Friday, May 31, 2002

Israel and the Occupied Territories. In: Amnesty International Report 2002 Unlawful killings

Israeli security forces killed more than 460 Palestinians, including 79 children. The vast majority were killed unlawfully, when the lives of others were not in imminent danger, during demonstrations, during shelling of residential areas and at checkpoints. At least 32 Palestinians were deliberately targeted in extrajudicial executions which also killed 15 bystanders. IDF and other Israeli security forces using high-velocity ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets killed and wounded demonstrators throwing stones or Molotov cocktails. Ammunition used against Palestinians included mortars, grenade launchers and artillery shells, including shells containing flechettes (5cm-long steel darts).

Fatima Abu Jish was killed in January as she was returning to her village of Beit Dajan from the hospital in Nablus where she worked as a receptionist. The IDF fired at her car which was in a queue of cars slowly travelling along a track through the fields because an IDF barrier had blocked the road to the village. The IDF first stated that soldiers had been firing in response to shots. It then admitted that no shots had been fired at the checkpoint. The IDF then claimed that a soldier had fired at the wheels of Fatima Abu Jish's car and that disciplinary procedures would be taken against him. No reason was given why one car in a convoy should have been targeted.

Two Bedouin women and a child were killed in June in the Gaza Strip when an Israeli tank shelled their tent with a 120mm shell filled with up to 2,000 flechettes. Three other artillery shells exploded in the same area, wounding other Bedouin and killing sheep. The IDF initially said it was responding to gunfire, but later said that the killings had been a ''mistake''.

Jamal Mansur and Jamal Salim were assassinated in Nablus when the IDF fired two missiles from an Apache helicopter in July. Six other people, including two children aged six and 11 who were playing outside the building, were also killed. Jamal Mansur and Jamal Salim were Hamas leaders who ran the Palestinian Centre for Information. and the occupied territories !Open
An Erosion of Civil Liberties
Americans understand the need to be vigilant against terrorism, but they also want to preserve the civil liberties and investigative safeguards that make America a free nation. Overturning the domestic security guidelines issued by the Ford administration to rein in investigative abuses promises to upset the delicate balance between security and liberty that the nation has been struggling to maintain since Sept. 11. Before it was brought under control, the F.B.I. routinely infiltrated peace groups, electronically monitored civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., and generally engaged in spying against Americans who were critical of the government.

The Justice Department is insisting that the guidelines unduly tied the hands of the F.B.I. Field offices, for example, were required to get approval from Washington before they could begin investigations. Undercover agents could not be sent into churches, synagogues or mosques unless agents could produce probable cause to believe someone there had committed a crime. There were also restrictions on F.B.I. agents conducting searches of public information, including Internet searches, without probable cause.

Clearly, F.B.I. agents should not be barred from conducting Internet searches, even just to pursue hunches. But if agents were routinely to do searches for Web sites and chat room comments critical of the war in Afghanistan, and follow up with personal visits, the rights of law-abiding Americans would be infringed. Similarly, the government wants more freedom to use "data mining," even without probable cause. That could mean that F.B.I. agents will show up at the doors of people who order politically unpopular books on or make phone calls to organizations critical of the government.

Lifting the ban on monitoring religious institutions raises similar issues. Houses of worship need not be off-limits to F.B.I. investigators, any more than public meetings of secular organizations should be. But there will be an inevitable temptation to target organizations — whether mosques, synagogues or political groups — simply because of government antipathy. Loosening the rules for recruiting confidential informants, another step announced yesterday, could easily lead to a resumption of questionable practices.
A Narrowed Right to Challenge the States
If a state violates your federal rights, are you allowed to sue it in court? In a society proudly committed to the rule of law, you might think that the answer would be yes. But the Rehnquist court has often said no. In a series of remarkable decisions, the Supreme Court has created a sweeping new principle of state sovereign immunity against private lawsuits.

On Tuesday, the court took a still more remarkable step. It ruled that sovereign immunity means that federal agencies cannot hold a hearing in a proceeding brought by a private party complaining that a state has violated a federal law.

The majority's interpretation lacks any basis in the constitutional text. The Eleventh Amendment says that the "judicial power of the United States shall not . . . extend to any suit" brought against one of the "states by citizens of another state." This means, quite simply, that residents of California are not allowed to go to federal court to sue Connecticut.

Going well beyond the Constitution's words, the Rehnquist court thinks that the Constitution generally prohibits private citizens from suing any state on a federal claim in any court, even if they show that states are injuring them in violation of federal law. (People remain able to sue states that are violating rights protected by the Constitution's Civil War amendments, including freedom from racial discrimination.)

In the past seven years, the court has turned state sovereign immunity into an assault weapon against Congress, striking down federal laws on no fewer than six occasions. (Most of those laws, incidentally, were approved by Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support.) But until yesterday, the court's decisions arguably had some historical grounding.

No framer of the Constitution ever suggested that this immunity protects states when they are brought before federal agencies. Even Justice Thomas admits he could find only a "relatively barren historical record" on immunity in this context and attributes this silence to the failure of the framers to anticipate the vast growth of the administrative state. The court's extension of sovereign immunity is based not on text or history, but on a guess about what the framers might have thought.

Until now, federal regulatory agencies have been able to adjudicate the complaints of private citizens harmed by state entities. No longer. As Justice Breyer wrote in his dissent, the ruling may undermine the enforcement of many laws protecting the health and safety of state employees.
Heart of Cheapness
In one of the oddest enterprises in the history of development economics, Bono — the lead singer for the rock band U2 — has been touring Africa with Paul O'Neill, secretary of the treasury. For a while, the latent tensions between the two men were masked by Bono's courtesy; but on Monday he lost his cool.

The pair were visiting a village in Uganda, where a new well yielding clean water has radically improved the villagers' health. Mr. O'Neill's conclusion from this, as from the other development projects he saw, was that big improvements in people's lives don't require much money — and therefore that no big increase in foreign aid is required. By the way, the United States currently spends 0.11 percent of G.D.P. on foreign aid; Canada and major European countries are about three times as generous. The Bush administration's proposed "Millennium Fund" will increase our aid share, but only to 0.13 percent.

