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Will the War Against Terrorism Include Ending Taliban's Rule?; Exiled Afghan King Looks to Retake the Throne; Families Cope With Loss of Loved Ones

Aired September 29, 2001 - 22:00   ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: The story tonight has a lot to do with how the White House is now targeting the Taliban.

And the question we lead with is, how did targeting terrorism become topple the Taliban?

While President Bush makes no bones about the aim of U.S. policy in Afghanistan.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We condemn the Taliban and welcome the support of other nations in isolating that regime.


WOODRUFF: One option being quoted might bring this man out of exile. We'll tell you who is the man who would be king again.

Will the violence here shatter a global coalition against terrorism? And all across the United States, comes a growing voice.

Good evening. I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington with a CNN special report. In the next hour, we will go live to Pakistan and to the Pentagon. And we'll talk with former U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, Peter Tomsen.

Also, how ready is the United States for a bio-terrorism attack? We'll take a sobering look.

But first, a look at the top stories this hour. CNN has learned of a White House memo that says the Bush administration says that it will support anyone eager to topple the Taliban regime.

A British journalist is in custody tonight in Afghanistan. According to Taliban Ron-Kabul radio, she "sneaked under the country and is under investigation for possible espionage charges."

And German authorities arrest three men today, believed to be linked to an extreme Islam terrorism group. The U.S. investigation finds closer ties to Osama bin Laden. CNN has learned that at least 4 of the 19 suspected hijackers trained at camps in Afghanistan run by bin Laden.

A United Nations convoy carried 200 tons of food and supplies into Afghanistan today. This is the first humanitarian aid sent to the country since the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

And as the nation prepares for its war on terrorism, about 150 people gathered in Chicago, calling for peace. Similar peace protests took place in New York and in Washington. Afghanistan's ruling Taliban have come under fire for sheltering Osama Bin Laden.

And as CNN White House correspondent Major Garrett reports, that could put toppling the Taliban onto the White House's agenda.


MAJOR GARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another video conference with the President's war cabinet from Camp David. Meanwhile, the first solid evidence the Bush White House seeks and end to Afghanistan's Taliban regime.

Even those Mr. Bush takes a dim view of rebuilding shattered nations, a position he restated earlier this week, a new memo shows more clearly than ever that the Bush White House considers the Taliban an illegitimate government and will directly aid those who seek to topple them.

"The Taliban do not represent the Afghan people, who never elected or chose the Taliban faction. We do not want to choose who rules Afghanistan, but we will assist those who seek a peaceful, economically developing Afghanistan free of terrorism."

The memo, prepared by senior State Department and National Security Council officials, goes farther than Mr. Bush did in his weekly radio address.

BUSH: The United States respects the people of Afghanistan. And we are their largest provider of humanitarian aid, but we condemn the Taliban and welcome the support of other nations in isolating that regime.

GARRETT: But administration officials say the goal is broader than isolation. And it's one the number two Democrat in the Senate applauds.

SEN HARRY REID (D), NEVADA: We would be doing the world a favor if the Taliban government was toppled in any way. They have destabilized that whole part of the world. It's just something that needs to be taken care of. And as far as I'm concerned, the sooner, the better.

GARRETT: But who will gain U.S. support? The armed Northern Alliance? The exiled former Afghan king? Or so-called moderate members of the Taliban or a combination of all three?

For now, the administration is exploring all options, but settled on none. Whatever the choice, experts say the U.S. must not be seen as the one imposing a new order.

JIM STEINBERG, FMR. DEP. NAT'L SEC. ADVISER: It's right for the United States to think about legitimate ways to support a better, more representative or fairer government in Afghanistan, but it has to be done with great care.

GARRETT (on camera): And care is exactly what officials say the President is using, building a coalition against terror gradually, expanding its aims only after winning assurances that the coalition will remain supportive.

Major Garrett, CNN, Hagerstown, Maryland.


WOODRUFF: If the Taliban were to lose control in Afghanistan, who would lead that nation? Some look at the nation's former monarch.

CNN's Jim Bittermann found out what the king thinks about that idea.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The gate at the suburb of Rome that is home to the exiled king of Afghanistan is in sharp contrast to his devastated country. And it says something about Afghanistan's political disintegration that the hopes for reuniting the nation are focused on the 86-year-old king and his handful of loyalists.

