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These stories first were published Monday, Oct. 8, 2001
Not just bin Laden
The war in Afghanistan is not just about finding one man, Pentagon officials agree.


Some evidence surfaces
The British prime minister releases some of the evidence linking bin Lader to Sept. 11. 


What others say
Internet links to important Web pages about the fighting in Afghanistan and terrorism.


A.M. Costa Rica photo
Jewelry always draws a crowd

Artisans' booths
return to the avenida
. . . at least for awhile

A.M. Costa Rica photo by Yahaira
Booths were four deep on the avenida 
A.M. Costa Rica photo
Glassblower Pedro Acuña has some young help

Artisans opened up shop (for a fee) along the Avenida Principal last weekend, a return to the place they were ousted from years ago.  But just for three days.

A.M. Costa Rica photo
Barney and friends made the scene



Costa Rica
ties Mexico
in match
at home

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica and Mexico fought to a scoreless tie in Ricardo Saprissa Stadium Sunday. But Mexico's World Cup hopes remained alive when the Trinidad and Tobago national team beat Honduras, 1-0.

Meanwhile, the United States national team defeated Jamaica, 2-1, to hang on to second place in the World Cup qualifcation lineup.

This World cup bracket will send three teams to the finals in Japan and South Korea early next year. So far, Costa Rica is a mathematical certainty with 20 point. The United States team has 16, and now Mexico and Honduras are tied with 15 each.

Jamaica has but eight points and Trinidad and Tobago but four. The showdown comes Nov. 11 when Mexico hosts Honduras at home. 

Bin Laden appears to be just one goal of military
By Alex Belida
 of A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. anti-terrorist operation now under way often appears to be a hunt for one man: Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in last month's terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, who is believed to be hiding out in Afghanistan. But military-led manhunts have fallen out of favor at the Pentagon.

"Don't come to this country. If you come here, it will be big problem." This anti-American warning might have been recorded in Afghanistan.

But it wasn't. Those sounds come from Somalia in 1993, where a U.S. humanitarian mission turned into a military manhunt that was both ill-fated and unsuccessful.

Eighteen U.S. soldiers looking for Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aideed and his lieutenants were killed in a bloody shoot-out in the streets of Mogadishu. Aideed never was caught.

Pentagon officials do not see any links between Somalia 1993 and Afghanistan 2001. But just like the hunt for one Somali warlord, much attention is now focused on killing or capturing one man: Osama bin Laden, identified by the Bush administration as the prime suspect in last month's devastating terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

 Even President Bush has used manhunt-style terminology:

"I want justice and there's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said 'Wanted: Dead or Alive,'" the president said. 

But since Bush uttered those words during a visit to the Pentagon just days after the Sept. 11 attacks, there has been less rhetoric that singles out any individual.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, while visiting Cairo this past week, told reporters there was no question but that the alleged terrorist mastermind was "a serious problem."

But he also said "the chances of any military action affecting any single terrorist, it seems to me, is modest."

It is an assessment reflected by top U.S. military commanders, who tell reporters privately it would be a terrible mistake to judge the success of anti-terrorist Operation Enduring Freedom on the death or capture of one individual.

These commanders like Rumsfeld and the president say the focus is much broader: Dismantling terrorist networks, depriving terrorists of the support they need and closing their sanctuaries. It is a long-term mission ó one that involves more than just military force.

Bush puts it this way:

"There'll be battles, but this is long-term. After all, our mission is not just Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda organization, our mission is to battle terrorism," he said.

Military commanders acknowledge it is a mission for which conventional forces alone are ill-suited.  Rumsfeld says it cannot be predicted which event, or which scrap of information, or which potential military activity, or which diplomatic action might turn up information that would lead to the apprehension of a single terrorist. 

Instead, he says, the important thing is to put enough pressure on terrorists and those who harbor them to make their lives difficult. He says it may be like the decades-long Cold War, a conflict which the defense secretary notes, ended "not with a bang, but through internal collapse." 

British PM builds a circumstantial case in public
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A report by British Prime Minister Tony Blair gives the fullest public account yet of the evidence the western alliance has against Osama bin Laden.