Bono was furious, declaring that the projects demonstrated just the opposite, that the well was "an example of why we need big money for development. And it is absolutely not an example of why we don't. And if the secretary can't see that, we're going to have to get him a pair of glasses and a new set of ears."
Israeli Troops Detain 100 in New West Bank Raid

Backed by covering fire from helicopters, dozens of armored troop carriers and several tanks entered Nablus under the cover of darkness. Troops also went into Balata refugee camp, a bastion of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, one of whose suicide bombers killed an Israeli baby and her grandmother on Monday.

Witnesses said troops ordered about 1,000 Balata residents out of their homes and detained 100 men. They searched homes, smashing interior walls in at least six dwellings.

Sahar Sharaya, 30, told Reuters that 19 soldiers knocked down a wall in her kitchen and seized two of her brothers, while she was told to remain on the second floor of the building. The Israelis detained a third brother of hers several weeks ago as a suspected member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

The group, affiliated with Arafat's Fatah faction, said it had carried out an attack in which three youngsters were killed at a Jewish settlement in the West Bank on Wednesday.

In Nablus, troops ringed the houses of men suspected of belonging to the Brigades or the militant Islamic group Hamas.

The Israeli army said troops had imposed a curfew on Nablus and Balata while they searched houses. Military sources said hundreds of Palestinians were being investigated.

An Israeli missile knocked out a generator, cutting off power and water in part of the city, local officials said
Israel has repeatedly swept in and out of Palestinian cities since declaring an end on May 10 to a six-week West Bank offensive begun after suicide attacks killed dozens of Israelis.

At least 1,376 Palestinians and 486 Israelis have been killed since a Palestinian uprising against Israeli military occupation erupted in September 2000 after peace talks stalled.
Israel Moves Into West Bank City as Envoys Start New Peace Bid
Even as a tentative flurry of diplomatic activity was underway here, the army imposed a curfew on Nablus, took over houses for snipers' posts, surrounded the Balata camp, birthplace and stronghold of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, a militant Palestinian group. Soldiers also called over loudspeakers for all males between 15 and 45 to come out with their hands up.

Local reporters glimpsed hundreds of Palestinians gathered in the streets before being ordered away by the army. The army appeared ready to settle in for some time.

Israeli officials said the raid was launched "in the wake of recent murderous attacks," a wave of suicide bombers and other attacks, including a gunmen who killed three teenage yeshiva students at a nearby settlement, nearly all of which have been claimed by the Aksa Brigade.

The Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat told reporters that the raid was aimed at "bringing our people to their knees." Speaking from his headquarters in Ramallah, under repair from the April siege, he added, "It's as if they are saying to the world that we do not want to reach any agreement."

During the raid into Nablus and the Balata camp, the army blew up the home of Jihad Tibi, the suicide bomber who killed a grandmother and the baby for whom she was buying ice cream.
Judge Rejects U.S. Policy of Secret Hearings
The judge, John W. Bissell of United States District Court in Newark, said deportation hearings could be closed on a case-by-case basis if the government thought an open hearing would disclose sensitive information.

The decision was the third time that the Justice Department had failed to convince a court that national security would be harmed by the disclosure of information about the 1,200 Muslim immigrants arrested in the weeks after the terrorist attacks.

The Justice Department was expected to ask for an immediate stayfrom the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.

The New Jersey lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union; The New Jersey Law Journal; and the North Jersey Media Group, which owns The Herald News of West Paterson and other papers.

They argued that the government's blanket closing of deportation hearings amounted to a violation of the detainees' due process rights and the public's right to monitor the actions of government officials.

Essentially the same arguments have been made by newspapers and the civil rights union in at least two other cases, one in federal court in Detroit that challenged the secret hearings and the other in New Jersey state court challenging the government's refusal to identify the Sept. 11 detainees.

In both cases, judges ruled against the government. The two cases are now before appeals courts.
F.B.I. Faces No Legal Obstacles to Domestic Spying
In 1972, with public concern about government surveillance of the civil rights and antiwar movements near its peak, a closely divided Supreme Court refused to forbid the Army to monitor public political activities.

The majority quoted a lower court's assessment of the basic facts: "The information gathered is nothing more than a good newspaper reporter would be able to gather by attendance at public meetings and the clipping of articles from publications available on any newsstand."

With the substitution of the Internet for the newsstand, that is essentially what Attorney General John Ashcroft now proposes to allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation to do.

If the Supreme Court was unwilling to bar a similar practice in 1972, there is little reason to think a challenge would succeed today.

Indeed, the restrictions under which the F.B.I. has operated for three decades were self-imposed. Congressional pressure, lawsuits, scandals and a public outcry played a role in the bureau's vow to limit domestic surveillance to situations in which criminal conduct was suspected. But the restrictions were not enforceable in court and were grounded in what might be called constitutional values, rather than actual law.

Civil libertarians largely acknowledge that the Justice Department is free to revise its own guidelines, but they say that the knowledge that political activity is being monitored by the government will chill the kinds of unrestrained discussions that are central to American democracy, with no appreciable benefits.

"There is no Fourth Amendment constitutional problem with the government surfing the Web or going into a public space or attending a public event," said David D. Cole, a law professor at Georgetown University, referring to the constitutional limits on governmental intrusions. "But there are significant First Amendment concerns. There is a real cost to the openness of a free political society if every discussion group needs to be concerned that the F.B.I. is listening in on its public discussions or attending its public meetings."

That concern is particularly acute in mosques and other religious settings, said Jason Erb of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "It starts to erode some of the trust and good will that exists in these institutions if you're afraid they have been infiltrated by an undercover agent," Mr. Erb said.

James X. Dempsey, the deputy director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, said that monitoring of political activity would not have uncovered the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"Not a single one of the 19 guys, or 20 if you count Moussaoui, did anything overtly political," Mr. Dempsey said. "Not one of them said, `I support Palestinian rights' or `I hate America' in a public way."

But the new guidelines will, he said, have an inevitable impact on public debate. "Allowing people to freely and openly advocate, say, Palestinian rights in the hope of persuading others creates the crucial safety valve that keeps people from turning to violence to force change."
Yahoo Chief Scientist Describes Web Attacks
Manber presented his talk, "Exploits of Large-Scale Web Services and Counter-measures," at the 2002 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, in Oakland (go to for more information).

