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Afghans capture al Qaeda compound

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The al Qaeda base featured dug-in fortifications and small caves.  


Afghan fighters captured a huge complex of trenches, well-dug fortifications and small caves from al Qaeda fighters near Tora Bora Tuesday in a swift advance after 10 days of U.S. bombing. Meanwhile, Americans marked three months after the September 11 attacks with ceremonies at the World Trade Center ruins, the White House and the Pentagon, and Britain prepared to lead a multinational peacekeeping force in Afghanistan.


Anti-Taliban forces offered al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan's rugged White Mountains the chance to surrender Tuesday. The Afghan fighters made significant gains Tuesday in close combat supported by tanks and U.S. warplanes. (Full story)

Eastern Alliance commanders said they do not rule out the possibility that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden still could be holed up near Tora Bora, surrounded by diehard fighters. (Full story)

With a new Afghan government set to take power December 22, the U.S. envoy to Afghan opposition groups will go to Kabul to re-establish an American diplomatic presence there after 12 years. (Full story)

U.S. officials visited a town in central Somalia over the weekend, humanitarian sources said, prompting speculation that Somalia might be a new target of the U.S.-led antiterrorism campaign. (Full story)

A videotape U.S. officials said captures bin Laden bragging about the September 11 attacks likely will be released to the public Wednesday, White House sources said. President Bush said the tape would show viewers that bin Laden is guilty of "incredible murder." (Full story)

The British-led force planned for Afghanistan will not be composed of U.N. peacekeepers, but numerous European and Muslim countries are expected to contribute troops. The U.N. Security Council could authorize the force in a resolution this week. (Full story)

  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

Attack on America
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Timeline: Who Knew What and When?
Interactive: Terror Investigation
Terror Warnings System
Most wanted terrorists
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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


Who are the Northern Alliance and other key players in the political landscape of Afghanistan, and how could U.S. military intervention affect the balance of power there?

Now that the last Taliban stronghold has fallen, will its fleeing members still pose a threat?

Where is Mullah Mohammed Omar, the spiritual leader of the Taliban?

What kind of permanent government will next rule Afghanistan?

How will a multinational peacekeeping force be received in war-weary Afghanistan?

How long will the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan last?

What is the goal of the U.S. airstrikes over Afghanistan? What is the key to the mission's success?


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.

Condoleezza Rice: U.S. national security adviser.

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.

Gen. Richard B. Myers: Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Gen. Tommy Franks: Head of U.S. Central Command.

Donald Rumsfeld: U.S. secretary of defense.

The Taliban: A group of Islamic fundamentalists, mainly from Afghanistan's Pashtun ethnic group, which is the country's largest ethnic group. The Taliban that gained control of most of the country by 1997 and instituted an extreme form of Islamic law.

Northern Alliance: A group of former mujahedeen fighters, mainly from minority ethnic groups that oppose the Taliban.

George Robertson: NATO secretary-general and former British defense minister.

George Tenet: CIA director


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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