Archive for Monday, October 1, 2001


October 1, 2001


Los Angeles

Police fear hostage situation in botched mall robbery

Police shot and killed a suspect in a mall robbery Sunday and were searching for two other armed suspects they feared could be holding hostages, authorities said.

Sgt. John Pasquariello, a spokesman for the LAPD, said that "a brazen armed robbery" occurred about 5:15 p.m. in the suburban Woodland Hills mall. Police said cell phone calls made by customers indicated that the suspects may have taken several people hostage after trying to rob a Macy's jewelry area.

"We are receiving cell phone calls from inside and outside from people who think their loved ones are in there," Pasquariello said. "We are assuming there are hostages. ... We are not sure it's a hostage situation, but there's a very real possibility it could be."

New York City

Report: Bin Laden's family evacuated U.S. after attacks

Two dozen members of Osama bin Laden's family were urgently evacuated from the United States in the first days following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the Saudi ambassador to Washington said.

One of bin Laden's brothers frantically called the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington looking for protection, Prince Bandar bin Sultan told The New York Times.

Most of bin Laden's relatives were attending high school and college. They were driven or flown under FBI supervision to a secret place in Texas and then to Washington, The Times reported Sunday. They left the country on a private charter plane when airports reopened three days after the attacks.


Blair warns Afghanistan unloading stocks of opium

Prime Minister Tony Blair's office warned Sunday that opium grown in Afghanistan is being moved onto the market since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Afghanistan had been the world's leading producer of opium before the Taliban, citing Islamic religious principles, banned it in July 2000. Farmers complied, resulting in a 97 percent drop in opium production.

But the United Nations said some stockpiles are still believed to exist.

In 2000, Afghanistan produced about 4,000 tons of opium, accounting for about 75 percent of the world market. Almost all of it was consumed as heroin in Europe or other opiates in Asia. Most heroin sold in the United States comes from Latin America.


Deposed Afghan king welcomes U.S. assistance

U.S. lawmakers and Afghanistan's opposition forces rallied around the country's former monarch Sunday and vowed to work together to fight their new common enemies: terrorism, Osama bin Laden and the "tyranny" of Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

King Mohammad Zahir Shah, who was ousted in 1973, gave the United States his tacit approval for a U.S.-led campaign to root out bin Laden as well as the Taliban rulers harboring him, said Rep. Curt Weldon, a Pennsylvania Republican who heads the 11-member U.S. delegation.

"His wish is that the U.N. play a role. But he did not dismiss the notion that if the U.N. could not agree, that a U.S.-led force of allies would in fact liberate his country and allow this process to go forward," he said.

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