The kinds of attacks that caused Yahoo the most problems weren't traditional OS or Web server attacks, but service abuses, according to a report on the Dr. Dobb's Journal Web site (at

Yahoo's top Web service security problem is abuse of services by automated software agents. HTML screen-scrapers were a big problem in Yahoo's financial section, as some were screen-scraping HTML pages to retrieve real-time stock quotes and then reselling the information.,3658,s=709&a=27324,00.asp
DDJ Full Story
"The kind of attacks that we're seeing are not a traditional security attack," he warned. The threat to web services is not about something like root access; it's more about repeated violations and exploitations of the service — small cheats and hacks that are individually insignificant, but a huge problem in the aggregate.

Spam is an example of this kind of hack. A web-based e-mail service does not suffer if one of its accounts is used for mass-mailing. When tens of thousands of accounts are abused in this way, the service can be brought to its knees. Manber calls this the "penny jar" effect, likening it to a thief who comes to a cash register and empties the penny dish every five minutes. The pennies are meant to be given away, and each instance of the loss is trivial; but if the theft continues unchecked, the service will be destroyed.

And money is far from the only target of attack. Buyer and seller ratings in auction sites are often forged, and so are rankings on game sites. "If you have any kind of rating, people go to all kinds of trouble to get that rating in an illegitimate way," Manber reported.

The more services are offered, the more vulnerable the provider becomes. "Someone can steal some money over here, go to Shopping and buy something, then go to Auction and sell it," said Manber. "This really happened."

Internationalization is a further weakness, because patches must be distributed over multiple systems around the world. Even one overlooked server leaves the provider vulnerable; but in a world of web services, the integrity of the network isn't nearly as valuable as the time and effort that skilled employees spend combating abuse. "I'm not even worried sometimes about the machines I buy," Manber clarified. "I'm worried about the time...There are more of them [attackers] than there are of me. They have a lot more time."

Interactivity poses a new set of risks. "Whenever we get content from users, it's a problem," said Manber. Advertisers will attempt to sneak their content into forums like the Personals, or go to the trouble of creating an informative site, only to change the content to advertising after the site is accepted into Yahoo's directory. Or they may add Yahoo redirects to their own sites in order to gain an appearance of legitimacy.

Services can also be stolen and resold. Yahoo found that the finance sites were plagued by screen scrapers running every few seconds to grab real-time stock quotes. Manber says that traffic on the finance sites dropped by 80% after the screen-scrapers were blocked. "You provide a premium service, people will sign up for it maybe once, put a proxy server up, steal the information, and bang! Now they provide the service."
Patch or No, Flaws to Go Public
Tired of software vendors' lack of responsiveness to security problems, David Litchfield, co-founder of Next Generation Security Software Ltd., in Surrey, England, said he now will simply wait one week from the time he notifies the vendor of the problem before announcing the flaw publicly in what he calls a Vendor Notification Alert.

He will not, however, release the details of the vulnerability—just the fact that it exists and any workaround information that is available.

Litchfield is well-known in the security community and has a long history of uncovering vulnerabilities, most often buffer overruns, in products from companies such as Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and IBM's Lotus division.

Litchfield's new approach is likely to draw fire not only from vendors but from some members of the security community who believe that no mention of a new vulnerability should be made until a patch is available. The question of when to release vulnerability data and how much to say is an age-old one.

But to date, most researchers have erred on the side of caution, opting to accept a vendor's assurances that it is working on a patch and often waiting weeks or months to announce the new vulnerability.

However, Litchfield in his announcement said lately he has "noticed a 'lethargy' and an unwillingness to patch security problems as and when they are found.",3658,s=712&a=27406,00.asp

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Keeping hackers out of your Web services
Web services promise to revolutionize your company's development practices by connecting your company seamlessly with customers and other companies worldwide. With this promise, however, come new threats from hackers and information thieves.
Diplomats Are Flocking to Israel, but No Peace Plan Seems in Sight
An Israeli human rights group charged today that Israeli soldiers killed a 17-year-old Palestinian in their custody in Ramallah during the army's huge incursion earlier this spring, and demanded an official investigation.

The rights group, B'Tselem, said that the Palestinian, Murad Awaisa, was shot dead after being detained with other Palestinians in an apartment building at the beginning of the incursion on March 31. He was taken away from the other detainees, the report said, and gunfire was later heard. He was found with one bullet near his heart and another in his knee, B'Tselem said.
Diplomats Are Flocking to Israel, but No Peace Plan Seems in Sight
William J. Burns, the American Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, arrived today, met with the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat in Ramallah tonight and was to see Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Mr. Peres on Friday. But reports from Washington about debates raging within the administration suggest that the Americans really do not have any plan.

"There has been too much suffering and too much death for both Israelis and Palestinians," Mr. Burns told reporters during a stopover in Cairo, where he met with Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak.

"Humanitarian problems, the daily humiliation that ordinary Palestinians suffer under occupation are getting worse every day," Mr. Burns said.

All week there have been lines lasting hours at the two checkpoints leading from Ramallah to Jerusalem, and new roadblocks have been thrown up in the northern districts of the city. This morning Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and rubber-coated bullet to disperse Palestinians angered by a shutdown of the Kalandia crossing point.

The army set up a new roadblock at a highway intersection near the West Bank village of Hisme at 7 a.m. and the line quickly grew so long that people began abandoning their cars. United for once in frustration, Israeli settlers and Palestinians trudged toward Jerusalem on foot, cursing the soldiers.

In what is certain to shock Israelis, the authorities announced tonight that they had arrested a Palestinian man and his Jewish Israeli wife as prime suspects in the May 22 Rishon le Zion suicide bombing. They were identified as Ibrahim Sarahana, 33, from the Bethlehem area, and Marina Pinski, 26, who immigrated from Russia 11 years ago. They were said to have driven the 16-year old suicide bomber to the mall, which Mr. Sarahana is believed to have chosen as a target.

