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U.S. officials defend pace of war

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Nearly a month into the bombing campaign, U.S. officials defended the pace of the war on terrorism as the Arabic language television network Al-Jazeera reported that it has received a letter from Osama bin Laden condemning Pakistan's support of the bombing and calling for Muslims to unite.


The letter, written in Arabic says the "Pakistani government is now standing beneath the Christian banner." It also says President Bush is at the head of that Christian banner and urges Pakistani Muslims to defend against a Christian crusade. There has been no confirmation that the letter -- hand-delivered to Al-Jazeera's's Kabul office -- is authentic, though the network, which has frequently received other communications from bin Laden, said the signature appeared authentic. (Full story)

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the pace of the war on terrorism, saying "measurable progress" has been made on the Pentagon's goals. He also refuted allegations that U.S. forces were not supporting the Northern Alliance strongly enough. (Full story)

U.S. jets pounded Taliban troop positions near the strategic northern city of Mazar-e Sharif in support of Northern Alliance forces. (Full story)

The U.N.'s top Afghanistan envoy said Thursday he cannot provide a time frame for finding a political solution that will yield a future government for the war-ravaged country. (Full story)

A key working group of Russian and American diplomats says the Taliban "as a movement should have no place in future bodies of state power" in Afghanistan. The U.S.-Russia Working Group on Afghanistan, co-chaired by Richard L. Armitage, U.S. deputy secretary of state, and V.I. Tribunikov, first deputy foreign minister of the Russian Federation, also said that there should be a "broad-based, multi-ethnic government" in Afghanistan, according to a press release from the group. (Full story)

Turkish officials told CNN Thursday that Turkey will send a 90-member troop contingent to northern Afghanistan to help train Northern Alliance troops. (Full story)

Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri called for a ceasefire in Afghanistan Thursday and warned that the longer the conflict continues the more likely the global coalition against terrorism would crumble. She said military action should be halted during the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan and Christmas. (Full story)

Tokyo is considering whether to send a fleet of military vessels including one of Japan's four 7,250-ton Aegis destroyers to the Indian Ocean by the end of November, although no requests have been made from the U.S, according to Japanese officials. (Full story)

CNN's John Vause reports on protests organized by the Pakistan-Afghan Defense Council, composed of 12 political parties and religious groups (October 26)

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CNN's Frank Buckley examines how NORAD, built to monitor missile activity during the Cold War, is now focused on new threats since September 11 (October 26)

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  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

Attack on America
 CNN NewsPass Video 
Agencies reportedly got hijack tips in 1998
Intelligence intercept led to Buffalo suspects
Report cites warnings before 9/11
Timeline: Who Knew What and When?
Interactive: Terror Investigation
Terror Warnings System
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In-Depth: America Remembers
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On the Scene: Barbara Starr: Al Qaeda hunt expands?
On the Scene: Peter Bergen: Getting al Qaeda to talk


What kind of government will replace the Taliban if the religious group is removed as the country's government? (Click here for more)

Where are the Taliban positioning troops and equipment in civilian areas? Does this factor into where the U.S. decides to strike? (Click here for more)

What effect will the support and opposition within Pakistan of the U.S.-led military strikes have on the war against terrorism?

When will the Northern Alliance, the anti-Taliban group that controls up to 10 percent of Afghanistan, begin a ground offensive to take the capital of Kabul? Are they making any progress? (Click here for more.)

What is life like in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, with increasingly intense U.S. airstrikes overhead? (Click here for more.)

How long will the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan last? (Click here for more.)

What is the goal of the U.S. airstrikes over Afghanistan? What is the key to the mission's success? (Click here for more.)

What is the White House doing to prevent al Qaeda from airing what it calls "propaganda" on U.S. media outlets? (Click here for more.)

Who are the key players in the political landscape of Afghanistan, and how could U.S. military intervention affect the balance of power there? (Click here for more.)


George W. Bush: U.S. president (Click here for more.)

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.)

Condoleezza Rice: U.S. national security adviser. (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.)

Gen. Richard B. Myers: Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Click here for more.)

Gen. Tommy Franks: Head of U.S. Central Command. (Click here for more.)

Donald Rumsfeld: U.S. secretary of defense. (Click here for more.)

George Tenet: CIA director. (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.

George Robertson: Secretary-General of NATO (and former British defense minister) (Click here for more.)


The military attacks that began October 7 mark the start of what the Bush administration says will be a lengthy struggle against terrorist organizations worldwide -- one that could take years.


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