Bush Leads Remembrances; FBI Issues Alert

The highest-ranking member of the British military, Adm. Sir Michael Boyce, warned that military operations in Afghanistan, including finding bin Laden and overthrowing the Taliban, could take a long time: "It could be a very short haul … [or] we must expect to go through the winter and into next summer at the very least."

Taliban Death Toll Rises

Taliban officials continued to respond defiantly to the bombardment. Despite evidence U.S. officials have provided of the damage done by the airstrikes, the Taliban says its defenses have not been destroyed, and today issued a new challenge to American troops gathering to enter the country.

"When the Americans enter Afghanistan, here will start the real war — not now," Taliban envoy to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef said in a news conference in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

The envoy also said that more than 140 civilians were killed in the latest wave of bombing, including more than 100 in Touram village, and 15 who were in a Jalalabad mosque that was hit by the U.S.-led strikes. On Wednesday, Taliban officials said 76 people had died and another 100 were injured, including 28 fatalities in Kandahar and 25 in Kabul.

There has been no independent confirmation of the toll the bombing is taking on Afghan civilians, which the Taliban said has reached 220 over the five days.

The U.S. military suffered its first death of the campaign, when an Air Force sergeant was killed Wednesday in a heavy equipment accident in the Northern Arabian Peninsula.

One-Month Memorials

Bush and Rumsfeld both spoke at the memorial service this morning at the Pentagon, where 189 people are believed to have died, including those on the hijacked airliner that terrorists crashed into the building.

"We're gathered here to remember, to console and to pray: to remember comrades and colleagues, friends and family members, those lost to us on Sept. 11," Rumsfeld said. "We remember them as heroes, and we are right to do so. They died because, in the words of justification offered by their attackers, they were Americans."

Bush, who recalled that construction of the Pentagon began exactly 60 years before the attack, on Sept. 11, 1941, just months before the United States was drawn in World War II by the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor, used the service to vow that those responsible for the hijackings would be hunted down.

"The terrorists have no true home in any country or culture or faith," he said. "They dwell in dark corners of earth, and there, we will find them. This week, I have called the armed forces into action. One by one, we are eliminating power centers of a regime that harbors al Qaeda terrorists.

"We gave that regime a choice: Turn over the terrorists or face your ruin. They chose unwisely."

In New York, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani led a special prayer service and a moment of silence was held at "ground zero," the pile of rubble that before the attacks was the center of the financial world, the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

"The fire is still burning, but from it has emerged a stronger spirit," Giuliani said.

Crews are still working, trying to find any sign of the 4,807 people still listed as missing in the collapse of the 110-story towers. Lower Manhattan still bears the burning scent of the flames that melted the two buildings' steel frames.

In addition to the missing, there are 438 confirmed dead at the World Trade Center.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...