Today's Developments, 10/1


• The ruling Taliban militia of Afghanistan explicitly admitted Sunday for the first time that Usama bin Laden is still in the country. They claimed he was being hidden for his own protection. 

•   The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Friday night a U.S.-sponsored resolution requiring all 189 U.N.-member nations to deny money, support and sanctuary to terrorists.

• Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said that despite the threat of American attacks, hopes that the Taliban would turn over bin Laden were "very dim." Asked if the Taliban's days were numbered, Musharraf told the BBC in an interview Monday: "It appears so. It appears that the United States will take action in Afghanistan. We have conveyed this to the Taliban."

• Pakistan's foreign minister told Fox News that the nature of Pakistan's logistical support for a possible U.S. strike would be up to Washington. Abdul Sattar said his country had already offered intelligence and complete use of Pakistani airspace.

• Fears that Pakistan might be destabilized by its pro-U.S. stance were highlighted by an attack apparently by Pakistani-based Islamic militants in the province of Kashmir, hotly contested by both Pakistan and India. There were 31 killed and 75 wounded in the incident, in which the two attackers detonated a car bomb and then went on a shooting rampage in the state legislature.

• The USS Kitty Hawk steamed out of port near Tokyo to an unknown location without its normal force of 70 warplanes. The lack of warplanes might be intended to make room for helicopters, much more useful for special operations forces.

• Reuters reported Monday that the Northern Alliance, the Taliban foes who hold a sliver of the country, have agreed to work with exiled former King Mohammed Zahir Shah to create a new government. The 86-year-old former king, who was deposed in 1973 and currently lives in Rome, met with a U.S. congressional delegation Sunday. Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar warned Shah not to meddle in Afghan affairs Sunday.

• Omar also told his people not to worry about U.S. attacks because Americans are cowards. He urged Afghans to remain calm and go about their business without trying to flee cities that might be targets of U.S. air strikes.

•   Several hundred Taliban fighters have defected to the Northern Alliance opposition in two different provinces of Afghanistan, according to Reuters. 

• Reuters reported that Iran said it will confront American planes violating its airspace. Defense Minister Admiral Ali Shamkhani also admitted what was long assumed — that Iran has been arming the Northern Alliance. 

• The first humanitarian aid convoy to Afghanistan since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States reached Kabul Sunday. It was carrying 280 tons of wheat.

•   The president of the Central Asian state of Uzbekistan agreed to open his country's airspace to U.S. military operations against possible targets in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

• Some $6 million has been blocked and 50 bank accounts frozen so far as countries around the globe join the U.S. effort to stop the flow of money to terrorist networks, President Bush said Monday. The frozen accounts include 30 in this country and 20 overseas. Also, foreign ministers from the seven leading industrialized nations — the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, and Canada — agreed to produce a coordinated plan to freeze the assets of terrorist organizations. 

• Britain on Monday froze $88 million in assets linked to the Taliban, including a "substantial" amount in a European bank in London. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he has seen "incontrovertible" evidence linking bin Laden to the terror attacks on the United States.

• Prince Sultan, defense minister of Saudi Arabia, told a Saudi newspaper that the country would not be used as a base for attacks against Arabs or Muslims. However, American military officials said that they have been discreetly assured that they will be allowed to use Saudi bases to at least coordinate military activities, if not actually launch attacks. 

• Palestinian President Yasser Arafat said he would continue meeting with Israeli officials despite what he called mounting Israeli "aggression," according to Reuters.

• The trial of eight foreign aid workers accused by the Taliban of preaching Christianity resumed Sunday in the Afghan capital of Kabul. The trial had been suspended for three weeks following the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States. The Afghan Supreme Court's chief justice insisted the threat of an American military assault would not influence the trial. 

• The Pope asked Roman Catholics to recite the rosary during the month of October "for peace, so that the world may be spared from the wicked plague of terrorism." 

• The Sunday Telegraph of London reported that an Iraqi defector said that Saddam Hussein's biological and chemical weapons program was proceeding rapidly, and that a dozen robotic aircraft had been prepared as delivery vehicles. However, the defector said that Iraq's nuclear weapons program had stalled due to lack of funding. 

• British journalist Yvonne Ridley, a reporter for the London Sunday Express, was arrested by the Taliban after sneaking into Afghanistan and being accused of spying.

The Investigation:

• Fox News learned that 14 Afghan-trained jet pilots, who have fought for the Taliban or have ties to Usama bin Laden, are being urgently sought for questioning in Europe. Investigators say the 14 men are from Pakistan, Afghanistan and several Middle Eastern countries. Authorities believe several of the pilots speak English very well, and that most, if not all, have fake U.S. passports. 

