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Retaliation: Top terror suspect missing, Taliban says

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President Bush is demanding that Afghanistan's Taliban leaders turn over suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden.  


SUMMARY:

Afghanistan's Taliban leaders said Sunday that suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden -- the man U.S. officials suspect was behind the massive terrorist attacks on Washington and New York -- could not be found. U.S. officials disputed that. Meanwhile, American diplomats continued to lobby other countries to line up with Washington in a broad anti-terrorism campaign that appeared likely to include military action.

UPDATE:

President Bush's top security advisers readily dismissed claims by Afghanistan's ruling Taliban that al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden was nowhere to be found. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said the United States has evidence of bin Laden's role in terrorist acts that it will present in due time. (Full story)

U.S. forces are being positioned to address "a worldwide problem" in an anti-terrorist campaign that could involve strikes on countries besides Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Sunday. "This is not an Afghan problem; this is a worldwide problem of terrorist networks," he said. (Full story)

Afghanistan's opposition, the Northern Alliance, claimed new battlefield successes Sunday against the ruling Taliban and offered its aid in any U.S. action against its adversaries. (Full story)

U.S. government sources indicate to CNN that the unmanned spy plane downed Saturday by Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia was providing intelligence for the CIA. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged that the Pentagon had lost contact with a drone, but said there was no indication it had been shot down. (Full story)

The United Arab Emirates has cut diplomatic ties with Afghanistan, leaving Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as the only two nations that recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. Diplomatic sources say the Saudi government could soon joint the UAE and break its ties with the Taliban as well. (Full story)

KEY QUESTIONS:

Whom will the United States retaliate against?


  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

What form will the retaliation take? Click here for more.

Will the retaliation include an immediate response and a long-term plan to root out terrorists?

Is the United States willing to violate the sovereignty of other nations to get at terrorist networks?

How will retaliation affect Americans at home and abroad?

Will the United States seek military support from NATO?

WHO'S WHO:

George W. Bush: U.S. president

Osama bin Laden: A wealthy Saudi expatriate living in Afghanistan who U.S. authorities cite as one of the primary suspects in masterminding the attacks. Click here for more.

Colin Powell: U.S. secretary of state. A former Army general, Powell also served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Click here for more. Click here for more.

Condoleezza Rice: U.S. national security adviser. Click here for more.

Gen. Richard B. Myers: chairman-designate of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Click here for more.

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Saudi exile Osama bin Laden is considered a prime suspect in the September 11 attacks.  

Donald Rumsfeld: U.S. secretary of defense.

George Tenet: CIA director. Click here for more.

Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden: Director of the U.S. National Security Agency, responsible for gathering intelligence on terrorist cells.

Gen. Pervez Musharraf: The military ruler of Pakistan, one of two countries that officially recognizes the Taliban, the ruling militia of Afghanistan harboring bin Laden. The others are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Click here for more.

Mullah Mohammed Omar: The Muslim cleric who leads Afghanistan's ruling Taliban. Taliban officials say they have played host to bin Laden but do not allow him to engage in terrorist activities. Click here for more.

IMPACT:

The attacks on the nation's landmarks of power and security signal the start of a protracted battle on terrorism that could permanently alter core U.S. military and diplomatic strategies.






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