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Latest developments in the war on terror:



Published: Wed, May 29, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Latest developments in the war on terror:

GROUND ZERO

Ironworkers, above, make sure the path is clear as they remove the last remaining steel column of the World Trade Center in a ceremony at ground zero in New York. With chants of "USA! USA!" in the background, the steel column was severed with a torch Tuesday and placed on a flatbed truck, where construction workers draped the beam with an American flag and laid a wreath of red, white and blue flowers on top. Some wrote messages on the column; others touched it as if it were a coffin.

Hundreds of U.S. sailors in town for Fleet Week and dozens of New York firefighters and police officers lined a ramp leading out of the site. They saluted as the construction workers filed by, many with tears in their eyes.

On Thursday, the column will be removed from the site in a procession past an honor guard during the city's formal ceremony to mark the end of the recovery effort. It will begin at 10:29 a.m., the time the north tower collapsed Sept. 11.

A fire department bell will ring the signal for a fallen firefighter, then a stretcher with a folded flag will be carried out of the site, honoring the victims whose remains have not been found.

FBI CHANGES

The FBI is completing plans for a broad reorganization to focus more tightly on preventing future terror attacks, including formation of a new office of intelligence and strengthened oversight of counterterror investigations.

The reshaping of the bureau appears to result at least partly from criticism over its efforts before the Sept. 11 hijackings.

Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller were expected to outline high-profile changes at the FBI's headquarters today. They were to include FBI ties with the CIA and an overhauling of the FBI's outdated computer systems.

PREDICTED ATTACK

Recorded conversations between a Muslim cleric from Yemen and the leader of a Milan mosque reveal what police said are predictions of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, including a boast of a "terrifying" operation by "a madman," according to a newspaper report.

Excerpts of the conversations, which took place in 2000 and early 2001, ran in Tuesday's editions of Milan daily Corriere della Sera.

The conversations were between Abdulsalam Abdulrahman, the sheik, who had traveled to Italy, and Abdelkader Mahmoud Es Sayed, who fled Italy two months before the attacks.

U.S. officials consider Es Sayed, an Egyptian national, to be the organizer of a Milan cell of Al-Qaida, the terrorist network of Osama bin Laden.

Source: Associated Press




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