But the fifth monarch who gave this exclusive interview to CNN, made his intentions clear.

"I wish to return to my country, be with my people, to revert the infrastructure, in order to create a democratic, free and independent Afghanistan."

There seems little interest in restoring the king to anything more than symbolic rule. Yet despite his distance from the present situation, a steady stream of Afghans and non-Afghans alike have made the pilgrimage here.

FRANCESO VANDRELL, U.N. AFGHAN SPECIAL REP.: They see in the former king the last ruler that had legitimacy.

BITTERMANN: It's not the first time attempts have been made to use the exiled ruler as a peacemaker. The Russians tried it more than a decade ago. And over the years, the king himself has repeatedly tried to gather Afghans political factions together. But in the wake of the U.S. attacks, the climate is different.

At a modest Rome hotel, the king's grandson has been engaged in a running series of meeting with various factional leaders and militia commanders. They announced Friday that they have agreed on how to bring together an ancient form of national assembly and the elements of a military alliance.

But the most significant development was the arrival of one of the top leaders of the Northern Alliance, who will meet with the king this weekend. The alliance says it will participate, as long as the process remains democratic.

YONUS GANOONI, NORTHERN ALLIANCE: It is really contingent upon the king to represent all Afghans and to represent the entire Afghan nation. This is what we will support.

BITTERMANN: Yet despite the growing inflammation among Afghans in Rome to unite under the symbolic leadership of the former king, he has his detractors.

(on camera): Experts say that if he were to leave his plush exile outside of Rome and return to Afghanistan, it might be opposed by both Pakistan and Iran. Pakistan because of memories of his attempt to seize territory in the 1960s and Iran because he might stir up pro-monarchist sentiments.

(voice-over): Even those who now support the king's efforts remain skeptical about the return of someone who spent so much time in comfortable exile. Said one, "He must be ready to work."

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Rome.


WOODRUFF: In Afghanistan and surrounding countries, there is a growing concern, you won't be surprised to know, about a potential U.S. strike. Hospitals already treated patients from the fighting between the Taliban and opposition forces.

There's also a struggle to get supplies. Some must rely on smugglers from neighboring Pakistan to get the materials they need. Thousands of people are massing along Afghanistan's borders. Tajikistan is seeing an influx. And U.N. refugee workers say that central Asian republic could see up to 50,000 new refugees. They say Pakistan could get up to a million.

U.N. relief convoys are leaving that country for Kabul this weekend, carrying an estimated 200 tons of food. One U.N. relief official says that he fears up to 300,000 people in Afghanistan could run out of food by the end of next week.

More now from Pakistan, we're joined by CNN's Mike Chinoy. He is in Peshawar.

Mike, first of all, about the Pakistan government, they say officially they're on board with the U.S. effort to get the terrorists here, but what is the truth? What is going on there?

MIKE CHINOY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, the government here has come out strongly in support of the U.S. campaign against terrorism and has offered to be as cooperative as possible, but a lot of questions remain about precisely where the Pakistani authorities come down on the issue of whether or not the Taliban should say in Power.

Pakistan has a huge amount invested in the Taliban and its ruler Mullah Omar. The Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, helped to put the Taliban in power and has helped to keep it in power. It's provided military advisers and it's provided a lot of political support.

And it's been very interesting, over the past couple of weeks, as the pressure on the Taliban had grown, Pakistan has struggled desperately to look for some kind of solution that would protect its investment in the Taliban by keeping that group in power, by sending delegations to plead with the Taliban to make some progress on the issue of handing over Osama bin Laden and by sending strong signals that Pakistan is not comfortable with the idea of the Northern Alliance playing a major role in any kind of opposition grouping.

There are a number of questions that remain now. For example, are there still Pakistani military or intelligence advisers working with the Taliban? Is Pakistani intelligence still surreptitiously getting fuel supplies that would help the Taliban operate its small air force or its armored personnel carriers?

The political signals coming from Islamabad are ambiguous. Pakistan supports the U.S. goal, but clearly doesn't want to see and end to the Taliban -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Well, Mike, among other things, the U.S. is surely looking for intelligence support from Pakistan. Any sense there of whether they're forthcoming at all?

