Tuesday, November 13, 2001
W e d n e s d a y ,  N o v e m b e r  1 4,  2 0 0 1
Thursday, November 15, 2001
Bin Laden's Nuclear Secrets Found

Despite protestations regarding the quick takeover of Kabul, excerpts from the following article explain one of the many reasons why it was advantageous to the U.S. for the Taleban to exit Kabul as quickly as possible:

- - - begin excerpts - - -


  • Times reporter finds blueprint for 'Nagasaki bomb'
  • Singed files left by fleeing terrorists

Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network held detailed plans for nuclear devices and other terrorist bombs in one of its Kabul headquarters.

The Times discovered the partly burnt documents in a hastily abandoned safe house in the Karta Parwan quarter of the city. Written in Arabic, German, Urdu and English, the notes give detailed designs for missiles, bombs and nuclear weapons.

There are descriptions of how the detonation of TNT compresses plutonium into a critical mass, sparking a chain reaction, and ultimately a thermonuclear reaction.

Both President Bush and British ministers are convinced that bin Laden has access to nuclear material and Mr Bush said earlier this month that al-Qaeda was “seeking chemical, biological and nuclear weapons”.

The discovery of the detailed bomb-making instructions, along with studies into chemical and nuclear devices, confirms the West’s worst fears and raises the spectre of plans for an attack that would far exceed the September 11 atrocities in scale and gravity.

Nuclear experts say the design suggests that bin Laden may be working on a fission device, similar to Fat Man, the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. However, they emphasised that it was extremely difficult to build a viable warhead. ...

- - - end excerpts - - -

Source:

  • The Times [link inactive]

Deadly secrets left by fleeing Taleban

- - - begin excerpts - - -

The al-Qaeda men had left in a hurry on Monday night. They took with them their weapons and explosives but there was not time to load all the documents on their vehicles and in their haste they allowed the tops of the bundled sheets to spill across the corridor floors.

Someone had tried to burn this residue but the flames were weak and left the job unfinished. Another unknown person scattered anti-personnel mines across the ground near the house, either by accident or intent. Then they fled.

When looking through the documents they left behind, it becomes apparent that most are no more than the bomb-making literature one would expect a terrorist organisation to possess.

It is only when the neat, handwritten notes of a mathematician or scientist turn their focus to the detailed studies of mach speeds, conical areas, liquid rocket fuel and plutonium — atomic number 94 — that the hair begins to crawl on the back of your neck.

For whatever other dark business may have occurred in the al-Qaeda safe houses in Kabul, a lot of time and effort had been devoted within them to researching the creation of an atomic device. ...

- - - end excerpts - - -

Source:

  • The Times [link inactive]

Taliban Fleeing Kandahar

Excerpts from article describing the exodus of the Taliban from Kandahar:

- - - begin excerpts - - -

The Taliban and Al Qaeda appear to be fleeing their stronghold at Kandahar by escaping into the mountains, Pentagon sources told Fox News.

The eastern city of Jalalabad also has reportedly fallen to opposition forces, following reports that the Taliban commander of that city, Mullah Raket, had defected with some of his troops. The Pentagon, however, said it remained unclear whether Jalalabad had fallen.

The apparent victory at Jalalabad, and the movement at Kandahar airport, was led by local leaders unaffiliated with the Northern Alliance, including ethnic Pashtuns, long the backbone of Taliban support.

The U.S. effort to foster dissent among Pashtun leaders has persuaded some of the groups to rise up, although tribes are acting on their own volition, a U.S. official said.

Sources also said that Taliban forces are still actively fighting Northern Alliance forces in the area of Kunduz, the last major Taliban pocket in the north. ...

- - - end excerpts - - -

Source:

  • Fox News [link inactive]


Ancient Horse Sheds Light On Equine Evolution

Excerpts from article describing the discovery of a fossil of an ancient small horse.

- - - begin excerpts - - -

A spectacular new fossil of a tiny ancient horse is shedding new light on the evolution of equines. A developing foal inside the pregnant mare has been preserved in remarkable detail.