• U.S. government officials told Fox News that investigators in Germany have discovered that hijacker Mohammed Atta, who piloted the first hijacked plane into the World Trade Center and may have been the ringleader, received at least one phone call from Zaccarias Moussaoui. Moussaoui, a Frenchman of Moroccan or Algerian origin, has been in U.S. custody since Aug. 17, when he was noticed behaving strangely at a flight-training facility in Minnesota. Officials believe Moussaoui would have been the 20th hijacker if he had not been under arrest.

• Government officials say that fund raising for bin Laden's Al Qaeda has actually increased and one company whose assets President Bush ordered frozen is still managing to raise money. Sources say the effort to collect funds for the Al Rasheed Trust are particularly aggressive in Pakistan, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates. FBI agents have tracked the hijackers' bank accounts, their communications and their travel tickets — and the trail could lead to a small group of chief plotters in Europe and the Middle East. Time magazine reported a bin Laden operative wired money to a suspected hijacker two to three days before the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. 

• U.S. authorities are zeroing in on a cell of the Al Qaeda terrorist network in Germany. A German law enforcement official says a key suspect in the terror attacks had been under investigation. The German-Moroccan man is suspected of assisting three of the hijackers.

• Attorney General John Ashcroft said authorities have arrested or detained more than 480 people. 

The Victims:

• The latest New York police tally of missing at the World Trade Center dropped to 5,219 and the confirmed dead rose to 314, of whom 255 have been identified. There were 8,786 injured. The death toll at the Pentagon remained 189. Forty-four died in the Pennsylvania crash of a hijacked airliner. 

• Former President Bill Clinton and former Sen. Bob Dole teamed up to help raise $100,000,000 in scholarships for the children and spouses of victims. 

• Proceeds were still being counted from this year's Farm Aid Concert, held Saturday in Indiana. Co-founder Willie Nelson brought thousands to their feet with "This Land Is Your Land." The event will benefit family farmers and victims of the terror attacks.


• The Federal Reserve is expected on Tuesday to push a key interest rate to its lowest level in four decades. Consumer confidence has plunged by the largest amount since the Persian Gulf War.

• The price tag of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center will be nearly $40 billion, an early estimate of what it will cost to remove debris, pay overtime and rebuild subways and skyscrapers, officials say. 

• New York City offered $1 billion in bonds for sale Monday to start paying for debris removal and unemployment insurance for workers who have been put out of work by the World Trade Center collapse

The Home Front:

• Ashcroft said that more terror attacks on the United States were likely, especially in the case of military retaliation for the Sept. 11 attacks. "We believe there is the likelihood of additional terrorist activity," Ashcroft told CBS' Face the Nation.

• Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said the U.S. is prepared to handle any kind of biological attack. Thompson told CBS' 60 Minutes that supplies are stockpiled and 7,000 medical personal are ready to respond.

• Al Gore carried a message of unity to a Democratic audience Saturday night, declaring that "There are no divisions in this country" — and fighting terrorism is a mission for all. The former vice president told his audience: "George W. Bush is my commander in chief."

• The State Department has issued a "worldwide caution" to Americans overseas — citing threatening rhetoric from extremist groups and the potential for further terrorist action. 

• President Bush said in his weekly radio address his administration is moving "aggressively and methodically" to disrupt and destroy terrorism. Bush also condemned the Taliban militia for giving safe haven to bin Laden, but said the United States respects the people of Afghanistan. 

• Estimates for reservists called to active duty are likely to rise. The Air Force now thinks it needs 20,000 reservists — 7,000 more than the initial estimate. The Coast Guard has called more than 2,700 to active duty, about 700 more than the service first estimated.

• New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, urging the world's governments to band together to fight terrorism. 

• Crews are demolishing World Trade Center Four, part of the trade center complex that partially collapsed under the rubble that fell after the terror attacks.  

• Administration officials said that President Bush would authorize the reopening of Reagan National Airport outside Washington with new security measures, allowing a limited number of flights at the only commercial airport left dark since Sept. 11.

• An airport security official was transferred in the wake of security problems at Boston's Logan International Airport. Two of the planes hijacked Sept. 11 departed from Logan, and there have been security breaches at Logan since the attacks. 

• Airline passengers encountered more and more National Guard troops toting M-16s and pistols. The first troops arrived at airports across the country as states honored Bush's request that they call them up to fend off potential terror threats. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report