CHINOY: Again, a very murky question. Intelligence is not something people want to talk about. But I've been hearing some expressions of frustration that the level of intelligence cooperation hasn't been very good so far. Indeed, one report said the other day when mobs in Kabul burned down the old U.S. embassy that's been empty since 1988, that the U.S. heard about it through other reports in the media and so on, three hours before an official from the ISI, the Pakistani military intelligence called to say that the embassy was indeed on fire.

So my impression is some frustration at this stage and a fair amount of distrust still because the precise group with whom the U.S. would want that intelligence sharing to work with, which is the ISI, military intelligence, have been the biggest allies, the strongest patrons of the Taliban.

And so, there's some concern about just how that in practice may work -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: And Mike, we just heard in that report from Jim Bittermann about efforts to get the former, the exiled king of Afghanistan, perhaps to begin to put a coalition together to think about returning to Afghanistan. What would Pakistan's view of that be?

CHINOY: Pakistan has an ambiguous view of the king, and particularly if he's in alliance with the Northern Alliance, which Pakistan very much distrusts. The Northern Alliance has had support from Russia and Iran.

The Pakistani interest here is to make sure that whatever government comes to power in Kabul is sensitive to Pakistan's interests and perhaps will do Pakistan's bidding. And the Taliban, in the broader scheme of things, apart from their internal policies, have until the bin Laden episode been very, very sympathetic to Pakistan.

The Pakistanis feel they have a strong interest in Afghanistan. And they want to sustain that interest, whatever government comes to power. And if that means for the moment propping up the Taliban, even while making all the right noises about fighting terrorism, then that well may be what the Pakistani game is at this stage -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Mike Chinoy, reporting for us from Peshawar. Thanks very much, where it is early Sunday morning. Thanks.

Well for more now on and more insight on the politics play in that region, we're joined by Peter Tomsen. He's a former U.S. envoy to Afghanistan.

Mr. Tomsen, if Pakistan is so reluctant to see the Taliban topple, what is it that the U.S. realistically can hope to get from Pakistan in the way of support?

PETER TOMSEN, FMR. U.S. ENVOY TO AFGHANISTAN: What we should be urging the Pakistanis to do is match their words with their deeds. They've had two hats on now for 15 years. One is the fireman's hat. The other is the arsonist hat.

Presidents, prime ministers and the foreign officers have gone to many international conferences and said we support we broad-based government in Afghanistan, one chosen by the Afghan people. And then since the first time since the Soviet invasion, not impose from abroad.

What we should -- how we should proceed is towards an international effort to restore Afghanistan's classic buffer role at the Middle of central Asia. The Russians and the British did it in the 19th century. It kept the peace for 100 years.

The Soviet invasion upset this. But if Pakistan and Iran and the central Asian republics, China, Russia and the United States and Europe met together with Afghans and international conference to approve of and put the international imprimatur on Afghanistan's neutrality and sovereignty, whereby no outside power would intervene in Afghanistan internal affairs, Pakistan, Iran, India.

WOODRUFF: But right now, Peter Tomsen, you have the Taliban in power. And the opposition, it seems to us, you've got the Northern Alliance. You've got supposedly some other groups who were opposing the Taliban. You've got the exiled Afghan king. Where is this opposition going to come together and coalesce? TOMSEN: OK, this is the internal circle you're talking about. Just to -- if I can mention on the outer circle just a second. That Pakistan is paranoiac about India. And India is also supporting the Northern Alliance, which is another reason why it wishes to oppose the Northern Alliance.

What the United States should do is favor no faction. If, for instance, we supported the Northern Alliance and it seized Kabul tomorrow, another war would start in Afghanistan, a third Afghan war with north versus south, Pashtun versus non-Pashtun.

The way...

WOODRUFF: Well, do you think that's what President Bush, let me just interrupt, do you think that's what President Bush -- or the White House, the administration has in mind when they put out a memo or have a memo that has now been made public, saying in effect, we support any group that will overthrow the Taliban?

TOMSEN: I think that that's overstating it. We should have a more sophisticated approach. Number one, looking at Rome and Zahir Shah, whom I visited twice in the last two months to discuss how we should proceed.

And that is, we can't expect too much from Zahir Shah. He's the only national image left in this shattered country. So he can contribute. He has a lot of potential to bring together north, south, east, west and the various ethic groups in Afghanistan.

