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Archive for Thursday, October 11, 2001

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October 11, 2001

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New York: Former FBI agent to head state security

James Kallstrom, the FBI agent who helped bring down mobster John Gotti and led the investigation into the explosion of TWA Flight 800, was named to head the state's new anti-terrorism office Wednesday.

"Jim Kallstrom is too good a person, too experienced a person, to be on the sidelines while the nation is at war with this horrible terrorist element," said Gov. George Pataki, who made the appointment.

Kallstrom, 58, former head of the FBI's New York office, said he has been attending "the funerals of friends of mine, multiple friends of mine, and there was a nagging part of my body and my heart that wanted to do something."

As director of the state Office of Public Security, Kallstrom will work with state law enforcement agencies and report directly to the governor.

Louisiana: Jet makes unscheduled stop after onboard disturbance

A Delta airliner bound Wednesday for California was diverted to Shreveport with an escort of two fighter planes after a passenger passed a threatening note to a flight attendant, the FBI said.

Flight 357, with 148 people aboard from Atlanta to Los Angeles, landed safely after what the airline described as a "passenger incident."

Edward A. Stephenson, 36, was arrested and charged with interfering with a flight crew member and attendants, FBI spokeswoman Sheila Thorne said.

She refused to provide details of the note, but said it was deemed threatening. The Boeing 757 reported a problem at 2:43 p.m. and landed 26 minutes later.

Stephenson appeared disoriented when he was taken off the plane, police said. Thorne said prosecutors planned to seek a mental evaluation.

Turkey: Army soldier becomes first U.S. casualty

An Army soldier got trapped between two trucks and was critically injured Wednesday, becoming the first American casualty of Operation Enduring Freedom, the campaign against terrorism, officials said.

The soldier's name and where the accident took place were not disclosed.

"U.S. medical personnel on the scene performed initial lifesaving care," then the soldier was taken to a U.S. base in Incirlik, Turkey, for further treatment, said Maj. Brad Lowell, a U.S. Central Command spokesman at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

Turkey: Troop deployment authorized

Despite strong public opposition, Turkey's parliament approved a bill Wednesday allowing the government to contribute troops to the U.S.-led anti-terrorism campaign in Afghanistan.

Turkey, NATO's only Muslim member, has not offered combat troops, but officials have said that Turkish soldiers are available to train fighters of the northern alliance, the main anti-Taliban force in Afghanistan. Turkey has close ethnic ties to the Uzbek minority in northern Afghanistan, a key part of the opposition to Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia.

Turkey is also willing to help distribute humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.

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