Crackdown Targets 46 Terror Groups

The Sept. 11 terror attacks had a profound impact on the United States, and the effects are still rippling across American society in large and small ways. Here is a periodic wrap-up of some of them.

Immigration Crackdown Targets 46 Terror Groups

W A S H I N G T O N, Oct. 31 — Attorney General John Ashcroft announced a sweeping new immigration crackdown today, designating 46 terrorist groups whose members and supporters will be banned from entering the country.

Ashcroft said the designation "will enable us to prevent aliens who are affiliated with them from entering the United States." See letter Ashcroft sent to Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The attorney general also announced the creation of a new foreign terrorist tracking task force to "neutralize the threat of terrorist aliens."

Ashcroft said the task force will be charged with denying entry to the United States of members or representatives of terrorist organizations and aliens who are suspected of having engaged in terrorist activities or having provided support to terrorist activities.

"We will detain, prosecute, and deport terrorist aliens who are already inside the national border," Ashcroft said. "America will not allow terrorists to use our hospitality as a weapon against us."

Ashcroft said the task force will be headed by Steven C. McCraw, the deputy assistant director of the intelligence branch of the FBI's Investigative Services Division.

Immigration Commissioner James Ziglar said the task force will provide immigration officials with "real-time access to information" that will enable them to keep suspected terrorists out of the country.

"We're not talking about immigration," he said. "We're talking about evil."

Ashcroft said the 46 groups include those linked to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, those whose assets have been frozen by presidential order, and others who U.S. authorities have determined have engaged in terrorist activities.

U.S. intelligence officials earlier said they're concerned that bin Laden's inner circle has issued new orders for attacks against Americans and that the terrorists might strike even if their contact is cut off from Afghanistan, officials say.

— The Associated Press

Special Oversight for Anti-Bioterror Vaccinations Recommended

W A S H I N G T O N, Oct. 31 — An anti-terrorism panel created by Congress recommended to the White House today that the government oversee development and production of vaccines against germs that might be used in bioterror attacks.

The advisory commission on domestic terrorism concluded that because there is little market for manufacturing vaccines that would fight anthrax, smallpox or other diseases terrorists might release, the government should supervise and finance contractors' research and production of them. Altered vaccines might be needed to combat manipulated strains of existing diseases, the experts concluded.

"We've suggested that the private sector can no longer respond to the requirements of producing vaccines for diseases that may only emerge if they are intentionally perpetrated," said Michael Wermuth, a policy analyst at the Rand research group and project director of the panel's report. "The private sector can't see any profit motive in doing this over the long term."

The government should establish the capability to "very quickly ramp up production" in the event of a future bioattack using smallpox or anthrax, he said in a telephone interview.

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