But the main war against the Taliban will be carried out by the rising centers of anti-Taliban resistance inside Afghanistan. And the Pashtun belt, the United Front in the north. We should not throw our weight. And we should urge the Russians and others not to throw their weight behind anyone group, but rather support what is happening in Rome now, the formation of a military shirra.

This is what Mr. Kunoneh (ph) is discussing in Rome now, which would include Pashtun, non-Pashtun, Hazada (ph), Uzbek and not the one particular group seizing Kabul, as happened in '92. And it resulted in a very bloody, unstable civil war.

WOODRUFF: Peter Tomsen, very quickly, are you saying we should support everyone and not just one individual group, just to be clear here? Because some of these names we don't understand.

TOMSEN: Yes. Judy, what I'm saying is that we should urge them to do what's happening in Rome is form a collective among themselves, which they're talking about now.

Many of these groups already are communicating with each other. They're coordinating with each other. We should urge them to go further, put together a political and military national country-wide alternative to the Taliban. And then we give assistance to that, and move according to the cooperation that is reached with that particular entity. WOODRUFF: All right, Peter Tomsen, former U.S. envoy to Afghanistan. And of course, we'll all be watching to see if the scenario you've laid out materializes. Thanks very much.

Good to see you again.

TOMSEN: My pleasure.

WOODRUFF: CNN's Christiane Amanpour has an exclusive interview, we've been talking about Pakistan, with the President of Pakistan. That interview Sunday at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, 8:00 a.m. Pacific and then again at 5:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

Just ahead, the impact of the Middle East conflict. Tough questions about the Israeli-Palestinian standoff.


WOODRUFF: The imminent war on terrorism is producing a number of protests in a number of places. Anti-war protesters in India staged a march in New Delhi today. The Indian government has agreed to help U.S. forces in their efforts to find Osama bin Laden.

A similar anti-war protest was held in Rome. Incidentally, members of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance held a meeting at a hotel there today, as we were reporting a little bit earlier.

Meanwhile, violence continues in the Middle East, despite affirmation from Israel and the Palestinians to work out a cease-fire.

CNN's Jerrold Kessel now on how that might factor into the efforts to build a terrorism fighting coalition.


JERROLD KESSEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wide scale attacks by young Palestinians on Israeli troops. They respond forcefully. The scale of the clashes and of the casualties recalling the early days of the Palestinian uprising.

Accompanying the fighting, wide scale protests by Palestinians, prompting a series of questions about how this might affect the U.S. led global war on terror.

Question one, are these protests just a one year commemoration of that uprising? Or do they foretell a violent second year of the intifada, despite a proclaimed cease-fire?

In addition to the Palestinians killed and wounded in the clashes, funerals for four other Palestinians killed in a mysterious blast in the persistently volatile southern Gaza town of Raffa.

All this, just three days after Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres worked out what was supposed to be a detailed cease-fire time table. That deal reached after strenuous pressure by Washington, as the U.S. seeks to keep the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation from getting in the way of global anti-terror coalition.

That begs the second question. If the declared truce continues to unravel, how damaging will that be to the coalition moving process? The Israeli and Palestinian leaderships each accuse the other of breaking the cease-fire. The Palestinian cabinet again urged Palestinians to honor the cease-fire, a statement saying Israel should not be given excuse to launch fresh aggression.

The chants of marches in Palestinian towns, no, to the cease- fire. Intifada until death and the revolution will continue.

At one demonstration, chants for more suicide bombings against Israel, raising a third central question, are these demonstrations solely about keeping the battle against Israel going and protesting U.S. support for Israel or also an attempt to keep Yasser Arafat from joining the U.S.-led anti-terror alliance?

Now what's left of the truce could be engulfed by the surging anger on the streets of the West Bank and Gaza and by the clashes at friction points between Palestinians and Israelis, another question.

(on camera): Just as Washington exerted intense pressure on Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat to get the truce talks going, all Washington now apply equally strong pressure on them to prevent the cease-fire agreement from being eclipsed by the violence conflict.

Jerrold Kessel, CNN, Jerusalem.


WOODRUFF: Up next, we go live to ground zero for the latest no the recovery mission. Plus, out of the rubble of the World Trade Center, a remarkable story of survival.

And later, chemical and biological warfare, is the United States ready?


WOODRUFF: This is a live picture of New York City's ground zero. Today, the death toll rose to 309. The number of people missing is anywhere between 4,642 and 5,641. The lower count based on family member's reports, the higher, compiled by the police.

