Archive for Saturday, December 1, 2001


December 1, 2001


Washington: Cheney: Military tribunal possible for al-Qaida Captive

Vice President Dick Cheney said Friday that the captured son of an imprisoned sheik could be among the first to face trial by military tribunal, as the allied effort in Afghanistan increasingly focuses on the painstaking task of identifying key figures in a swelling population of Taliban prisoners.

Cheney confirmed that allies have detained Ahmed Omar Abdel Rahman, a high-profile figure in Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network and the son of a blind Muslim cleric convicted in 1995 of conspiring to blow up a series of New York landmarks.

Rahman is considered the most significant al-Qaida member captured in the Afghan campaign and is believed to have played a prominent recruiting role for the terrorist network.

Washington: Supreme Court makes special exception for anthrax delays

Disruptions in the mail caused by anthrax have waylaid hundreds of Supreme Court appeals. While the court is making unprecedented allowances, justices may not catch up to hear the usual number of cases this term.

Court mail and deliveries are being diverted because of anthrax concerns, a precaution that has left many criminal and civil cases in limbo.

Justices generally review only 80 cases a year of the thousands they receive. So far, they've selected 21 cases for argument this term, about half as many as normal. They also have fewer cases to choose from as the deadline nears for filling this term's argument time slots.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist has taken the extraordinary step of allowing appeal requests to be filed by e-mail or faxed so the paperwork won't have to be checked for anthrax.

Oregon: Statestands alone in refusal to question foreign visitors

Oregon likes to go its own way. Its maverick mentality has produced laws allowing everything from physician-assisted suicide to voting by mail.

And now that independent streak has emerged in the nationwide campaign to track down terrorists.

Two Oregon cities Portland and Corvallis have refused to participate in the questioning of 5,000 foreign visitors nationwide as part of the federal anti-terrorism probe. The cities are believed to be the only ones in the nation to rebuff the Justice Department's request.

The police chief of a third city, Hillsboro, says he has not been asked to participate in the questioning. But he says his officers can't interview people not suspected of crimes.

In addition, police in Eugene and Salem have agreed to help with the federal probe, but only in a limited role.

"Our assistance would merely be our presence" during the questioning, Lt. Bill Kohlmeyer of the Salem Police Department told the Salem Statesman Journal. "We're not even participating with the interviews."

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