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Fact Sheet

Bush pleased with war progress

SUMMARY:

More detainees arrived at the Kandahar airport overnight, doubling the number there who will be questioned by the FBI to determine their ties to the former ruling Taliban or to the al Qaeda terrorist network.

UPDATE:

Sixty-three of the detainees arrived overnight while more came in on Saturday at Kandahar International Airport, which is currently under control of Marines. But the Marines there are preparing to transfer the facility to the control of the U.S. Army. (Full story)

The effects of more than 22 years of conflict have taken a mental toll on the people of Afghanistan are suffering not only from the physical scars of more than 22 years of war but mental ones as well. While no research exists on the effects of stress on the Afghan people under the current circumstances, doctors in the country say that depression is widespread. (Full story)

President Bush said Friday he is pleased with the progress of the war in Afghanistan but said he expects U.S. troops will remain there for "quite a long period of time" until their mission is complete. (Full story)

Abdullah Tawheedi, a deputy head of intelligence in Afghanistan, told CNN he has received "reliable information" that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden paid a "large amount" of money to buy his way out of Afghanistan. The report could not be independently verified. It was the second time in as many days that an Afghan government official said bin Laden was in Pakistan. (Full story)

Moussaoui, a 33-year-old French citizen of Moroccan descent, is accused of conspiring with accused terrorist Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network to "murder thousands of people" in the September 11 attacks. The judge Thursday ordered some preliminary proceedings to go at least through early April. A trial date could be set at next week's arraignment in Alexandria, Virginia. (Full story)

Pentagon officials said Friday draft plans for military tribunals call for suspects to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. The officials say the draft also calls for tribunal members to reach a unanimous vote on the death penalty. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is expected to review the recommendations over the New Year's holiday with final decisions expected in January. (Full story)

Tribal leaders from eastern Afghanistan are calling for an immediate end to the bombing in their province, stemming from a dispute on the target of a U.S. airstrike last week. (Full story)


  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact


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Richard Reid, the man suspected of trying to ignite plastic explosives on a trans-Atlantic flight, was denied bail by a federal judge Friday after an FBI special agent testified that preliminary tests support the government's claim. (Full story)

The Pentagon is considering several locations to hold the growing number of Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners in U.S. custody, although the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is emerging as a leading location. The U.S. military is currently holding 45 prisoners, 37 of them at the airport in Kandahar and another 8, including an American and an Australian, aboard the USS Pelileu in the North Arabian Sea. (Full story)

KEY QUESTIONS:

Who are the key members of the newly installed Afghan interim government? (Click here for more)

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?

WHO'S WHO:

George W. Bush: U.S. president

Hamid Karzai: A Pashtun tribal leader and the chairman of Afghanistan's interim government.

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

IMPACT:

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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