2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Site claims 2nd U.S. hostage killed
BAGHDAD (AP) - A posting on an
Islamic website claimed yesterday that
the al-Qaida-linked group led by Abu
Musab al-Zarqawi has slain a U.S. hos-
tage in Iraq, just 24 hours after grisly
video showed the terror mastermind
beheading another American captive.
The posting was followed about two
hours later by a claim on a different
website threatening to kill a third hos-
tage, a British man, if women prisoners
in Iraq are not freed.
Neither claim could immediately be
AI-Zarqawi's group, Tawhid and
Jihad, kidnapped two Americans
- Jack Hensley and Eugene Arm-
strong - and Briton Kenneth Big-
ley on Thursday from a home that
the three civil engineers shared in
an upscale Baghdad neighborhood.
Al-Zarqawi beheaded Armstrong,
and the militants on Monday posted
a gruesome video of the 52-year-old
The new postings followed the pass-
ing of the militants' 24-hour deadline
for the release of all Iraqi women from
prison, and after anguished relatives in
the United States and Britain begged
for the lives of Bigley, 62, and Hensley,
who would have marked his 49th birth-
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Tawhid and Jihad - Arabic for
"Monotheism and Holy War" - has
claimed responsibility for killing at
least seven hostages, including another
American, Nicholas Berg, who was
abducted in April. The group has also
said it is behind a number of bombings
and gun attacks.
This week's back-to-back killings and
the threat of more, however, represented
a heightened level of psychological war-
fare in al-Zarqawi's campaign of terror.
A host of militant groups have used
kidnappings and bombings as their
signature weapons in a blood-soaked
campaign to undermine interim Prime
Minister Ayad Allawi's government
and force the United States and its
allies out of Iraq. The violence has
already persuaded companies to leave
Iraq, hindered foreign investment,
led firms to drop out of aid projects,
restricted activities to relatively safe
areas and forced major expenditures
A car bomb wounded four U.S. sol-
diers on the road to Baghdad's airport
and two Marines were reported killed
in separate attacks west of the capital,
underscoring the inability of American
forces to control key areas part of Iraq
17 months after starting operations here.
Hensley family spokesperson Jake Haley, left foreground, talks to the media yes-
terday in front of the home of American hostage Jack Hensley in Marietta, Ga.,
after it was reported that Hensley, who was held in Iraq, had been killed.
"The nation's zealous sons slaughtered
the second American hostage after the
end of the deadline," the first statement
said. It was signed with the pseudonym
Abu Maysara al-Iraqi, the name usually
Continued from page 2.
entering the U.S. After the Sept. 11
attacks, however, this system became
a requirement for all international
Although Chen did not have to
pay the new fee, the process of com-
ing to America was a tiring one. "The
first thing I had to do was call for an
appointment at the (U.S.) Embassy. In
Germany you used to just have to send
in your information but now you have
to go in for an interview."
Chen had to wait six weeks for her
interview with embassy officials. She
said her patience was tested even fur-
ther as she arrived at the embassy and
was forced to stand in line for three
and a half hours. "The process takes
longer than it should, but the Univer-
sity works with you to get through it."
Once Chen made it through the wait-
ing process, her interview went smooth-
ly and she received her visa. But the
element of fear did not dissipate there.
Upon entering the United States,
Chen had her eyes scanned and her fin-
gers printed at the airport. "How would
you feel if you had to go through that?
I felt like I was in prison," she said.
Chen was then put into the electronic
database. "I had 30 days to check in at
the University, otherwise my visa would
be terminated, and I'd have to go through
the whole process again," Chen said.
The University is trying to make
the transition easier for international
students like Chen. Kay Clifford, the
associate director at the University's
used on statements from al-Zarqawi's
group. Claims on this website have prov-
en to be accurate in the past.
The brief statement did not give the
name of the hostage killed. It promised
Nationwide, applications from international
graduate students declined by 28 percent
from 2003 to 2004, according to the Council
of Graduate Schools.
NEWS IN BRIEF
Gov't orders handover of airline data
The Transportation Security Administration announced yesterday that it will
order domestic airlines to turn over personal information about passengers to test
a system that will compare their names to those on terrorist watch lists.
The system, called Secure Flight, replaces a previous plan that would have
checked passenger names against commercial databases and assigned a risk level
to each. That plan, which cost $103 million, was abandoned because of privacy
concerns and technological issues.
The airlines will have 30 days to comment on the proposed order, which Con-
gress gave the TSA authority to issue. Air carriers will then have 10 days to turn
over data that it gathered in June, called passenger name records.
