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Source: Hijacking suspects linked to Afghanistan

Bush receives a briefing during a meeting with CIA Director George Tenent, right, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Chief of Staff Andy Card at Camp David on Saturday  


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- At least four of the 19 suspected hijackers implicated in this month's terrorist attacks against the United States trained at camps in Afghanistan run by suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, an intelligence source familiar with the federal investigation said Saturday.

Additionally, the source said that "most" of the hijackers had connections to al Qaeda, the network run by bin Laden. Previously, sources had named three alleged hijackers with connections to al Qaeda.

The latest links uncovered by federal investigators buttress the Bush administration's belief that bin Laden was behind the September 11 attacks in which four commercial U.S. jets were hijacked and crashed. Two jets slammed into the World Trade Center, collapsing the towers and killing thousands. Another jet hit the Pentagon, and a fourth plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania. (Full story)

President Bush said Saturday that the American people's "patience and resolve" will be tested in a methodical antiterrorist campaign, but "the cause of freedom will prevail."

"This is a different kind of war, which we will wage aggressively and methodically to disrupt and destroy terrorist activity," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

Bush recounted a number of steps the administration has taken to combat terrorism since the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington. The death toll from those attacks is estimated at more than 6,000.

"We did not seek this conflict, but we will win it," Bush said. "America will act deliberately and decisively, and the cause of freedom will prevail." (Full story)

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Latest developments:

• The Bush administration is considering an economic aid package to help people who lost jobs in the airline and other industries affected by the September 11 attacks, a senior administration official told CNN Saturday. (Full story)

• Saying the country is more united than ever, former Vice-President Al Gore Saturday pledged his allegiance to the man he conceded victory to last year in one of the closest presidential el ections in American history. "George W. Bush is my commander in chief," Gore said during the keynote speech at the Iowa Democratic Party's 2001 Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner. (Full story)

• The Rev. Jesse Jackson said Saturday that he has "no present plans" to go to Afghanistan for discussions with the ruling Taliban regime, despite receiving a second invitation to travel there. He said the Taliban's rejection Friday of a diplomatic overture from neighboring Pakistan played a role in the decision. (Full story)

• Anti-war protesters marched Saturday in New York, Washington and Chicago, Illinois, urging the United States not to respond to the September 11 attacks with violence. (Full story)

• National Guard soldiers have been deployed at several U.S. airports to bolster security. President Bush recommended that states call up Guard units until longer-term airport security measures could be put into place. (Full story)

• The Bush administration plans to offer aid to opponents of Afghanistan's Taliban government, but will not try to choose who will lead the country, according to a White House memo, CNN has confirmed. (Full story)

• Both Pentagon and Taliban officials said they have no evidence to back up a report that three American commandos and two Afghans assisting them were captured in Afghanistan on a reconnaissance mission. (Full story)

• Three men suspected of belonging to a terrorist group that had planned attacks in Germany were arrested by German authorities, the government said Saturday. (Full story)

• The Taliban's supreme leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, told an Iranian newspaper that he does not expect the United States to attack Afghanistan and dismissed the idea of reinstating the deposed Afghan king. (Full story)

• Former President Bill Clinton and former presidential candidate Bob Dole announced Saturday they would spearhead a united effort to raise scholarship funds for the children and spouses of victims of this month's terrorist attacks. (Full story)

• Copies of a letter written in Arabic that gave instructions to the September 11 hijackers link three of the hijackings, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Friday. "It is a disturbing and shocking view into the mindset of these terrorists," Ashcroft said. "The letter provides instructions to the terrorists to be carried out both prior to and during the terrorist attacks." (Full story)

• The trial in Afghanistan of eight Western aid workers, accused of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity, has been rescheduled to resume Sunday morning, the workers' attorney said Saturday. (Full story)

• The nation's airlines -- nearly crippled by a two-day shutdown in the wake of the terrorist hijackings and the lack of passengers returning to air travel afterward -- are receiving the first payments from a federal financial assistance package. (Full story)

• A U.N. aid convoy carrying 200 metric tons of food and supplies left for Afghanistan on Saturday, the first major shipment of humanitarian aid to that country since the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. (Full story)

• Authorities believe the terrorist attacks were funded, developed and conceived in England, Germany and the UAE, government sources tell CNN. (Full story)

• Prosecutors at an extradition hearing Friday said an Algerian pilot arrested in London instructed four of the hijackers tied to the attacks on New York and Washington. (Full story)

• The official number of people missing in the rubble of the World Trade Center was 5,641, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Saturday. The list was compiled from six separate sources, so it is likely that some names were listed more than once. Giuliani said 309 deaths have been confirmed; 248 of the dead have been identified; and 946 people have applied for death certificates. In addition, 189 people died in the attack on the Pentagon and 44 people were killed in the Pennsylvania crash.



 
 
 
 



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