The army continued its now daily raids into Palestinian territory, with Hebron today's target. Columns of dozens of armored personnel carriers and jeeps backed by tanks entered the West Bank city around 4 a.m. and pulled out by midday. The troops arrested four Palestinians, including an Islamic Jihad leader, Mohammed Sider, whom Palestinian officials said had been the target of two Israeli assassination attempts.
Israelis Bury 6 Terror Victims as Angry Cabinet Meets
The settlement at Kohav Yakov looks like a cross between a California suburb overflowing with magenta bougainvillea, a military base with fences and guardhouses, and a construction site, with a big synagogue and whole new neighborhoods going up. It sits on a hilltop overlooking Ramallah, the Palestinian center, which is now cut off by Israeli troops, and the Kalandia checkpoint, which was almost impassible today because of warnings of another potential suicide bomber.

Every four years since its establishment, the settlement has doubled itself," its spokesman, Yaakov Pikel, said proudly.

"The settlement has an idealistic future in order to stop the expansion of Ramallah and El Bireh toward Jerusalem," he added, referring to the Arab towns down the slope. "The people come here, buy houses. Twenty years from now, there will be 5,000 families."

The men in the crowd carried pistols stuffed in their belts and rifles slung over their shoulders, and many of the eulogies dwelt on vengence.

The meeting of Mr. Sharon's Security Council today focused much attention on the plans to build a huge security fence along what Israelis call the seam between them and the Palestinians. The Israeli public, desperate for any solution, seems hugely in favor of such a scheme.

But it presents political problems for Mr. Sharon because it would leave the settlers isolated inside. The defense minister, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, who in Israel's chaotic coalition government is also the head of the opposition Labor Party and a principal rival to Mr. Sharon, stands to make political gains by pushing for the wall.
Privacy and Security on your PC
The issue of privacy is a great concern for everyone. A survey sponsored by Dell Computer, conducted in August 2000 by Harris Interactive, revealed that even in the more sanguine days of Internet optimism, loss of personal privacy ranked as an issue of higher concern for Americans than the issues of crime, health care, or the environment. Internet-connected PCs, however, are an ongoing threat to individual privacy. We'll categorize and identify the major threats in the pages that follow and offer solutions.,3428,a=27365,00.asp
ExtremeTech - Print Article
The most effective thing you can do to protect the private information on your computer is to establish a layered approach to security. You need to build first-line, second-line, third-line (etc.) defenses, and consider the consequences at each level if those defenses should fail.,3428,a=27417,00.asp
Self-Criticism and Its Risk
The bureau had been shocked by criticism of its tactics in the investigation of Wen Ho Lee, a nuclear scientist in New Mexico. The bureau was deeply embarrassed by the arrest of Robert P. Hanssen, a senior agent, as a Russian spy. The bureau seemed unable to master the even most basic record-keeping tasks after the agency disclosed that it had failed to turn over thousands of pages of internal documents to the defense team for Timothy J. McVeigh, after he had been convicted of bombing the federal building in Oklahoma City.

Today, Mr. Mueller acknowledged repeatedly that the F.B.I. had failed to perceive warning signs that might have thwarted the hijackings, saying it was an analytical failure that would be fixed by hiring hundreds of new analysts, linguists and information technology experts.

In a sharp departure from past statements that the F.B.I. had no information that might have enabled it to thwart the Sept. 11 hijacking plot, Mr. Mueller said, "I cannot say for sure that there wasn't a possibility we could have come across some lead that would have led us to the hijackers."
Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I.
Officials at the American Civil Liberties Union criticized the new guidelines, saying they represent another step by the Bush administration to roll back civil-liberties protections in the name of improving counterterrorism measures.

"These new guidelines say to the American people that you no longer have to be doing something wrong in order to get that F.B.I. knock at your door," Laura W. Murphy, director of the national office of the A.C.L.U., said. "The government is rewarding failure. It seems when the F.B.I. fails, the response by the Bush administration is to give the bureau new powers, as opposed to seriously look at why the intelligence and law enforcement failures occurred."
F.B.I. Given Broad Authority to Monitor the Public
The Justice Department sharply eased restrictions on domestic spying Thursday, handing the FBI broad, new authority to monitor Internet sites, libraries, churches and political organizations for clues to terrorist plots.

The changes were announced by Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Ashcroft, claiming FBI agents in the field have been hampered by a range of bureaucratic restrictions, said the new guidelines would help them to do their jobs.

``These restrictions are a competitive advantage for terrorists,'' Ashcroft said of existing rules.

He said, for instance, that under present guidelines, FBI agents ``cannot surf the Web, the way you and I can,'' and cannot simply walk into public events to observe people and activities.

Mueller said the changes ``will be exceptionally helpful to us.''

``Our reforms of the FBI will and must strengthen our ability to prevent future terrorist attacks,'' the FBI director said.

But the American Civil Liberties Union criticized the loosening of restrictions on domestic spying, saying they could roll back protections and renew abuses of the past.

Under existing rules, FBI agents are not allowed to do general research on the Internet or at public libraries unless the information sought directly relates to a current investigation or to leads being checked out.

The new policy, which does not require congressional approval, removes these obstacles.

Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU's Washington national office, said that by easing the restrictions, ``the government is rewarding failure.''

``When the government fails -- as it increasingly appears to have done before Sept. 11 -- the Bush administration's response is to give itself new powers rather than seriously investigating why the failures occurred,'' she said.
Business partners, third parties can pose security risk
"When two companies partner together, they are both putting their security at risk," Pescatore said. It's of little use when only one company has a strong set of policies and the other doesn't, he said.
Whirlwind of Web services work on tap
A dizzying array of specifications being produced this year by standards bodies and other groups will fill glaring security and reliability gaps in nascent Web services technology.

In rapid-fire succession over the next six to eight months, network executives could see up to 30 new protocols emerge designed to advance Web services as a way to support secure and reliable interconnection of transaction-based business applications.

The protocols will help mitigate risk, enforce access and use policies, ensure nonrepudiation and guarantee execution and exception handling by defining authentication, authorization, trust, reliable messaging, transactional integrity and workflow. Standards for XML-based digital signatures and encryption already exist.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

ZDNet Downloads: XML SOAP
Bin Laden Inquiry Was Hindered by F.B.I. E-Mail Tapping
The system, Carnivore, which was supposed to pick up e-mail from targets of counterterrorism investigations, "also picked up the e-mails of noncovered" individuals, according to an internal bureau e-mail message dated April 5, 2000, that was made public yesterday.