Canada's prime minister had a chance to see the devastation of lower Manhattan firsthand today. Jean Chretien toured the World Trade Center rubble with Mayor Giuliani. The mayor also met with the foreign minister of Turkey.

In midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building is once again open to the public. Yesterday, a bomb threat forced an evacuation and a one day closing of the observation deck.

And some New York firefighters getting gratitude from some people who really look up to them, literally. These school children delivered cards and cookies to the midtown high rise fire house. And they got a tour while they were there.

As we know, firefighters are being recognized for their heroism connected to the World Trade Center attacks.

CNN's Brian Palmer talks to one of the firefighters who was in one of the twin towers as it fell.


BRIAN PALMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bill Butler smiles and poses for a photographer, but at times like this, it doesn't come naturally. He was just about to go off-duty the morning of September 11.

BILL BUTLER, FIREFIGHTER: All of a sudden, there was a loud crash. And then smoke was coming up around the buildings here that block it. So we immediately knew that it had gone into the Trade Center.

PALMER: Butler and the firefighters of ladder company 6 sprinted into the North tower to rescue those trapped on the 80th floor.

BUTLER: We saw a shadow go over. And it was actually the second plane coming in to hit the second tower. And it was that point that my captain had come back and met up with us and said, "They're trying to kill us."

PALMER: As the streets outside were engulfed in fire, devastation and an erupting cloud of debris, people were fleeing the towers, filling the stairwells. As they headed down, Butler and ladder 6 kept going up the stairs of the North tower.

BUTLER: About every 10 floors, we would take a break. But all this while we're going up, we have people coming down. They were severely burned. And to a point where they had no clothes on. There were men taking their sport coats off, that were coming down, wrapping the women up, you know, so they would be -- you know, they could keep their privacy. And people were actually, you know, "Go get them, guys. God bless you guys. You're the best."

PALMER: When the other tower collapsed, the firefighters were ordered to evacuate, but they kept doing their job all the way down. On the 15th floor, Butler's job became helping an injured woman named Josephine to safety. She was exhausted already from hiking down 60 flights of stairs. They paused to encourage her.

BUTLER: So I said, "Do you have grandchildren?" And she said, "Yes, I do." And I said, "Well, Josephine," I said, "we need to get you out of here today and we need to get your -- your grandchildren want to see you at home tonight. We need to get your moving down these stairs."

PALMER: Then the north tower collapsed, miraculously around them, but not on top of them.

BUTLER: Her legs were weak. I mean, she was actually dipping down. I was carrying most of her weight probably.

PALMER: 11 of them were trapped in, but protected by a three story high pocket of mangled steel and crushed concrete.

BUTLER: We had no idea of the severity of the collapse at this point. We had no idea, you know, we're telling them that, you know, you come in the front door. You make a right. And our stairwells are like 50 to 100 feet away.

PALMER: Ladder 6 still didn't know the tower above them had disintegrated.

BUTLER: Well, at one point, the sun actually shined in. And it was this point that were able to see out. The smoke cleared. It was like the parting of the Red Sea.

PALMER: Butler called his wife from a fading cell phone.

BUTLER: I said, "Listen, don't cry right now." I said, "This is not the time to cry." And she kind of like bit her lip, I guess. And I said, "You need to make some phone calls for us."

PALMER: Those calls finally led rescuers to them almost five hours later. Butler can't explain why they survived, but the believe Josephine, the grandmother they had saved, had something to do with their survival.

BUTLER: Her pace just put us right in the right spot. I mean, had we been a little bit quicker, we may have been in the lobby and crushed in the lobby. Had we been a little bit slower, maybe we have still been on the 7th floor. And like I said, it only -- it collapsed below like the sixth floor.

Just so many different little factors took place that put us in that spot.

PALMER: One factor the firefighter leaves out gracefully, the courage that he and his men who were saved by a woman they were sent to rescue.

Brian Palmer, CNN, New York.


WOODRUFF: One more incredible story.

More funerals today in the aftermath of the attacks in the United States.

At least 16 victims were laid to rest today, many of them firefighters.

Well, as we know, most of the World Trade Center victims are still missing. CNN's Gary Tuchman has the story of a family accepting on a special day that they have lost a beloved son.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the day Jonathan Capello would have turned 24. Instead, it's the day his parents and hundreds of others remembered his life.