The fossil was found at the Messel open-pit mine in Germany, where more than 70 specimens of ancient horses have now been unearthed. Details of the discovery are revealed in the forthcoming BBC TV series Walking With Beasts.

... The forest dwelling horses come from a time, 49 million years ago, when tropical forests stretched right to the poles. The largest mammals were about the size of a pig, and giant stalking birds, Gastornis, took the role of top predators. ...

- - - end excerpts - - -

Source:

Aid Workers 'Rescued' From Afghanistan

Excerpts from article detailing the freedom of eight aid workers previously held as prisoners by the Taleban:

- - - begin excerpts - - -

More than three months after being detained by the Taliban, eight Western aid workers were flown from Afghanistan to Pakistan by U.S. military helicopters, U.S. officials told CNN Wednesday.

The aid workers -- four Germans, two Americans and two Australians -- had been detained by the Taliban on charges of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity.

"I'm thankful they're safe, and I'm pleased with our military for conducting this operation," President Bush said from his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Bush said the rescue had been "facilitated on the ground," and that the International Red Cross participated in some manner. "I am really proud of our armed forces, and I am also thankful for the folks in Afghanistan who helped with this rescue."

One U.S. official said the Taliban handed the aid workers over to a non-governmental organization, apparently the International Red Cross, which then contacted the U.S. military. The special forces were flown in. The forces did not encounter gunfire or hostile Taliban, the official said. ...

- - - end excerpts - - -

Source:


U.S. / Russia Nuclear Two-Step

Source:

  • The Times [link inactive]


Afghan Cities Fall to Chiefs With Divided Loyalties

Excerpt from article detailing the divided loyalties and nature of the takeover of cities by individuals with assorted backgrounds and divided loyalties:

- - - begin excerpts - - -

Afghan Cities Fall to Chiefs

Afghanistan's provinces and cities came under the control yesterday of a bewildering variety of regional leaders whose allegiances remain far from clear.

With the pace of war far outstripping diplomacy, the country moved a step closer to falling under the control of feuding warlords again.

As the Northern Alliance consolidated its hold on Kabul and northern areas, leaders of the Pashtun tribes in the south and east were desperate to stop the Alliance seizing areas in their own heartland. ...

- - - end excerpts - - -

Source:

  • The Times [link inactive]

Betrayal By Tribes May Trap bin Laden

Excerpts from article describing the way in which bin Laden may be located ...


- - - begin excerpts - - -

Osama bin Laden is moving from one hideout to another in his attempt to escape detection by American and British special forces, a defence source said yesterday.

Until now intelligence about his whereabouts has always come too late to mount any military operation. But his chances of betrayal were rising fast as Taleban troops and several southern Pashtun tribes changed allegiance, the source added.

... As part of an intensive effort to track down the two men, American special forces have begun an aggressive operation in southern Afghanistan, cutting off roads from the north to the south, searching for any members of the al-Qaeda terrorist organisation headed by bin Laden and supported by Mullah Omar.

...America is also seeking to induce more defections with promises of money, munitions and a role in Afghanistan’s future government.

Mr Rumsfeld, speaking amid the ruins of the World Trade Centre, said that the US had offered a $25 million (17 million) reward for information leading to the capture of bin Laden and his closest associates: “You know, it may very well be that money will talk at some point.”

He admitted, however: “We have to recognise that it is going to continue to be a difficult task. Finding handfuls of people is, indeed, like finding needles in haystacks.”

With airbases in Afghanistan opening up for American use after the advances by the Northern Alliance, General Tommy Franks, commander of US Central Command in charge of the campaign, has asked for 50 to 70 aircraft, including A10 tank-busting Warthog aircraft and more AC130 Spectre gunships, to be sent to the area.

Briefing Pentagon reporters, Rear-Admiral John Stufflebeem said that American aircraft were now bombing Taleban caves and tunnel complexes.

He said the US was “prepared if necessary to conduct a guerrilla war or counter guerrilla war” in the mountains and caves of southern Afghanistan. ...

- - - end excerpts - - -

Source:

  • The Times [link inactive]