"The F.B.I. technical person was apparently so upset that he destroyed all the e-mail," apparently including mail related to the investigation, said the memorandum, addressed to M. E. Bowman, associate general counsel for national security affairs.

Bureau documents written the next week said Carnivore had a tendency to cause "improper capture of data" that "not only can violate a citizen's privacy, but also can seriously `contaminate' ongoing investigations" through unlawful interceptions.

Yesterday, a bureau official disputed the account in the memorandum. He said no information had been lost, because the e-mail had been recovered. The system gathered too much information, the official said, not because it was flawed or experimental, but because the Internet service provider gave agents outdated settings for the tapped computers.

"The technology assistance provided by the I.S.P. is vital to proper configuration," the official said.

Although the bureau would not comment directly about the target of the tap, the memorandum said the tap was conducted in Denver under counterterrorism laws for the "UBL Unit," presumably concerned with investigating Osama bin Laden, who is often referred to in government documents as Usama.

The documents were made public under a Freedom of Information Act request from the Electronic Privacy Information Center, an advocacy and policy group in Washington.

The bureau developed Carnivore to give it some of the power that it has historically had with telephones. The system can tap the communications stream of an Internet service provider to retrieve e-mail to and from the target of an investigation. The system can also retrieve just the e-mail addresses of senders and recipients of the target's e-mail, a method similar to technologies long used by investigators to capture phone numbers dialed by suspects and people who call them.

The system, announced to the public in 2000, has been criticized by civil liberties advocates. They have said that it might collect more information than law enforcement is entitled to collect and that it samples the communications of many people not under investigation to capture a suspect's communications.
Bin Laden Inquiry Was Hindered by F.B.I. E-Mail Tapping
The system, Carnivore, which was supposed to pick up e-mail from targets of counterterrorism investigations, "also picked up the e-mails of noncovered" individuals, according to an internal bureau e-mail message dated April 5, 2000, that was made public yesterday.

"The F.B.I. technical person was apparently so upset that he destroyed all the e-mail," apparently including mail related to the investigation, said the memorandum, addressed to M. E. Bowman, associate general counsel for national security affairs.

Bureau documents written the next week said Carnivore had a tendency to cause "improper capture of data" that "not only can violate a citizen's privacy, but also can seriously `contaminate' ongoing investigations" through unlawful interceptions.

Yesterday, a bureau official disputed the account in the memorandum. He said no information had been lost, because the e-mail had been recovered. The system gathered too much information, the official said, not because it was flawed or experimental, but because the Internet service provider gave agents outdated settings for the tapped computers.

"The technology assistance provided by the I.S.P. is vital to proper configuration," the official said.

Although the bureau would not comment directly about the target of the tap, the memorandum said the tap was conducted in Denver under counterterrorism laws for the "UBL Unit," presumably concerned with investigating Osama bin Laden, who is often referred to in government documents as Usama.

The documents were made public under a Freedom of Information Act request from the Electronic Privacy Information Center, an advocacy and policy group in Washington.

The bureau developed Carnivore to give it some of the power that it has historically had with telephones. The system can tap the communications stream of an Internet service provider to retrieve e-mail to and from the target of an investigation. The system can also retrieve just the e-mail addresses of senders and recipients of the target's e-mail, a method similar to technologies long used by investigators to capture phone numbers dialed by suspects and people who call them.

The system, announced to the public in 2000, has been criticized by civil liberties advocates. They have said that it might collect more information than law enforcement is entitled to collect and that it samples the communications of many people not under investigation to capture a suspect's communications.
New Medicines Seldom Contain Anything New, Study Finds
Two-thirds of the drugs approved from 1989 to 2000 were modified versions of existing drugs or even identical to those already on the market, rather than truly new medicines, according to a new study.

The report also said that most of the increased spending on new prescription drugs was on products that the Food and Drug Administration had determined did not provide significant benefits over those already on the market.
Justices Expand States' Immunity in Federalism Case
The Supreme Court, its justices as bitterly divided as ever over where to draw the line between federal and state authority, today expanded the concept of state sovereignty to shield states from having to answer private complaints before federal agencies.
Militant Group Gets Help From Teens
Israel's military killed or arrested most of the leaders in the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade when it stormed into West Bank cities two months ago. But now the militia is rebuilding itself with an army of volunteers, including teen-agers.

The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing and two shootings that killed six Israelis -- including a toddler and three teen-agers -- on Monday and Tuesday, and also was behind several other recent assaults.

While most suicide bombers have been men in their 20s, two Al Aqsa attacks in the past week were carried out by teen-agers -- one 16, the other 18. The 16-year-old, Issa Bdeir, from a refugee camp in Bethlehem, was the youngest of more than 60 Palestinian suicide bombers in the current conflict.

``We came out of the Israeli invasion very weak, we lost so many of our leaders and cadres,'' said Abu Mujahed, the nom de guerre for the Al Aqsa spokesman in the West Bank city of Nablus.

``But we found a lot of young people who wanted to join us,'' he said in an interview with The Associated Press. ``It's not as easy to make explosives and store them as before, because the Israelis are still coming in and out of the area. This hurts our activities, but doesn't stop them.''

The group, which emerged shortly after the Palestinian uprising began in September 2000, is linked to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement -- but is increasingly at odds with Arafat's leadership over his call for an end to suicide bombings.

A Palestinian intelligence officer in Nablus, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the militants were being monitored -- but not arrested -- and a large number of youths, ages 16 to 20, were joining Al Aqsa to replace those killed or arrested.

With many unemployed youths hanging out in the streets, recruiting is easy for Al Aqsa, he said. ``Resistance in Palestinian society is growing like a mushroom,'' the officer said.

Bassam Naem, a Fatah leader in Nablus, said the group now has ``clear directions to stop suicide attacks inside Israel because it has brought a very bad result. No one in the world accepts killing women and children.''

Asked how the Fatah movement should deal with the Al Aqsa group if it continues to carry out suicide attacks, he said, ``We should not fight the Al Aqsa Brigades. We should deal with them, meet with them, and change their direction.''

…Abu Majahed, the group's spokesman in Nablus, said Al Aqsa has become increasingly alienated from the Fatah leadership and would not accept orders to halt attacks.

``We are very upset by Arafat's decision and Fatah's decision that the Al Aqsa Brigades should stop its operations,'' Abu Mujahed said. ``They are not representing us. We are doing what our people want us to do, not Arafat and Fatah leadership.''