CLAUDIO CAPELLO, MOTHER: Jonathan loved, loved life, from the time they handed him to me on September 29, he went to bed happy. He woke up happy. And everything was happy in between.

TUCHMAN: But on September 11, Jonathan was on the 105th floor of One World Trade Center when it imploded. He was working as an international bond trader.

C. CAPELLO: Everybody said we're supposedly at war or we're starting a war. I did not send my son to war. I sent him to work.

TUCHMAN: Jonathan was precocious as a child.

BOB CAPELLO, FATHER: You remember that? How he used to be able to get out of his crib?

TUCHMAN: The youngest of three brothers, who idolized his two older siblings, who doted on him. He wasn't sure what he wanted to do after college, but three months ago, received a job at Cantor Fitzgerald. He was thrilled with the job and in love with his girlfriend, Dana.

For more than week, Claudia and Bob Capello kept the faith that maybe their son was alive under the rubble. He's still missing, but his mother says she has now accepted Jonathan's fate, after feeling her son spirit visit her.

C. CAPELLO: It was not wings floating around. He told me, he says, "Mom, it's enough. I'm here, but I'm whole. I came with my body."

And for that, I was grateful. And that's when I knew it.

TUCHMAN: The day before his memorial service, Jonathan's parents, brothers, other relatives and girlfriend Dana watched video of him from his brother's wedding for the first time since the disaster.

JONATHAN CAPELLO: Brian, short and sweet, I want to thank Rob for giving me a sister.

TUCHMAN: It was painful for them to watch, but it's something they felt the need to do. Jonathan's father, who shares his son's birthday, can't stop thinking about his final time speaking with his boy.

B. CAPELLO: As he said everyday to me, "Thanks for the ride, papa. I'll see you tonight."

C. CAPELLO: The last thing I said to him? And the last thing he said to me, what we say to each other everyday, every night for 23 years, I go, "I love you Johnny B." And he said, "I love you pumpkin. You're my woman." That's the last thing I said. It was 11:00 at night.

That was it. That was it."

TUCHMAN: And this is how they spent Johnny's birthday.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Garden City, New York.



WOODRUFF: Welcome back. Here's a look now at our top stories. CNN's learned of a White House memo that declares support for those working to topple the Taliban regime. The attorney for eight western aid workers being tried in Kabul, Afghanistan says his clients look healthy and well. They are accused of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity.

And looking ahead to next week, Congress will begin debating several anti-terrorism bills.

New developments tonight in the probe into Osama bin Laden's ties to the men who carried out the attacks. CNN's Susan Candiotti has the latest.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More links established between the 19 suspected hijackers and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network. An intelligence source tells CNN 4 of the hijackers received training at al-Qaeda run camps in Afghanistan.

Authorities also now believe most of the hijackers have connections to al-Qaeda. FBI director Robert Mueller Friday stressed the Afghan ties are only one aspect of the investigation.

ROBERT MUELLER, FBI DIRECTOR: Part of our investigation, quite obviously, is trying to determine the past histories of each of the hijackers, trace their time in the United States, but also, attempt to identify where they were prior to their coming to the United States and track their movements through any number of countries overseas.

CANDIOTTI: One of those countries, Germany. The FBI building a strong presence there. Investigators working on evidence Hamburg may have been home base for attack planning. Suspects Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi shared an apartment in Hamburg. Since the attacks, German investigators and the FBI trying to find a possible co- conspirator.

Ramsey bin al-Sheid, who also lived with Atta in Germany. But al-Sheid signed for flying lessons at the same time as Atta and al- Sheid in Venice, Florida, but did not take the lessons. But al- Sheid's fees were refunded. And in Great Britain, the United States asking for the extradition of Lofti Raissi. British prosecutors say he may have trained some of the suspected hijackers. Raissi's attorney denies any link to the 19 men named by the FBI or the attacks.

Raissi faces U.S. charges of lying on an FAA pilot's license application and stealing a Social Security number. Stolen identities continue to haunt to investigators. But now a break. This man, Youssef Hmimssa taken into custody by the Secret Service in Iowa.

DAWN CLENNEY, FBI: It's very significant. It's someone that we have been looking for.

