Skip to main content /US /US


White House ponders detainee strategy

American Taliban fighter returning to United States

American Taliban John Walker  

(CNN) -- As the White House worked Tuesday on how to deal with the Afghan war detainees being held at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the American Taliban fighter was moving closer to U.S. soil.

Pentagon officials said Tuesday the Bush administration hopes to complete its detainee strategy within a week to 10 days.

The White House has asked the Justice, Defense and State departments for recommendations on a wide range of issues, including legal precedents of prosecuting and holding suspected terrorists.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said some will be sent to tribunals, some to criminal courts, and some back to their home countries. And some, he said, could be held indefinitely.

A Red Cross spokesman said Tuesday its delegates had privacy as they met with the detainees and indicated the prisoners were not shackled during the interviews and were able to shake hands. (Full story)

Rumsfeld criticized "breathless reports" questioning the treatment of the detainees, saying the reports came from people who are "uninformed, misinformed or poorly informed."

Meanwhile, hours after the Pentagon announced that John Walker, the American captured while fighting with the Taliban, had begun his journey back to the United States, a plane with a single detainee aboard arrived amid especially tight security at Kandahar airport Tuesday.

A U.S. government source told CNN Tuesday that Walker would most likely land at Washington-Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Wednesday, by late afternoon or early evening.

Walker faces two counts of providing material support or resources to terrorist organizations -- including Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network -- one count of conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals and one count of engaging in transactions with the Taliban. (Full story)

Do you think the detainees in Cuba are being treated humanely?

View Results
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

Latest developments

• A federal judge in Los Angeles, California, has asked attorneys for both sides to file additional briefs on whether his court has jurisdiction in a lawsuit challenging issues surrounding the U.S. military's detention of Afghan war captives at Guantanamo. The petition asks that the prisoners be told the charges against them and seeks to prevent the military from transferring any more captives to the base.

• Calls made from the satellite telephone of an American after he allegedly was kidnapped in Afghanistan have been traced to Pakistan, a U.S. official said Tuesday. Clark Russell Bowers' wife, Amanda, told the U.S. State Department last week that her husband called her January 9 and said that a warlord in Afghanistan had kidnapped him and an interpreter and were holding them for ransom. (Full story)

• Investigators are on the cyber trail of Richard Reid, who allegedly tried to ignite plastic explosives in one of his shoes aboard a commercial trans-Atlantic flight. He sent e-mails to Pakistan asking for instructions before boarding the flight last month, police sources in Paris, France, said Monday. Investigators were examining the e-mails in hope of learning more about any suspected accomplices that Reid might have had. (Full story)

• Indonesian police have summoned for questioning militant Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, whom Singapore and Malaysia suspect has links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network and with terrorist groups in the region. "He is being summoned for this Thursday," national police spokesman Saleh Saaf told Reuters. (Full story)

• Pentagon sources said Tuesday an unmanned surveillance plane has crashed while returning to its base during operations in Afghanistan. U.S. Central Command officials said the crash of the U.S. Air Force "Predator" was not the result of enemy fire, and the sources indicated the wreckage of the drone will be recovered.

• Donor countries at the Afghan aid conference in Tokyo have pledged $1.8 billion for 2002 and a total of $4.5 billion dollars over five years to reconstruct the central Asian country with barely any infrastructure. But officials issued a sobering warning Tuesday that the challenge now lay in ensuring the money reached its intended recipients. (Full story)

• Ashcroft said Monday that authorities are working to create "Westernized" pictures of five men suspected of being would-be suicide terrorists. Officials hope the updated photos will help lead to the men's apprehension. (Full story)

• A Spanish judge Monday charged two suspected members of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network with belonging to a terrorist organization and ordered them held without bail. The suspects -- Moroccan-born Najib Chaib Mohamed, 35, and Algerian national Atmane Resali, 31 -- were arrested Saturday in a Barcelona suburb and brought to Madrid.

• Authorities in the Vietnamese seaside resort town of Nha Trang have launched an investigation after discovering T-shirts with the face of Osama bin Laden for sale, Reuters reported Tuesday. Eight T-shirts with the suspected terrorist mastermind's portrait had been seized from a shop selling them for 70,000 dong ($4.60) each, an inspector of the local culture and information department said.

• The driver for Mullah Mohammed Omar said the Taliban leader survived a direct U.S. missile strike on his home and a second strike on a taxi he had been riding in, Reuters reported Monday.

• Investigators appear to be on the verge of cracking the genetic sequencing of the anthrax strain that killed five people, a source close to the federal investigation told CNN. Nailing down the genetic sequence, according to sources, could be a big breakthrough -- narrowing down which lab or labs produced the deadly anthrax sent through the mail. (Full story)

• The Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill reopened Tuesday. The building had been closed since an aide to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle opened an anthrax-laden letter in October. Daschle's suite of offices will remain closed until mid-March while it undergoes renovations, his press secretary said.




Back to the top