``We will respond in a very violent way if any measure is taken against us by the Palestinian Authority,'' he said.
YIL | Feature
You know a site has the right stuff when its name becomes a verb. In just three years, Google has evolved from a nascent Net presence into a daily destination for millions who use it for fast answers from the Net. Even Yahoo! uses it, providing Google results to augment its own directory. We Google our own names to see what the world can find out about us; we Google potential second dates to see if they told the truth on the first one; we even enjoy "Googlewhacking," the game of trying to come up with two-word Google queries that return only one result. (It's harder than it sounds.)
Recorded Conversations Reveal Predictions of Attacks
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.

.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.

Police believe Es Sayed might have died fighting for bin Laden in Afghanistan, although an Italian warrant for him on terrorism charges still remains.

In one conversation, in the summer of 2000, the sheik tells the mosque leader, or imam: ``In the future, listen to the news and remember these words: `above the head.'''

The sheik says the action will be ``one of those strikes that you never forget.'' He added that it will be a ``terrifying thing, it will move from south to north, from east to west. He who made this plan is a madman, but a genius. It will turn you to ice.''

The sheik also says: ``Ah, yes, there are big clouds in the sky, there in that country, the fire is already lit and it's just waiting for the wing ... All the newspapers in the world will write about it.''
Israel Weighs Response to Raid on Settlement
Israel's army chief sparked bitter debate at a security cabinet meeting Wednesday with a renewed proposal to exile Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat after a gunman killed three youths in a Jewish settlement.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has made no secret of his wish to sideline Arafat but has heeded Washington's warnings against ousting him, upbraided Lieutenant-General Shaul Mofaz for overstepping his bounds, political sources said.

But the dispute in the cabinet room, where ministers also debated whether to reoccupy Palestinian-ruled areas, was a sign of pressure on Sharon to strike back for the latest attacks.

Sharon consulted his ministers after a gunman sneaked into the Itamar settlement in West Bank Tuesday night and fired on boys playing basketball at an Orthodox Jewish boarding school.

``We want your military opinions, don't try to navigate the government,'' the right-wing prime minister was quoted as telling Mofaz after the general raised the option of exiling Arafat.

Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, head of the dove-ish Labor Party, Sharon's coalition partner, decried Mofaz's idea, though at least one member of Sharon's Likud party supported it.

Mofaz, who steps down in June and is believed to be eyeing a political career, created a political firestorm in early April when he said generals favored expelling Arafat. At the time Arafat was trapped in his headquarters by Israeli tanks.

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres told Israel's Army Radio the security cabinet meeting had agreed to intensify work on building physical barriers between Israel and the West Bank.

``The consensus is that the creation of a buffer zone must be stepped up, a fence should be put up at the most sensitive points between us and Judea and Samaria (West Bank),'' he said.
Arab Rakes Israeli Yeshiva With Gunfire; 3 Students Die
A Palestinian gunman assaulted an Israeli settlement near Nablus late tonight, killing three young yeshiva students before being shot and killed.

The attack followed five suicide bombings in less than a week, and a road ambush earlier tonight north of Ramallah in which an Israeli was killed. The assaults compounded the evidence that the major Israeli military offensive last month had done little to blunt the Palestinian attacks.

Jerusalem was tense this evening after the authorities announced that they had specific intelligence that a bomber was coming from the Ramallah area. But intelligence reports failed to stop the suicide bomber who struck on Monday at an outdoor mall in Petah Tikva, just outside Tel Aviv, killing a 56-year-old grandmother, Ruth Peled, and her 15-month-old granddaughter, Sinai Keinan.

The bomber was identified as Jihad Titi, 17, the cousin of Mahmoud Titi, a leader of Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade who was killed last week with three associates by a tank shell in the Balata refugee cemetery.

Neighbors gathered in Balata to offer both condolences and congratulations to the suicide bomber's family. His father, Ibrahim Titi, said he wished his son had been carrying a nuclear bomb.

But there were signs of a split among the Palestinians, an emerging power struggle between the old guard surrounding Yasir Arafat and the emerging "insiders," who grew up here under the first armed uprising more than a decade ago.

The official Palestinian leadership issued a statement condemning the bombing on Monday, saying it gave "the Israeli occupation army excuses to continue its aggression, killing people and destroying our national goal." The commander of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service, an Arafat loyalist, Brig. Gen. Amin al-Hindi, added, "The murder of Israeli civilians is a big mistake."

But Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, which was born in the Balata camp as an armed response to an Israeli settler's slaying of a Palestinian villager, said in a statement, "We will not stop our operations as long as the occupation continues on our land." The statement, faxed to news organizations here, did not bear the usual seal of Mr. Arafat's Fatah.
Where Israelis Grieve, Some Arabs Are Proud
When the bomb exploded, Sinai was flung out of her stroller as it was thrown into the air. One look at her told Mrs. Keinan that she had lost her daughter, said her brother, Udi Peled. "That baby was the light of her life," he added.

As he kept watch at the hospital today, Mr. Peled, a university student, said that what remained unfathomable was the drive to carry out suicide attacks.

But at the home of the 18-year-old bomber, Jihad Titi, in the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, on the West Bank, the logic of violence was clear.

The bomber's cousin, Mahmoud Titi, the local leader of Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, was killed by tank fire last week while with two associates in the Balata cemetery.

Jihad Titi vowed to avenge his cousin's death within a week, his mother told The Associated Press. Shortly before his attack, he had called to say goodbye. Tearful at first, she recalled saying at the end, "Oh son, I hope your operation will succeed."

The bombing was later claimed by Al Aksa.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Court Spells Out New Patent Rules
The Supreme Court delivered new guidelines Tuesday for fights between manufacturers and makers of copycat products.

The court threw out a decision that critics said could hurt an estimated 1.2 million existing patents. And the high court said that judges should have discretion in settling disagreements over revised patents.

At the heart of the case is the 19th century ``doctrine of equivalents,'' which weighs the rights of patent holders against those of competitors who may change or improve a design. The appeals court had said that if an inventor narrowed some aspects of a patent application, whatever elements were changed would not be protected.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the court, said that decision went too far and that only Congress can make such broad changes to patent law.

