2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 29, 2004
Military plans new Afghan offensive NEWS INBRIEF .i
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Penta- this year, a development that could ISLAMABAD, Pakistan
gon is planning a new offensive in the
two-year-old Afghanistan campaign to
try to stop remnants of the Taliban
regime and the al-Qaida terrorist net-
work, officials said yesterday.
Orders have been issued to pre-
pare equipment and supplies,
though the operation will not nec-
essarily require additional troops in
the region, where about 11,000
Americans are still deployed, a
defense official said on condition
of anonymity. The upcoming opera-
tion has been dubbed the "spring
Another Pentagon official declined
to discuss the possibility that troops
would extend operations to the Pak-
istan side of the border, where al-
Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and top
lieutenants have long been said to be
hiding, but he said that might have to
be the next step.
He said Defense Department
officials believe current operations
in Afghanistan are not having the
effect they want on the terrorist
network, and they are determined
to do more.
Officials already have said they
hope to finally capture bin Laden
benefit President Bush in the
One senior defense official said Pen-
tagon leaders determined a couple of
months ago that it is important to catch
bin Laden, more for the symbolism
than for his military value.
"I can say that Osama bin Laden
and (former Taliban leader) Mullah
Omar represent a threat to the
world, and they need to be
destroyed, and we believe we will
catch them in the next year," Lt.
Col. Bryan Hilferty, a spokesman
for military forces in the region,
News of the spring offensive
came after the second suicide
attack in as many days on interna-
tional peacekeepers in Kabul, the
Afghan capital. A British soldier
was killed in the attack yesterday
and four others were wounded,
The bombing came during a
memorial ceremony for a Canadian
soldier killed the day before. An
Afghan bystander also died in that
attack. The Taliban claimed respon-
sibility for both bombings.
The top U.S. commander in
"I can say that Osama bin Laden and (former
Taliban leader) Mullah Omar represent a
threat to the world, and they need to be
destroyed, and we believe we will catch them
in the next year.
Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty
Spokesman, military forces in Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. David W.
Barno, said last month that hun-
dreds of al-Qaida fighters still
appear to be active in Khost and
neighboring provinces on the long
Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The
area has seen a wave of attacks this
year by insurgents believed to be a
mix of Taliban, al-Qaida and fight-
ers loyal to renegade Afghan war-
lord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
In recent months, Pakistan has
stepped up efforts to track terrorist
fugitives along the rugged frontier
with Afghanistan - amid criticism
that Taliban rebels are launching
cross-border attacks from Pak-
istan's tribal regions.
A Pentagon official said yesterday
that some groups of Taliban and al-
Qaida are believed to be waiting out
the harsh Afghan winter, and the
spring offensive is planned to keep
them from launching new activity
when the thaw comes.
The Chicago Tribune, which first
reported the offensive in yester-
day's editions, said officials are
particularly determined to hit al-
Qaida hard in coming months, part-
ly because of concerns over two
recent assassination attempts
against Pakistan President Pervez
Musharraf, whose role as a major
U.S. ally in the war on terror has
angered Islamic extremists.
Officials: Scientists had black-market ties
The founder of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program and a top aide had black-
market contacts that supplied sensitive technology to Iran and Libya, Pakistani
intelligence officials told The Associated Press yesterday.
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, long revered as a national hero in Pakistan, and Dr.
Mohammed Farooq, former director-general of the Khan Research Laboratories,
also have failed to account for funds in their personal bank accounts, the officials
said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Both men deny they helped Iran and Libya, the officials said, as an investiga-
tion into nuclear technology trade nears an end.
"These are the two people who had links and contacts with those who have
been supplying many things to those countries who wanted to become nuclear
power," one official said.
Another official said Khan had been shown documents and other material
and had acknowledged his contacts with dealers who worked for him in the
past, but he denied he had profited or played any role in supplying technology
to either Iran or Libya.
"He says he is the victim of an international conspiracy," the official
N. Korea to share missile tech with Nigeria
North Korea has agreed to share missile technology with Nigeria, the Nigerian
government said yesterday - a deal that would take the secretive communist
nation's missile business to sub-Saharan Africa.
Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and West Africa's military giant,
would join Libya, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan and Syria among countries reported to
have received North Korea's help with either missiles or missile technology.
Nigeria, which is not at war or under any known threat from other countries,
said any missile help would be used for "peacekeeping" and to protect its territory.
It said it was not seeking nuclear technology or weapons of mass destruction.
A Nigerian official said no hardware acquisitions had yet been made or decid-
ed. The government did not say whether Nigeria would obtain missiles - either
Scud or ballistic - or simply receive help making them.
