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U.S. allies getting evidence linking bin Laden to attacks

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(CNN) -- The Bush administration began Monday to provide to its allies evidence that links Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, senior administration officials told CNN.

The administration has been "pretty much convinced" bin Laden was behind the attacks for the past week, one official said.

Another senior administration source said Secretary of State Colin Powell was "totally convinced" al Qaeda carried out the attacks.

During the course of the day, State Department officials were in the process of putting the finishing touches on presentations that "make the case in a logical kind of way" without providing "every morsel of evidence," said one senior source.

Officials said the evidence would be contained in diplomatic cables to certain U.S. embassies. The first round of cables was expected to go out Monday to English-speaking countries, including Great Britain, Canada and Australia, the sources said.

The next round of cables were expected to be sent out within about 48 hours to other close U.S. allies, including NATO members, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, the sources said.

One official said Pakistan would be a "special case," with the evidence most likely presented "eyeball to eyeball" in a meeting between Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlin. (Full story)

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Latest developments:

• Congressional leaders said Monday they were nearing agreement on an anti-terrorism bill that would give broad new powers to law enforcement, but it did not include some of the most controversial powers requested by Attorney General John Ashcroft.

• U.S. Customs Service Commissioner Robert Bonner said Monday he wants all international flights bound for U.S. soil to provide airline passenger lists or be denied permission to land. About 85 percent of international flights provide the information voluntarily, but carriers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan and Egypt do not, U.S. officials said. (Full story)

• President Bush announced Monday that the international war against terrorism was making headway, citing the arrest of "a known terrorist," Zayd Hassan Safarini, involved in the 1986 hijacking of a Pan Am flight in Karachi, Pakistan. Bush said the man was not a member of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist organization, suspected in the September 11 attacks. (Full story)

• Bush gave his progress report on the anti-terrorism campaign while at the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where he praised workers for their response to the recent terror attacks. He also announced the United States has frozen $6 million in bank accounts linked to terrorist activity, including 30 al Qaeda accounts. (Full story)

• Britain's finance minister announced Monday the country had frozen almost $90 million of Taliban assets. (Full story)

The United States on Monday deployed the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk from Yokosuka, Japan, to join "Operation Enduring Freedom" in southwest Asia. The aircraft carrier left without most of its attack aircraft so that it may be used for a floating base for special operations helicopters and troops, sources said. (Full story)

• The United States on Monday deployed the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk from Yokosuka, Japan, to join "Operation Enduring Freedom" in southwest Asia. The aircraft carrier left without most its attack aircraft so that it can act as a floating air base, sources said. (Full story)

• President Bush has signed off on a plan to re-open Washington's Reagan National Airport, and the decision will be announced as early as Tuesday, administration sources told CNN. The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said security measures would include armed federal sky marshals on every flight into and out of the airport. (Full story)

• The State Department has delayed publication of its annual "Religious Freedom" report so as not to upset countries the report criticizes that the United States needs for the war against terrorism, senior administration officials and others familiar with the document told CNN on Monday.

• The Bush administration is preparing to intensify efforts, including radio and television broadcasts, to convince the Afghan people in the coming weeks that any U.S. military campaign targeting Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda and the Taliban would not be aimed at the average Afghan citizen, a senior administration source told CNN on Monday.

• The number of people confirmed dead in the attacks on the World Trade Center rose Monday to 344, city officials said. Deputy Mayor Joe Lhota said the number of people who have reported a family member missing is 4,651. He put the police department's toll of the missing, which is compiled from six separate sources and may include some redundancies, at 5,219. So far, 1,082 people have filed for death certificates, he said.

• Iran's defense minister said Monday Iran "will take action" against any U.S. warplanes that repeatedly violate its airspace in the event of a strike on Afghanistan. He also said Iran has been supplying the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance with weapons and would continue to do so. (Full story)

• The Northern Alliance said Monday it will organize a grand assembly "very soon" to set up a transitional government to oppose Afghanistan's ruling Taliban. Alliance representatives had met first with the exiled former king of Afghanistan, Mohammed Zahir Shah.

• Law enforcement sources told CNN that as much as $100,000 was wired in the past year from Pakistan to Mohamed Atta, suspected of playing a leading role in the September 11 terrorist attacks. It is not known where the funds originated. Pakistan is a common route for money going into and out of Afghanistan. (Full story)

• The Federal Aviation Administration has changed requirements on curbside check-in, now allowing it to be offered by airlines that can demonstrate they have enhanced security, sources tell CNN. At least three airlines say they have resumed limited curbside check-in. (Full story)

• More than 3,400 reservists and National Guard members -- most from Army units -- were called to active duty Monday as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President Bush, the Pentagon said. That brings the number of reservists and National Guard members called up since September 11 to more than 20,000 out of an expected 35,000.

• A Virginia man and a woman are scheduled to appear Monday in federal court on charges that they helped some of the suspected terror attack hijackers obtain fake identity papers. Another Virginia man has already been charged in federal court with "knowingly and unlawfully" producing an identification document, and aiding and abetting in the production of the document.

• An Islamic militant, suspected of trying to organize terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in France, has been extradited from the United Arab Emirates to France, CNN confirmed Monday. (Full story)

• CNN has confirmed President Bush has authorized the release of $100 million in humanitarian aid for Afghan refugees fleeing their country for neighboring Pakistan. An administration official said the aid will be used during the remainder of this calendar year and more aid is possible next year. (Full story)

• The U.N.'s refugee agency said Monday an emergency airlift flight into Iran is set to arrive Tuesday and a second flight is leaving for Pakistan. The planes are carrying tents and other supplies for refugees fleeing Afghanistan. (Full story)

• About 100 members of Congress were in New York Monday to tour the rubble of the World Trade Center, at the invitation of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and New York Gov. George Pataki. House Speaker Dennis Hastert toured the site Sunday evening with Giuliani and Pataki, and said afterwards that members of Congress need to see the enormity of the destruction. (Full story)

• Gen. Hugh Shelton retired Monday as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He will be succeeded by Air Force Gen. Richard Myers.

• President Bush plans to name retired Army Gen. Wayne Downing to the newly created post of deputy national security adviser focused on combating terrorism, senior government officials told CNN on Sunday. (Full story)



 
 
 
 



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