FBI and
Justice department, said the report
"raises questions about the accuracy of
the department's claims about terror-
ism enforcement."
"This report shows that despite the
focus on terrorism-related crimes,
most of the people accused of terror-
ism involvement are getting little jail
time, if at all," said Grassley (R-Iowa).
Justice Department and FBI offi-
cials said the study is rooted in past
conceptions of crime and punishment
and does not reflect the reality that
would-be terrorists seek to blend into

society until they are ready to strike.
Lack of lengthy prison terms in
many cases can be explained by the
effort by prosecutors to stop would-be
terrorists long before they are ready to
attack, often charging them with lesser
offenses, such as identity theft, docu-
ment fraud and immigration violations.
Prosecutors feel it is better to get
suspects off the streets and press them
for information than wait for events
that could produce harsher penalties.
They also said the study makes no
mention of the value of intelligence
collection and the need to reward
cooperation with lesser sentences.

Continued from Page 1A
The traffic analysis also said that even
though the Islamic Center parking lot was full
on the last Friday of Ramadan, the condition
for a traffic light was not met because it was a
special day for Muslims.
But Abdallah Nasr, president-elect of the
Islamic Center, said on Fridays, the parking lot
is always full and on other days, it is half-full.
Nasr and Hassan both agree that the Friday
prayers bring in the most traffic.
"The most hazardous situation is created
between 12 and 3 p.m. when heavy traffic
comes in and out of the Islamic Center drive
for the Friday prayers," Nasr said. He noted
that many student pedestrians from North
Campus also come to the mosque for the
Sipowski said traffic analyses usually use

24-hour counts, although there is no require-
ment to do so.
"The logic behind it is that if the warrant is
not met during, say, the 12 busiest hours, the
chance that a warrant is met outside this time
period is negligible," Sipowski said.
In addition to road traffic counts, minimum
pedestrian volume was also measured. Nasr
said many pedestrians are students from
North Campus who cross the road to reach
either the Islamic Center or the Willow Tree
apartment complex, which is located behind
the center.
"There is a continual flow of pedestrians
and there is no specific time of a peak in
pedestrian volume," Nasr said.
The report states that the highest average
volume at the intersection was about 20
pedestrians per hour. Nasr estimated that the
volume was a little higher, at about 25 to 30
pedestrians per hour.

Continued from Page 1A
later upheld the use of race in admissions according to set
"This is much broader than the University," Peterson
said, adding that numerous companies seek diversity in
their workforce.
But Peterson said the University is limited by state
law in the amount of active work it can to with the new
Although the University is allowed "to educate and
inform" the public, it cannot participate in advertising
endeavors or use University funds to run a campaign.
"We were much more active and vocal during the
lawsuits. The situation is somewhat different for us,"
she said.
Peterson added that University President Mary Sue
Coleman still plans to actively speak with groups and
editorial boards around the state to promote the Univer-
sity's cause.

$373B spending bill
COuld be postponed
The House seems ready to vote its
belated approval for a $373 billion
spending bill, but a Senate showdown
could wait until late January, which
would slow and perhaps jeopardize
some of President Bush's priorities.
The bill is to provide money for
most domestic agencies for the
budget year that started Oct. 1. Law-
makers have injected big increases
for veterans' health care and high-
way construction and adorned it
with billions of dollars for muse-
ums, hospitals and thousands of
other projects for their districts.
The massive bill is well-stocked with
trophies for Bush, too. That means the
president also stands to lose political
prizes if disputes on overtime pay and
other issues block passage.
"If there is no bill, no one will get
any of their special priorities," said
Richard May, a private consultant who
monitors budget issues.
Russian voters show
favor toward Putin
The main party supporting President
Vladimir Putin led rivals by a large mar-
gin in Russia's parliamentary elections

yesterday, according to partial official
results, putting Putin on the path to the
solid majority he seeks to increase his
hold on the country.
More might in the State Duma,
Russia's lower parliament house,
would make it easier for Putin to
push through the sometimes unpop-
ular market-oriented economic
reforms he has promised and cut the
bureaucracy that stifles Russian
growth. It could also let him pass
constitutional changes giving him a
third term in office.
CDC warns of harsh
flu season this year
Flu experts say it's clear this flu season
will be much worse than in the past few
years, but they are not ready to predict it
will be one of the deadliest in modern
times. Epidemiologists at the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention don't
know how long this year's flu season will
last nor how many people it might affect.
Already, it is worrisome because sev-
eral children have died, and some parts of
the country are facing flu shot shortages
and swamped hospitals. It is one of the
earliest flu seasons in a quarter-century
but some flu outbreaks can peak as early
as December, rather than February,
which is the norm.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.


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