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Retaliation: Pakistan sending emissaries to Taliban

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SUMMARY:

Pakistan is sending a new diplomatic delegation to Afghanistan in the hope of persuading the Taliban government to cooperate with the international community, a government official said Thursday.

UPDATE:

Pakistan wants to make one last effort to convince the Taliban that they should turn over suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden and "satisfy the conscience of the Pakistanis that they have done everything possible," the Pakistani official told CNN. (Full story)

CNN's Mike Chinoy, reporting from Peshawar, Pakistan, says there are signs that support for the Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist regime, may be fading in Afghanistan. Middle and lower level Taliban officials and soldiers are abandoning their posts and young men are avoiding military conscription, sources tell CNN. (Full story)

The dire humanitarian and security situation in Afghanistan has created what some U.S. officials call "fertile ground" for a "homegrown" challenge to Taliban rule. Officials said they were working with a variety of what they called "Afghan nationalists," ethnic, religious and political groups in Afghanistan and abroad, in the hope that they would band together and form a new coalition government. (Full story )

Thousands of people have attended government-sponsored rallies across Pakistan called to show support for President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's backing of the U.S. war on terrorism. (Full story)

Residents of eastern Afghanistan who can afford to leave are closing their shops and businesses and fleeing for the countryside in anticipation of a U.S.-led military attack. With tensions rising, most of the population of the city of Jalalabad, thought to be high on the list of possible targets, has already fled. (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?

What countries have joined the U.S. anti-terror coalition? Click here for more

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 NATO play a role? Click here for more

Will this crisis lead to a new role in U.S.-Russia relations? Click here for more

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. Click here for more.

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.

Northern Alliance: A group of former mujahedeen fighters, mainly from minority ethnic groups, that oppose the Taliban. The group controls about five percent of northern Afghanistan. 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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