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Fighting terror

Two dozen terror suspects land at U.S. prison in Cuba

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 8, 2003

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- More than two dozen men arrived at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba on Friday, pushing the number of terror suspects at the naval base to about 650.

The arrivals came a day after the Pentagon reported a recent rise in suicide attempts among detainees at the base, drawing criticism from a human rights group that says U.S. interrogations might be to blame.

About 25 men arrived at Guantanamo aboard a military cargo plane, said Army Maj. Paul Caruso, a spokesman for the detention mission. The men, the first arrivals since October, were flown from Afghanistan, officials said.

"They were processed and taken to Camp Delta," the detention compound at Guantanamo, Caruso said.

The detainees, treated by the U.S. government as enemy combatants, are being held indefinitely without being charged or tried, and they are interrogated without access to lawyers.

DNA tests could ID hijackers' remains

NEW YORK -- Medical examiners are trying to separate the remains of the Sept. 11 terrorists from those of their victims, and to aid the effort, the FBI turned over DNA profiles believed to belong to the hijackers.

Remains that match the profiles will be removed from the city's Memorial Park, where unidentified and unclaimed remains are kept, Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the medical examiner, said Friday.

"I certainly do not want the remains of those barbarians intermingled with the innocent, wonderful people we lost on Sept. 11," said Jennie Farrell, a leader of the victims advocacy group Give Your Voice.

The massive effort to identify World Trade Center victims' remains is expected to continue for years. Of the 2,792 people listed as missing in the attack, the remains of 1,464 have been identified.

Nearly 20,000 body parts were recovered, and most remain unidentified. Some might belong to the hijackers who crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center's twin towers, experts say.

To identify victims' remains, the medical examiner's office asked family members to provide items such as toothbrushes that might hold DNA samples.

FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said authorities developed DNA profiles from items the hijackers were believed to have handled, such as a rental car used by some of the terrorists.

Borakove said no decision has been made on what to do with hijackers' remains.

Secret order authorizes cyber warfare

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has signed a secret order allowing the government to develop guidelines under which the United States could launch cyberattacks against foreign computer systems, administration officials said Friday.

The United States has never conducted a large-scale cyberattack, but officials said last month that the unfolding cyberstrategy plan made it more clear than ever that the Defense Department can wage cyber warfare if the nation is attacked.

The action illustrates Bush's desire to pursue new forms of potential warfare. The Washington Post, which first reported the signing of a presidential directive, said the Pentagon has stepped up development of cyberweapons -- envisioning a day when soldiers could sit at computer terminals and infiltrate foreign networks to shut down radar, disable electrical facilities and disrupt phone service.

The government has lacked rules for deciding the circumstances under which such attacks could be launched, who would authorize the attacks and what targets would be legitimate.

Court demands location of detained men

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- A Pakistani court ordered authorities to reveal the whereabouts of five foreign men arrested last year on suspicion of links to al-Qaida, officials said Friday. The Peshawar High Court in northwestern Pakistan gave authorities until Feb. 28 to say where they are holding the men.

The four Sudanese and one Jordanian were arrested in Peshawar in June as part of an operation involving the FBI and Pakistani police.

The men belong to a Kuwaiti charity organization called Hayat al-Thurad, which authorities have accused of funneling money to al-Qaida.

The court ruling came in response to a petition filed by human rights activist Akram Chaudhry. Chaudhry alleged that the men were in army custody.

Pakistan's Defense Ministry asked the court for more time, saying it needed to check its records.

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