Nation & word digest 10/15/01

Monday, October 15, 2001

FBI in Tennessee hunt for Saudi pilot

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The FBI is searching anew for a Saudi pilot they first inquired about more than two weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks, and who purchased two small planes and left Tennessee shortly before the suicide hijackings, officials said.

Khaled Alzeedi's name appears on a list of 370 people who emerged overseas earlier this month. Most are wanted for questioning in the attacks investigation, officials say.

Since the attacks, the FBI has questioned employees of a Nashville hotel where Alzeedi stayed, as well as the broker who sold the two planes, and seized records of Alzeedi's company, Zidi Aviation.

Tens of thousands march in Italy for peace

ASSISI, Italy -- Tens of thousands of people rallied for peace Sunday during an annual march between the two Umbrian hill towns of Perugia and Assisi.

This year, participants used the annual 13-mile march to vent their feelings about the U.S. military strikes on Afghanistan.

Politicians from Premier Silvio Berlusconi center-right coalition did not appear to have participated, but many from the opposition center-left coalition joined the walk.

Saudi businessman denies link to bin Laden

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- A Saudi businessman whose U.S. assets were ordered frozen on suspicion of links to terror suspect Osama bin Laden has denied a link to terrorism.

"I was shocked when my lawyers in Britain informed me that my name was on the list of people and groups targeted in asset freeze," Yasin al-Qadi told the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat daily.

Al-Qadi is among 39 people and organizations with suspected terrorist ties whose U.S. assets were ordered frozen on Friday by the U.S. Treasury Department.

China to create police force to fly on airliners

BEIJING -- China is creating a 2,000-member police force to fly aboard its airlines, prompted by terror attacks in the United States.

Aviation police will replace private security guards who fly on many Chinese carriers, the Beijing Youth Daily said.

Iraqi official newspaper praises Osama bin Laden

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A newspaper owned by President Saddam Hussein's son praised Osama bin Laden on Sunday, likely signaling a shift in the Iraqi government's attitude to the United States' No. 1 enemy.

While Iraq has been quick to condemn the United States for its airstrikes on Afghanistan, it had previously downplayed their target -- bin Laden, the chief suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. Protesters at a mass demonstration last week in Baghdad denounced America but did not carry bin Laden posters or chant his name.

Indian leader urges efforts to rid world of terrorism

AGRA, India -- Calling terrorism an enemy of humanity, India's Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee called Sunday for a global campaign to rid the world of the scourge.

"Everyone accepts that terrorism is the enemy of humanity. We have to finish off terrorism by attacking not just its symbols but also its roots," Vajpayee told nearly 50,000 members of his Bhartiya Janata Party's youth wing in Agra.

He noted that India had found scant sympathy internationally for its decade-long fight against fighting terrorist activity in Jammu-Kashmir.Muslim state.

-- From wire reports

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