``Fundamental alternations in these rules risk destroying the legitimate expectations of inventors in their property,'' Kennedy wrote.

Kennedy said judges should have flexibility to examine patent application changes and decide how they affect claims of patent infringement.

Kennedy noted that the patent system rewards innovations with temporary monopolies. ``The monopoly is a property right; and like any property right, its boundaries should be clear,'' he wrote.

The ruling affect patent fights over everything from cars to medicines.
Israel Arrests Senior Militant After Suicide Bombing
The army said it captured Rami Awad, a leader of the militant group Hamas, in today's raid. On Monday the army seized a local leader of the Al Aksa Brigages, a militant group linked to Yasir Arafat's Fatah movement, during a sweep into Bethlehem.

Mr. Awad's arrest was one of a total of six militants in Jenin and eight more in other parts of the West Bank, the army said.

It was the second time the Israelis have gone back into Jenin since fierce fighting erupted last month after the army occupied a major refugee camp there a month ago.

The army said it did not enter the camp in today's raid, but a Palestinian man was killed when shooting erupted in the town center, witnesses told Reuters.

The first phase of a large-scale military offensive in the West Bank ended early this month with a brief lull in the bombings, but they have resumed. There have been five suicide bombings in Israel since that phase of the offensive ended, and Israeli officials have reported foiling other planned attacks.

A short-lived sense of security in the immediate aftermath of the offensive has largely dissipated, and the Israeli police are on high alert for more attacks.

Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for Monday's bombing. In a statement issued in Beirut, Lebanon, the group said the attack was in revenge for the Israeli Army's killing of three of its members, including a leader of the group, in the West Bank city of Nablus last week.

Palestinians said the bomber was a relative of the slain leader.

"This is our response to the cowardly assassinations and dirty occupation," the group said. "There will be more martyrdom operations until the occupation is defeated."
Seeing Strength, Too, in an Open Society
Conventional wisdom has it that America's openness is its greatest weakness in preventing and tracking terrorist attacks. But there is an alternative view — one that sees the same openness as a source of some protection alongside the vulnerability.

That view appears in an intelligence analysis that has recently provoked spirited discussion within the Bush White House. The suicide bombers who have killed in Israel are not likely to have the resources or organizational support to bring them to America for a sustained terrorist campaign, and they have no domestic counterparts, the analysis asserts.

On the other hand, the disadvantages of America's free-trading, free-wheeling society are certainly now well understood. Stephen E. Flynn, a terrorism expert in the Coast Guard, warns that less than 3 percent of the 59,000 cargo shipments to the United States each day are inspected. In addition, some 1.3 million people and 340,000 vehicles a day enter the country.

This openness was an important factor in the Bush administration's decision to go on a global offensive against Al Qaeda. "For a nation as porous as America," said an administration terrorism expert who fears that protecting the homeland may ultimately be a futile task, "the best defense can only be a sustained, intensive offense."

Yet some experts, while not minimizing the danger posed by Al Qaeda and other foreign terrorists, say American vulnerability is not the whole story. While it is certainly open to well-planned surprise attacks, they doubt the United States will fall prey to the type of sustained suicide bombing campaign that has gripped Israel — thanks in large part, paradoxically, to Americans' welcoming ways.

America's political freedom and tolerance, they argue, create political dialogue and, hence, an alternative to violence. The atmosphere also inspires national loyalty from the very communities from which domestic terrorists might emerge, and in which foreign terrorists might seek cover and support.

"With 9/11, America suffered terrorism on a grand scale," said Ariel Merari, a terrorism expert at Tel Aviv University. "But a sustained campaign, even on a smaller scale, requires well-entrenched infrastructure."

Hamas and other militant Islamic groups that have taken root in the United States may hate American policy toward the Middle East, he says, "but they love living in America. Most far prefer living in Detroit, Chicago and New York than in Amman, Riyadh or Ramallah." Like most immigrants, they like the relative safety, freedom and prosperity of American life.

Second, he added, it has been far easier to organize, recruit and raise money for their causes in the United States than to wage warfare here. "They don't want to spit into the well from which they drink," he said.

Sunday, May 26, 2002

Fighting to Live as the Towers Died
From their last words, a haunting chronicle of the final 102 minutes at the World Trade Center has emerged, built on scores of phone conversations and e-mail and voice messages. These accounts, along with the testimony of the handful of people who escaped, provide the first sweeping views from the floors directly hit by the airplanes and above.

Collected by reporters for The New York Times, these last words give human form to an all but invisible strand of this stark, public catastrophe: the advancing destruction across the top 19 floors of the north tower and the top 33 of the south, where loss of life was most severe on Sept. 11. Of the 2,823 believed dead in the attack on New York, at least 1,946, or 69 percent, were killed on those upper floors, an analysis by The Times has found.

Rescue workers did not get near them. Photographers could not record their faces. If they were seen at all, it was in glimpses at windows, nearly a quarter-mile up.
Helping the Poor, Phone by Phone
"In the United States we either give charity to the poor or we ignore them, and neither one helps them," he said. "Business is a proven method of solving their problems in a sustainable way."

At the end of last year, Mr. Quadir showed how third-world ventures can be profitable — and provide a useful service — when GrameenPhone, the cellphone company he founded in Bangladesh, made $27 million in pretax profits. It turned that profit after just five years — far sooner than many first-world start-ups.

The experience of Mr. Quadir, now a lecturer in public policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, contradicts the conventional wisdom from luminaries like Bill Gates, who has said that there is no market for such sophisticated devices in places of widespread poverty and illiteracy as well as unreliable electricity. Through his foundation, Mr. Gates has sought to first improve the health of the poor.

To Mr. Quadir, the two approaches are not mutually exclusive. He says the poor will improve their own health as they become richer, and he sees cellphones as tools of production, not consumption.
The Aid Debate: Helping Hand, or Hardly Helping?
How can the two faces of aid — waste versus lifeline — be reconciled? The World Bank's research department provides some clues. For starters, much of what counts as aid in official statistics isn't aid at all. Huge loans that the bank and other donors made to African dictators were political bribes for lining up with the West during the cold war. The amount of money that actually trickles down to the poor has been negligible for decades. No wonder past studies have found little measurable impact of aid on poverty.

