Archive for Monday, May 20, 2002


May 20, 2002


London: New bin Laden video surfaces

A British newspaper said Sunday it had obtained a previously unseen video of Osama bin Laden, in which the Saudi-born dissident says that any country siding with Israel is a target for Islamic terrorists.

The Sunday Times newspaper said that unidentified supporters of the al-Qaida leader claimed sections of the 40-minute video were filmed eight weeks ago.

The newspaper said, however, that the video did not provide enough clues for it to be dated.

Washington, D.C.: Security agency considers airline security measures

Federal officials reviewing airline security are considering setting up toll-free telephone numbers that passengers in the air could use during emergencies.

Also being examined is a system that would allow frequent fliers to have background checks before they travel, making it easier for them to pass through airport security checkpoints.

The ideas are in a Transportation Security Administration report expected to go today to Congress.

The new emergency number would mean that passengers would not need a credit card to call from an airplane, as is now required for in-flight phones. Regional centers would handle the calls and contact the appropriate law enforcement agencies, the official said.

Georgia: Green Beret mission begins

A contingent of Green Beret trainers landed in this ex-Soviet republic Sunday, adding Georgia to the list of countries where U.S. troops have deployed in the 8-month-old counter-terror campaign.

After two days of travel from Fort Carson, Colo., about 50 Army Special Forces soldiers arrived at the airport in Tbilisi.

It marked the beginning of a two-year training program for elite troops of Georgia's tiny and underfunded army. The corps of instructors at times will expand to 150, as specialists come and go on short terms of duty.

Washington, D.C.: Giuliani defends Bush on pre-Sept. 11 intelligence

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani defended the Bush administration's handling of intelligence information prior to Sept. 11, saying on Sunday he did not believe the federal government could have anticipated the terrorist attacks.

Giuliani, a Republican, suggested that the Clinton administration also should be accountable given that much of the intelligence now coming under scrutiny was collected during its watch.

"Remember, the Bush administration when this attack took place was a very new administration, and they had just inherited the intelligence apparatus put in place by the Clinton administration, so when you look at this you're going to have look at both," Giuliani told The Associated Press after a speech to graduates of Georgetown Law School.

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