North Korea largely exports "simple, robust" Scud missile technology - not
up-to-date, but useful for countries with relatively unsophisticated militaries, said
Rose Gottemoeller, a senior associate at the Washington-based Carnegie Endow-
i " 4
Michian Tgenre eCommtt
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ment for International Peace.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip
Eight Palestinians die
in fierce street battles
Israeli troops clashed with Palestin-
ian militants in fierce, prolonged street
battles across Gaza City yesterday,
killing eight Palestinians. The flare-up
of violence complicated a new U.S.
effort to restart peace talks.
The deaths - and subsequent
demands for reprisals at angry funeral
processions - jeopardized modest
moves toward reviving the U.S.-
backed "road map" peace plan and
threatened yet another escalation in
more than three years of Palestinian-
Palestinian leaders complained the
fighting frustrated the first high-level
U.S. diplomatic mission in a month,
by envoys John Wolf and David Sat-
economists said they believed the Fed
still planned on keeping rates
unchanged for most of this year.
The Dow Jones industrial average,
which had been in positive territory
before the Fed's afternoon announce-
ment, lost more than 100 points in late
Bond prices dropped as well, sending
interest rates set by the market sharply
Short-term rates tied to Fed actions
did not move at all.
Blair cleared of ties
to inspector's suicide
A judge cleared Prime Minister Tony
Blair's administration yesterday of any
direct involvement in the suicide of a
government expert on Iraqi weapons,
but criticized the BBC for its reporting
of the scandal that shook the British
The chairman of the British Broad-
casting Corp.'s board of governors
resigned hours after the report was issued
by appeals judge Lord Hutton, who was
appointed by Blair to investigate the
death of weapons expert David Kelly.
Hutton concluded the government
did not act in a "dishonorable, under-
hand or duplicitous" way in revealing
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
weapons inspector David Kay testifies about U.S.
n Iraqi weapons of mass destruction before the
IServices tCommitteei otn Capmitol Hill vestrdav.
Claims OffiCialS Fed's actions lead to
"/1) stock market plunge
lost au wrong
N (AP) - Former top
pector David Kay told
Senate yesterday that
.n up weapons of mass
q exposed weaknesses
number of surprises,"
s after meeting behind
th the Senate Intelli-
e. "It's quite clear we
s that we do not have
the Senate Armed Ser-
that "we were almost
nd I certainly include
believing that Iraq had
ggestions by Democrats
analysts felt pressured
ration to shape intelli-
esident Bush make the
said he spoke to many
epared the intelligence
gle case was the expla-
pressured to this."
Kay said he felt there would always
be "unresolvable ambiguity" about
exactly what programs Iraq had
because of the severe looting that
occurred in Iraq immediately after the
U.S.-led invasion and the U.S. mili-
tary's failure to control it. U.S. investi-
gators believe some Iraqis probably
took advantage of that period of chaos
to get rid of any evidence of weapons
programs, he said.
Kay said U.S. intelligence agencies
became so dependent on information
from U.N. inspectors, they didn't devel-
op their own sources. He also said he
would favor an independent investiga-
tion into the intelligence failures.
Kay's appearance had strong political
undertones, with the justification for war
emerging as a top issue in the presiden-
The committee's top Democrat, Sen.
Carl Levin of Michigan, pointed to
repeated statements by top administra-
tion officials flatly stating that Iraq pos-
sessed weapons of mass destruction.
The Federal Reserve left a key short-
term interest rate at a 45-year low on
yesterday but dropped a promise it had
been making since August to keep rates
low "for a considerable period."
The wording change was enough to
jolt financial markets, sending stock
prices plunging, even though private
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rephardt of Missouri,
of the race after finish-
Gephardt co-chair Ilya
e decided to endorse
ter Gephardt's loss in
ts most Students for
rs to follow his lead
rry has picked up the
te in every single elec-
n, including Iowa and
' said Rusinov, an LSA
ob DeVore, co-chair of
wards, also expects Sen.
North Carolina to gain
candidates to be narrowed down from
the current seven to three or four after
those contests, and he expects subse-
quent gains in momentum as well as
attrition from any losing candidates to
benefit Edwards in Michigan's caucuses.
LSA sophomore Alex Phung, co-
chair of Wolverines for Clark, also said
he expects his candidate to benefit from
the upcoming primaries in the Western
and Southern states.
Phung added that both Kerry and
Dean are from New England, and
that their performances in New
Hampshire do not guarantee similar
levels of support in other areas of the
"I don't think that Iowa and New
Hampshire are necessarily representative
PHOTO Tony Ding, Brett Mountain, Managing Edi
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I WMAft MftM AS" A% ALM W-Ift