The material, posted to the prime minister's web site, said:

"This document does not purport to provide a prosecutable case against Usama Bin Laden in a court of law. Intelligence often cannot be used evidentially, due both to the strict rules of admissibility and to the need to protect the safety of sources. But on the basis of all the information available [Her majesty's government] is confident of its conclusions as expressed in this document. 

The report outlines a strong circumstantial case against bin Laden:

Bin Laden said he would kill Americans. He has an organization designed to do just that. He financially supports terrorist training camps. The attacks Sept. 11 on the World Trade towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington are similar to earlier attacks attributed to him.

The Blair document says that Osama bin Laden has been connected to the bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya, and  Tanzania in August 1998 which killed 224 and injured nearly 5,000. He also has been linked to the attack on the USS Cole last Oct. 12 in which 17 crewmembers were killed and 40 injured.

The document also says that bin Laden claimed credit for the attack on U.S. soldiers in Somalia in October 1993 in which 18 died.

The report also gave these characteristics of attacks by bin laden:

Suicide attackers: 

1. Co-ordinated attacks on the same day 
2. The aim to cause maximum American casualties 
3. Total disregard for other casualties, including Muslim 

Meticulous long-term planning: 

1. Absence of warning. 

Although the Blair document contains no direct links from bin Laden to the Sept. 11 attacks, it does say that some of the 19 terrorists are associates of Al Qaida, the bin Laden terror organization. The document says that bin Laden is the leader of the organization.

"In the run-up to 11 September, bin Laden was mounting a concerted propaganda campaign amongst like-minded groups of people ? including videos and documentation ó justifying attacks on Jewish and American targets; and claiming that those who died in the course of them were carrying out Godís work." the document said. 

"We have learned, subsequent to 11 September, that bin Laden himself asserted shortly before 11 September that he was preparing a major attack on America. 

"In August and early September close associates of Bin Laden were warned to return to Afghanistan from other parts of the world by 10 September. 

"Immediately prior to 11 September some known associates of Bin Laden were naming the date for action as on or around 11 September. 

"Since 11 September we have learned that one of Bin Ladenís closest and most senior associates was responsible for the detailed planning of the attacks."

The document said that investigators knew the name of each of these associates but the names were not given for intelligence reasons.

In addition" There is evidence of a very specific nature relating to the guilt of bin Laden and his associates that is too sensitive to release," said the document.

Web links for bin Laden

For a complete report on the latest news in the world, check The Associated Press:


British Prime Minister Tony Blair's report on the evidence connnecting bin Laden to terror:


For a story on the Italian report on connections among terrorist cells in Europe:


The New York Times online (requires free registration):


The Washington Post homepage:


Los Angeles Times world news:


U.S. National Public Radio news pages:


U.S. Embassy in San José:


Blair gave a strong speech in London after he had returned from visiting President George Bush. He said at that time he had been briefed by U.S. officials and was convinced that the United States had a strong case against the man.

Bush and officials in his administration have not provided detailed evidence against bin Laden, although they blamed him from the attacks within hours afterwards.

The United States has shared its evidence with officials in Pakistan and, presumably, officials of others that were being invited to join the Bush alliance.

The Blair report may be found at:

Italian report shows links
among terror cells there

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A 100-page Italian investigative report tells what journalists called a stunning story of cooperation among suspected Bin Laden cells in Europe and includes chilling wiretaps among the "brothers." 

The report was obtained by the Center for Public Integrityís International Consortium of Investigative Journalists,

The report, dated April 3, lays out the complicated web of relationships among the suspected al Qaeda operatives and identifies key figures in Bin Ladenís European alliance, the center said. 

Journalists said that Italian investigators said there were many connections between an Italian cell and a Frankfurt cell that was raided last December. There also was a connection with an attempted attack on the U.S. Embassy in Rome in January and with at least one individual sought in the United States as one of the men who plotted to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on New Yearís Eve 1999, said the journalists.

The news story about the report is available at:


Colombia and rebels
reach an agreement

By A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Colombian government says it has reached an agreement with the nation's largest rebel group for immediate cease-fire talks. 

The announcement came late Friday, after government negotiators and representatives from the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, held two days of intensive talks in the rebel enclave in southern Colombia. 

The government's chief peace negotiator, Camilo Gomez, hailed the nine-point accord as a "new direction" in the peace negotiations. 

