Bush Expresses Confidence in CIA, Airlines

In the afternoon, Bush met Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher in Washington, who expressed his country's support for the president's efforts, but also urged against rash actions.

"We believe that the United States, as the government of a country that believes in law and justice will act on the basis of a case, a good case, and I'm sure they have a good case," he said.

Protesters Cheer as Embassy Burns

In Kabul though, 1,000 protesters took the law in their own hands, in what the Taliban called in a statement a "historic demonstration," setting the abandoned U.S. embassy and several cars on fire.

"The residents of Kabul will never accept a puppet government imposed by foreigners and are opposed to that," the statement published by the Afghan Islamic Press said. "U.S. President Bush has stated that this will be a crusade, but in fact this will be a war against the world of Islam, and all Muslims should be aware of the threat."

The protests at the U.S. embassy building in Kabul are little more than a symbolic act, since there has not been an American diplomatic delegation in Kabul since 1989. However, the building has been maintained by a crew of Afghans, and is still considered U.S. diplomatic property.

A Mass Movement

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Afghans fearing a U.S. attack have left their homes, seeking safety beyond the borders of the barren, war-torn nation.

In neighboring Pakistan, where many of the refugees are headed, officials admitted they were reluctant to let them in. They said they feared anti-American infiltrators and saboteurs would also be let into the nation with the influx.

Pakistan is the only country in the world to recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan's legitimate rulers, but its President Pervez Musharraf has expressed support for President Bush's anti-terrorism campaign.

Pakistani officials said today their government would not allow bin Laden to enter the country, but also said it would not become involved in any military action against Afghanistan.

In Pakistan, anti-U.S. demonstrations have calmed.

Mullah Mohammad Omar, the leader of the Taliban regime that controls Afghanistan, also said in a statement distributed by the Afghan Information Ministry today that he believed it was not likely the United States would attack Afghanistan.

"America has no reason, justification or evidence for attacking," the statement said. "Therefore all those who have been displaced internally or externally are instructed to return to their place of residence."

Officials tell ABCNEWS that American forces are ready for an airstrike campaign, though Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has indicated an immediate airstrike is unlikely.

More Threats at Home

On the domestic front, the FBI is pursuing a Detroit man with a license to haul hazardous materials who also is said to have ties to the 19 men who hijacked the four planes used in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11.

Last week the FBI arrested Nabil Al-Marabh, another Detroit man alleged to have ties to the hijackers and who also had a license to transport hazardous materials.

Fears of a possible truck bomb or chemical weapon attack on a major city led to checks of vehicles that snarled traffic around New York on Tuesday. Law enforcement agencies received tips that there was a truck bomb on its way to New York from New Jersey, but none was found.

Officials even considered closing the Lincoln Tunnel, which would have left the George Washington Bridge as the only direct link for automobiles between Manhattan and New Jersey.

Officials in New York have also been checking into whether any of the vehicles used for spraying insecticide around the city are missing. The city has been carrying out a campaign against mosquitoes to fight the spread of the West Nile virus.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 92419.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...