CANDIOTTI: Investigators have been looking for him since last week, when his picture was found a fake passport in a Michigan apartment. Also recovered in a search there, notes in Arabic referring to a U.S. air base in Turkey and a diagram of aircraft and runways. But of those in U.S. custody, sources say, there are three who interest them the most.

The first, this French Moroccan student pilot, arrested in Minnesota on immigration charges and now held as a material witness. Sources say Zacarias Moussaoui is not cooperating with investigators.

And these two men arrested on a train in Texas with box cutters and a large amount of cash the day of the attacks.

(on camera): None of those held so far has been publicly linked directly to the attacks. But sources say, these three may prove to be some of the most significant arrests of the more than 480 taken into custody since September 11.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: Concerns are being voiced that any new attack against the U.S. could come from chemical or biological sources.

CNN medical correspondent Rea Blakey on the nation's state of preparedness.


REA BLAKEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Millions of Americans will remember civil defense drills designed to prepare the public in case of nuclear attack. Those drills ended decades ago.

MOHAMMAD ACHTER, AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH: And then as the Cold War was over, the Soviet Union was no more, you know sort of relaxed and we let it go.

BLAKEY: During the Cold War, awareness was key. Civilians were trained in how to respond to an attack. Hospitals were prepared to boost their bed capacity at a moment's notice. The nation's 3,000 local and state public health departments routinely tracked health trends as part of disease surveillance.

ACHTER: Now we find ourselves these new emerging threats, that we are not as prepared as we used to be.

BLAKEY: A statement firmly disputed by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.

TOMMY THOMPSON, HEALTH & HUMAN SVCS. SECRETARY: We have been working very diligently in the last six to eight months to get prepared for any kind of contingencies that develop. Our laboratories are very well-prepared to handle any contingency. And I can assure that we're ready if anything happens.

BLAKEY: Still, the reduced threat of nuclear attack during the past decade, coupled with the advent of managed care, radically changed the U.S. public health system. Very few hospitals are equipped with labs to determine if patients who present with flu-like symptoms are actually victims of a biological attack.

Instead, they have to send the blood samples out, which takes time. Local health departments pared down after the nuclear threats subsided, simply don't monitor hospital admissions every moment of the day, looking for unusual patterns of illness. And many community hospitals closed down or trimmed down the number of beds on hand.

SAM WATSON, BIOMEDICAL SECURITY INSTITUTE: No specific hospital is completely prepared, but once they detect something, the assistants that will come in from the state governments, from the governors, and then from the federal government, and the CDC, the military, from NIH, from those places would be very significant, very fast.

BLAKEY: Still, experts say reconfiguring the system to handle the threat of bioterrorism could take years, plus $1 billion to equip state and local health departments, plus another $500 million to equip the CDC to support the locals.

The American Public Health Association says the first priority should be a more immediate disease tracking system.

Rea Blakey, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: Up next, author Kati Marton, author of a new book on presidential marriages, on how the role of Laura Bush has changed since the September 11 attacks.


WOODRUFF: First Lady Laura Bush has been more visible than ever in the past few week. Since the attacks of September the 11th, she's been everywhere from benefits to bedsides, helping the nation through a very difficult time.

Well, our next guest has written a book about examining the effect of presidential marriages in American history. Kati Marton is an author and she's a reporter with extensive international experience. She joins us now.

Kati Marton, why didn't we see more of this side of Laura Bush before now?

KATI MARTON, AUTHOR, "HIDDEN POWER": Well, she did start off as among the quietest First Ladies, really, Judy, since Bess Truman. That was her inclination was to spend as little time in the White House as she could manage and retreat to the ranch in Crawford, Texas. But the times have changed. And the American people's expectations of the First Lady in a moment of national crisis have also changed.

And she feels that. And she's stepping up to it. She is acting as not only emotional support and ballast for her husband, but really for the rest of us. And in "Hidden Power," I outline how 100 years of presidential marriages, including many in times of crisis and war, have stepped up to these national emergencies and have really aided the country in coping with the situation.

Such as, for example, Eleanor Roosevelt during World War II becoming her wheelchair-bound husband's eyes, ears, and legs and raising the morale of GIs in the Pacific and in the European theater or flashing forward Jackie Kennedy during the Cold War's greatest crisis, the Cuban missile crisis, becoming essential to her husband, emotional support for her husband, refusing to be evacuated from the White House when she was told that she should.