In the agreement, the FARC promises to halt "miracle fishing," where rebels set up random roadblocks and kidnap people who may bring a sizable ransom. The money is used to fund the rebel war against the government. 

The kidnap and murder last week of former Culture Minister Consuelo Araujo plunged the peace process into its worse crisis since the talks began more than two years ago. Ms. Araujo was kidnapped Sept. 24 in northern Colombia, allegedly by the FARC. 

Leading presidential candidate Horacio Serpa, a longtime critic of the government's policy towards the FARC, says the agreement could be a "significant advance," if all points are carried out. 

The accord comes days before President Andres Pastrana must decide whether to renew the safe haven ceded to the rebels in 1998 to advance the peace process. Mr. Pastrana's decision is expected by Tuesday. 

Critics of the enclave say the FARC uses the zone to hold kidnap victims for ransom, prepare for war and run a cocaine business. The FARC has waged a 37-year war against the Colombian government. An estimated 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict over the past decade. 

Schindler's widow 
dies in Europe

By A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Emilie Schindler, 94, died Saturday in a hospital outside Berlin.

Mrs. Schindler is the wife of German businessman Oskar Schindler. The couple helped save hundreds of Jews from the Nazis during World War II. Her husband's story was made famous by the Steven Spielberg Oscar-winning movie, Schindler's List, released in 1993.

The Schindlers helped save 1,200 Jews by employing them in their factory. For her efforts, Mrs. Schindler was named one of the "Righteous Among the Nations" by Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. Her role was downplayed in the movie.

In 1949, the Schindlers moved to Argentina, but Schindler returned to Germany in the 1950s and lived there until his death in 1974. Mrs. Schindler did not return to Germany until this summer. It was her wish to spend her last days in her homeland. 

Mrs. Schindler was born on Oct. 22, 1907, in a German-speaking village in today's Czech Republic. She married Oskar Schindler at the age of 20 and moved with him to Krakow, Poland.

Mrs. Schindler died in a hospital in Strausberg, outside Berlin. 

State Department
urges Nicaraguans
to vote Nov. 4

 By A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. State Department says it is crucial for all Nicaraguans to participate in their nation's presidential election next month and for the balloting to be free and fair. 

U.S. officials say they will respect the results of the Nov. 4 elections. They have, however, expressed what they call "grave" reservations about the history of Nicaragua's leftist Sandinistas, whose candidate, former President Daniel Ortega, is in a close race for a comeback. The State Department says the Sandinistas past includes trampling civil liberties, violating human rights, and ties to supporters of terrorism. 

Ortega led Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990. During his administration, property belonging to hundreds of U.S. citizens was confiscated. Ortega promises to resolve those claims if elected. 

On Thursday, Secretary of State Colin Powell discussed the coming election during talks in Washington with Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Francisco Aguirre. Their talks also covered the Central American nation's role in combating terrorism. U.S. officials describe Nicaragua as an important U.S. ally in this effort.

Cubans gather
to mark bombing

 By A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of thousands of Cubans gathered Saturday in Havana's Revolution Square for a rally led by President Fidel Castro to mark the 25th anniversary of an airline bombing.

President Castro says the gathering was also held to demonstrate the island's solidarity with the victims of the terrorist strikes against the United States.

The Cuban leader say those responsible for the Cubana de Aviacion bombing on Oct. 6, 1976, must be brought to justice as part of the international fight against terrorism. Seventy-three passengers were killed when the plane exploded off the coast of Barbados.

Havana has accused Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch of masterminding the attack. Both men were jailed in Venezuela for involvement with the airline bombing, but Carriles escaped and Bosch was eventually acquitted.

Carriles is now imprisoned in Panama for an alleged assassination plot against Castro when the leader visited the Central American nation. Bosch now lives in Miami.

Brazilian senator calls it quits

By A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Brazilian Senate has accepted the resignation of one of its members who quit his job amid allegations of corruption, fraud and embezzlement of public funds. 

Jader Barbalho formally stepped down Friday to avoid impeachment, which would have stripped him of the right to run for public office for the next eight years. 

Barbalho's resignation comes less than one month after he quit his job as Senate president. He stands accused of embezzling $10 million from the Para state bank when he was state governor in the 1980s. Barbalho has denied the allegations. 

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