The amount of data in passenger name records varies by airline, but it typically
includes name, flight origin, flight destination, flight time, duration of flight and
form of payment.
It can also include credit card numbers, address, telephone number and meal
requests, which can indicate a person's ethnicity.
Iran turns uranium into gas, defying U.N
Defying a key demand set by 35 nations, Iran announced yesterday it has start-
ed converting raw uranium into the gas needed for enrichment, a process that can
be used to make nuclear weapons.
Iran's president, Mohammad Khatami, vowed his country will press ahead with
its nuclear program even if it means a rupture with the U.N. watchdog agency and
an end to inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities.
"We've made our choice: yes to peaceful nuclear technology, no to atomic weap-
ons," President Mohammad Khatami said at a military parade in Tehran. "We will
continue along our path even if it leads to an end to international supervision."
In Vienna, Iranian Vice President Reza Aghazadeh said tests are "going on suc-
cessfully" to make uranium hexafluoride gas, the material that, in the next stage,
is fed into centrifuges for enrichment.
Of the more than 40 tons of raw uranium being mined for conversion, "Some
.has been used," he told reporters.
U.S. investigating possible prisoner abuse case
The U.S. military is investigating whether American soldiers abused an Afghan
detainee so badly that he died last year at a special forces base in southeastern
Afghanistan, an official said yesterday.
The criminal case, the latest in a string of probes into alleged abuse of prisoners
in U.S. jails here, was opened over the weekend following a report that Afghan
investigators concluded that the young militiaman may have been murdered.
"We do have an ongoing criminal investigation," said Chris Grey, a spokesman
for the Army's Criminal Investigation Command at Fort Belvoir, Va. The probe
focused on "an alleged death of an Afghan detainee and alleged abuse," he said.
Grey said the military was responding to an account in the Los Angeles Times
of how an 18-year-old Afghan named Jamal Naseer died after he and seven other
militia soldiers were seized by U.S. soldiers in March 2003.
Death toll in Haiti from storm approaches 700
Blood swirled in knee-deep floodwaters as workers stacked bodies outside
the hospital morgue yesterday. Carcasses of pigs, goats and dogs and pieces of
smashed furniture floated in muddy streams that once were the streets of this bat-
tered city. Desperate people swarmed a truck delivering water.
The death toll across Haiti from the weekend deluges brought by Tropical Storm
Jeanne rose to 691, with 600 of them in Gonaives, and officials said they expected
to find more dead and estimated tens of thousands of people were homeless.
Waterlines up to 10 feet high on Gonaives's buildings marked the worst of the
storm that sent water gushing down denuded hills, destroying homes and crops in
the Artibonite region that is Haiti's breadbasket.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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International Center said, "The pro-
cess yields a lot of anxiety, and the
admissions office, the student affairs
office, the academic departments and
our federal relations department are
all working as a team to help these stu-
dents and exchange visitors."
Although Chen did not have difficul-
ty getting a visa once she went through
the interview process, some students
must wait three weeks to a year for
their visa to be processed. If there is,
something "sensitive" in the interview,
the report is sent to Washington where
a security advisory opinion - essen-
tially a second review of the student's
background - takes place.
"It is hard to say what exactly char-
acterizes something as 'sensitive' but
often we find that students who are
studying nuclear engineering or an
area with bio in the title are forced to
go through this secondary process"
"Students don't always know if they
had to go through a security advi-
sory opinion. All they know is that
it took days or even months to get a
visa." Clifford said. Unlike Chen's
visa, which will last her five years,
visas issued after the student has gone
through a secondary advisory opinion
only last a year.
"Our aim is to get visas issued in 30 to
60 days, because that's the biggest stress
these students are dealing with, and we
also are working to get the visas to last
for the time needed for the student to
complete his or her studies."
John Godfrey, assistant dean of
international education at Rackham,
has begun submitting letters with some
of the students' interviews, where a
faculty member from that student's
department explains to federal officials
in depth what the student will be doing
here. The International Center hopes
that this will prevent an unnecessary
"I think the University has done a
fantastic job in letting the students know
we're here for them and we care. It's very
supportive in helping these students
through this process." Clifford said.
Last week's survey by the Council
of Graduate Schools results show that
applications from international gradu-
ate students declined by 28 percent
from 2003 to 2004 nationwide, while
admissions declined 18 percent over
the same period, Godfrey said.
"We won't have the final figures
until the official third week count is
completed, but this drop reflects the
problems international students have
been facing with visas," he said.
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