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America at Home: Washington expands efforts against terrorism

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The Washington leadership, on multiple fronts, is working to expand its investigative powers. The U.S. attorney general announced that law enforcement officials will question thousands of international visitors, on the same day that President Bush signed an order giving the president the option to try non-U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism before a military commission rather than in civil court.

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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
Most wanted terrorists
What looks suspicious?
In-Depth: America Remembers
In-Depth: Terror on Tape
In-Depth: How prepared is your city?
On the Scene: Barbara Starr: Al Qaeda hunt expands?
On the Scene: Peter Bergen: Getting al Qaeda to talk


Law enforcement officials will question more than 5,000 young men who entered the United States during the last two years. In a speech to federal prosecutors, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said the initiative was necessary to "expand our knowledge of terrorist networks operating within the United States."

Justice Department officials said they started last week to send lists of interviewees to the 94 U.S. Attorney's offices throughout the country. The lists are of males, ages 18 to 33, with known addresses who entered the United States legally on nonimmigrant visas from particular countries after January 1, 2000. (Full story)

The director of the American Civil Liberties Union said President Bush's new order was "disturbing" and said the president needs to justify why the current judicial system is inadequate to try suspected terrorists.

White House deputy press secretary Scott McClellan said the president has not decided whether to use this option, but said such an option is necessary in these "extraordinary times." He cited the security concerns of trying any member of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network or any other international terrorist in U.S. civilian courts. (Full story)

Meanwhile, legislators are trying to agree on an aviation security bill. They agreed that the American Airlines crash in New York City made it even more critical that they act quickly to restore the nation's confidence in air safety.

A Senate bill would make the nation's 28,000 airport baggage screeners federal employees. The House bill, backed by the White House, would put the government in control of screening operations but let the administration decide whether screeners should be public or private workers. (Full story)


Will a military commission afford suspected terrorists appropriate protection of their civil rights, and are non-U.S. citizens entitled to those rights?

What is the government doing to fortify homeland defense? Click here for more

Is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention equipped to handle bioterrorism attacks?

Does the U.S. Postal Service have the proper resources to make the mail safe? Click here for more

How is Congress helping out in the recovery process? Click here for more

What are tips to know in the wake of the attacks? Click here for more


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

Laura Bush: First lady of the United States, she has become more visible since the terrorist attacks, making public appearances urging parents and teachers to help reassure children that everything is being done to try to keep them safe. Click here for more

Tom Ridge: Director of the U.S. Office of Homeland Security, a new Cabinet-level position Click here for more

Richard Clarke: Head of efforts to safeguard information systems for the Office of Homeland Security Click here for more

Wayne Downing: Retired Army general tapped as deputy national security adviser Click here for more

Joe Allbaugh:The chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Click here for more

Dr. David Satcher: Surgeon General of the United States

Dr. Jeffrey P. Koplan: Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Click here for more

Rudy Giuliani: Mayor of New York Click here for more

Michael Bloomberg: Mayor-elect of New York

Anthony A. Williams: Mayor of Washington

Dr. Ivan Walks: Director of the Department of Health for the District of Columbia

Paul O'Neill: Treasury secretary

Norman Y. Mineta:Transportation secretary

Jane Garvey: FAA administrator


The latest figures provided by federal and local officials give the following totals for the number of people dead or missing from the September 11 attacks.

WORLD TRADE CENTER: According to New York City officials, 3,962 are missing, including the 157 people on the two hijacked planes; 490 bodies have been identified.

PENTAGON: 64 dead on hijacked plane; another 125 dead or missing

PENNSYLVANIA: 44 confirmed dead on hijacked plane


The events of September 11 exposed the vulnerability of the world's greatest superpower, presenting the United States with the challenge of recovering emotionally and physically.

The U.S. economy, threatened by recession before September 11, has suffered a number of blows in the weeks since. Several industries -- particularly the airline industry -- were hit hard by the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, and leading economic indicators dropped in September. Yet the nation's financial markets have thus far weathered the uncertainty, making up losses experienced in the days after reopening.

Incidents of anthrax found in mail have frightened many, and the notable increase of security at offices and public places indicates America to be a warier, more cautious place. But daily life has not been put on hold: People are still attending entertainment events, going to ballgames, and getting out. Psychologically, the country appears to be finding its way.


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