WOODRUFF: Has it always been this way in times of crisis, Kati Marton? I know you spent five years working on this book. You interviewed hundreds of people in times of crisis. Has the role of First Lady been central to how -- whether a president successfully managed what was going on?

MARTON: Well, the First Lady historically is much more important to the president that we've traditionally given them credit for. But they go way beyond the entertainer and chief or the decorator in chief. They really are, the good ones at least, the strong ones, they really are indispensable counselors to their husbands, able to cut through the layers of aid and security and break them sometimes harsh truths about how they're doing in the country.

They have an opportunity to do that. They're the last person the president sees at night and the first person the person they see in the morning. So the good ones like Eleanor or like Lady Bird who also was enormously important to Lyndon Johnson during the Vietnam War.

And now we see Laura taking a page out of their book.

WOODRUFF: I'm going to take advantage of your own background, Kati Marton, you were an international journalist for many years in radio and television. You covered many countries in Europe. And you've covered terrorist incidents.

How is it different for journalists in a war against terrorism, compared to conventional war, do you think?

MARTON: Well, we're in whole new unchartered now, Judy. And that includes everybody from the couple in the White House, to you and me, to journalists in the front. This is an invisible enemy. We don't know where the front begins or when the front ends. Civilians seem to be the chief targets of this particularly insidious foe.

And the fact that our country has been relatively slow to react to the threat, it's been three weeks now, is an indication, as to this incredibly strange and disturbing new foe that we're all facing. And that, of course, includes journalists.

WOODRUFF: And finally, Kati Marton, yet another hat you're soon going to be wearing, working with the United Nations, with children in need around the world.


WOODRUFF: Can you just give us a capsule idea of what that's about?

MARTON: Yes, yes. I'm about to start a new career as an advocate for children in armed conflict. There are many wars around the world that target children as their chief victims and force them into military service at age 8, 9, 10 and 11. And so far, the world hasn't really shown enough outrage against this really barbaric practice, which wrecks children's lives. And they really never do recover.

So I'm going to try and call attention to that problem, and try bring some kind of reform to end this horrible practice.

WOODRUFF: Well, Kati Marton, I know we will want to want to talk to you in your new role. We appreciate your joining us tonight. Kati Marton, the author of a new book on presidential marriages. The title is "Hidden Power." Once again, thank you and great to see you.

MARTON: Thanks, Judy. It's wonderful to be here.

WOODRUFF: Well, while talk of war resonates around the world, others are saying there must be another way. Their story when we come back.


WOODRUFF: While the United States considers what its military options are, there are those who say the government should not be considering any option at all. CNN's Sheilah Kast has more on their view.


SHEILAH KAST, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They echoed the chants and images of anti-war protests of three decades ago. Several thousand activists protesting government plans for a military response to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No more violence. No more killing. KAST: The rally, originally planned to protest global financial institutions, was organized by an anti-war coalition that calls itself, A.N.S.W.E.R, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism. Protesters heard a plea for peace from a medical technician who worked in the World Trade Center when it was attacked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know what war looks like? Because I do. I'm at ground zero. And I know what it means to see the deaths of innocent people, men, women and children. And a racist war will multiply that 100 times, 1,000 times.

KAST: Smaller rallies were held in other cities, including New York and San Francisco. For the most part, the rallies were peaceful. One exception, the anarchist group, the Anti-capitalist convergence clashed with D.C. police. 11 demonstrators were arrested.

The peace marchers firmly in the minority, according to a new CNN/Time poll. Almost two-thirds said they favor using U.S. ground troops in Afghanistan, while 67 percent said the Bush administration has a well thought out policy to deal with terrorism.

It's that policy that worries the demonstrators.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vengeance is not the answer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When someone in the United States commits an atrocious crime as in an act of murder, we don't go after their families or their community or their neighborhood. We go in and we arrest the individuals involved. And I think that's what needs to be done here.

KAST (on camera): A few at the protest said the U.S. should take no action in response to September 11. More said they wanted the U.S. to rely on international peacekeeping or the world's court.

(voice-over): Suggestions which infuriate critics of the demonstrators.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not the '60s. This is not Vietnam. We have been attacked and we have to do something about it.

KAST: Sheilah Kast for CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: One to think about. Thank you for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff. And for our domestic viewers, a quick look at the day's top stories is next, followed by "THE CAPITAL GANG."




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