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US, World Mark 5th Anniversary of Terror Attacks on New York, Washington


September 11 Anniversary: The United States and most of the world's nations are marking the fifth anniversary today (Monday) of the terrorist attacks on the United States.
President Bush is visiting all three sites scarred by the attacks on this day five years ago -- in New York, where hijackers crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center and destroyed the twin towers that marked the city's skyline, at the Pentagon near the nation's capital, hit by another airliner, and in an empty field (near Pittsburgh) in Pennsylvania, where a fourth hijacked jet crashed, apparently after passengers tried to overpower their captors.
Al-Qaida's suicidal attackers killed nearly three thousand people in a few hours, but the worldwide toll has risen many times higher since 2001, in the war on terrorism launched by the United States and its allies.
The president (and First Lady Laura Bush) made a quiet visit Sunday to the place where New York City's twin towers once stood (near Wall Street), a barren area now known as "ground zero." Mr. Bush also attended a service at a historic church a few hundred meters away.

US – Iraq Terrorism: Vice President Cheney says the war in Iraq and other efforts to combat terrorism have made the United States more secure during the past five years.
Mr. Cheney acknowledges the insurgency in Iraq has lasted longer, caused more casualties and been more difficult than expected. However, he says last year's Iraqi elections marked "a turning point" in the campaign to restore the country's stability.
In a televised interview (Sunday), the vice president said it is difficult to fully assess the progress of the war on terror. However, Mr. Cheney added, the fact that Osama bin Laden's terrorist network has not launched any successful attack inside the United States since 2001 is evidence that the Bush administration's policies are working effectively.

Al-Qaida Threat: Al-Qaida's deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, warns today (Monday) that the Persian Gulf region and Israel will be the terrorist group's next targets.
In a videotaped message broadcast by the U.S. television network CNN, the Egyptian-born Zawahiri says Western leaders should be more concerned about attacks in the Gulf or Israel than violence in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The source of the video is unclear, since it does not appear on mainstream websites used by most groups linked to al-Qaida. However, the threatening message from Osama bin Laden's deputy appeared to be timed deliberately to coincide with today's fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the United States.

Khatami – US: Iran's former president, Mohammed Khatami, has denounced Osama bin Laden as a criminal who betrays Islam's message of peace and justice.
Mr. Khatami's sharply critical reference to the leader of the al-Qaida terror network drew applause late Sunday during a speech he delivered at Harvard University in the United States.
However, the Iranian ex-president also praised the Hezbollah militant group as a symbol of Arab resistance to Israel.
Drawing a distinction between resistance and terrorism, Mr. Khatami condemned what he called "the barbarous acts" of terrorism that bin Laden's followers inflicted on the United States five years ago.

Iraq: Iraqi officials say a suicide bomber has blown himself up near a minibus carrying army recruits in Baghdad, killing at least 14 people and wounding several others.
Authorities say the bomber struck as the bus was taking recruits to an (the al-Muthana) army base in central Baghdad.
Separately, the trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein resumed in a Baghdad courtroom today (Monday). He faces charges of ordering the killing of tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurds in 1988.
Saddam appeared in court today (Monday) with all six of his co-defendants, including his cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid, sometimes referred to as "Chemical Ali."

Bush Interview: President Bush says his thinking about the world has changed dramatically since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. He says he realized the United States is involved in an ideological struggle similar to the Cold War and that his most important responsibility is to protect the American people.
President Bush told NBC's "Today" show (in an interview taped Friday but aired Monday) that the United States is dealing with "coldblooded killers." He said he will stay on the offensive to protect the country.

Listen to our World News for details.

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