More important, aid handed over to inept or corrupt governments does not work, even if the money is initially spent on worthwhile health, education or infrastructure projects. Tanzania was given money to build roads, for example, but since the government failed to maintain them, they disintegrated as quickly as donors supplied fresh money to build new ones.

But the larger point made by the bank's researchers is that aid can have tangible results when directed to those governments truly committed to fighting poverty, like Uganda, Ghana and Mauritius.
Nuclear Nightmares
The realistic threats settle into two broad categories. The less likely but far more devastating is an actual nuclear explosion, a great hole blown in the heart of New York or Washington, followed by a toxic fog of radiation. This could be produced by a black-market nuclear warhead procured from an existing arsenal. Russia is the favorite hypothetical source, although Pakistan, which has a program built on shady middlemen and covert operations, should not be overlooked. Or the explosive could be a homemade device, lower in yield than a factory nuke but still creating great carnage.

The second category is a radiological attack, contaminating a public place with radioactive material by packing it with conventional explosives in a ''dirty bomb'' by dispersing it into the air or water or by sabotaging a nuclear facility. By comparison with the task of creating nuclear fission, some of these schemes would be almost childishly simple, although the consequences would be less horrifying: a panicky evacuation, a gradual increase in cancer rates, a staggeringly expensive cleanup, possibly the need to demolish whole neighborhoods. Al Qaeda has claimed to have access to dirty bombs, which is unverified but entirely plausible, given that the makings are easily gettable.

Saturday, May 25, 2002

Thanks for the Heads-Up
You don't have to be a cynic to believe that the point of the warnings is not to save lives so much as political hides. After all, we can't go about our daily business much differently just because of these dire pronouncements. Nor have they budged the Homeland Security Office's color-coded "threat level" from its weaselly yellow. What this orchestrated chorus of Cassandras can do is guarantee that we duly credit the Bush administration for giving us a heads-up should disaster strike between now and Election Day 2004. Not so incidentally, the new warnings also help facilitate our amnesia about the fracas over how low a priority Al Qaeda was for the White House before Sept. 11.

To see how low, there's no need to learn what was in that top-secret briefing that the president received as he settled down for his monthlong vacation at his Texas ranch on Aug. 6. Reports at the time show that Mr. Bush broke off from work early and spent most of that day fishing. If he had received foreknowledge of an attack that morning, he would have acted upon it, and no Democratic leader has said otherwise (despite Dick Cheney's smears to the contrary).

But that's not the end of the story. A far more revealing indication of the administration's mañana mindset about terrorism comes a month later, on Sept. 9, when Donald Rumsfeld threatened a presidential veto if Congress moved $600 million out of the White House's prized ballistic missile defense system and into counterterrorism. On Sept. 10, John Ashcroft submitted a final Justice Department budget request calling for increases in 68 programs, none of them directly related to combating terrorism.

We are the richest, most can-do country in the world, but at home we're pursuing the war on terrorism with a management style that's pure Kmart. Back in October Mr. Bush declared that his new director of homeland security, Tom Ridge, in charge of coordinating some 70 federal agencies and countless local ones, would "have the full attention and complete support of the very highest levels of our government." Nine months later, Mr. Ridge has neither. What he does have is a new, less-than-high-tech headquarters, with an aboveground Washington address that can be taken out simultaneously with the White House.
Florida Counties Seek to Avoid Suit Over Election
But the Florida action has Democrats and civil rights groups accusing the Bush administration of dodging the most egregious charges of discrimination in the 2000 presidential race. Those critics also say that Duval County is conspicuously absent. Duval County, in and around Jacksonville, had among the highest numbers of complaints after the election, including charges county elections officials purged voters wrongly accused of being felons.

Civil rights groups are also asking why the Justice Department did not address politically charged complaints from predominantly black districts in Florida, like those from thousands of voters that they were unjustly turned away from their precincts for not having multiple forms of identification.

Several groups also denounced the Justice Department's failure to file suits against Florida state agencies. The department's actions do not address, for example, charges that the office of the secretary of state, Katherine Harris, wrongfully purged thousands of blacks from voter rolls.

Figures from a report by the United States Commission on Civil Rights, examining possible improprieties in the election, estimated that at least 8,000 voters were incorrectly cited as having criminal records, resulting in their being barred from voting. The purging, civil rights advocates claimed, disproportionately affected black voters.

Critics said they agreed with the Justice Department that language assistance to voters who have difficulties speaking English is a high priority in election reform. A lawsuit by a coalition of liberal civil rights groups, including the People for the American Way Foundation, the N.A.A.C.P. and the American Civil Liberties Union, also accused multiple counties in Florida of failing to provide bilingual voter information and translation services at the polls.

But these critics said that the language issue is the easiest for the Bush administration to use to make political gains among immigrants.

"They are actively courting Hispanics, and they are also trying to make inroads in the Haitian community," said Bob Poe, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party. "But the failure to address the disenfranchisement of African-Americans makes their whole case a sham."

The Justice Department refused to comment, either on its cases or the charges from its critics, saying it would be "inappropriate to discuss matters further while the department is in presuit negotiations."
Israel Slaps Curfew on West Bank City After Raid
The Israeli army imposed a curfew on the West Bank city of Tulkarm Saturday after a two-day raid in which one Israeli soldier was killed and 11 other people wounded.

Israeli troops withdrew to the fringes of Tulkarm after what the army called a sweep for Palestinian militants linked to suicide bombings, but kept the city tightly encircled as part of its siege tactics against a 20-month-old Palestinian uprising.

Eight Tulkarm Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers were wounded in violence Friday that claimed the soldier's life at the start of the army operation.

An 11-year-old boy was shot and wounded as tanks and armored vehicles withdrew at midday Saturday under cover of Israeli machinegun fire, Palestinian witnesses said.

The army said troops had detained four Palestinians in Tulkarm and defused a bomb found in one house. Palestinian sources in the city said Israeli forces had detained 25 people.

Israel has continued to send troops and tanks into and out of what are officially Palestinian-ruled areas, and kept them surrounded throughout, since it declared a West Bank military offensive over earlier this month.

Israel said the offensive unleashed on March 29 resulted in the killing or capture of a large number of Palestinian militants behind suicide bombings that have killed scores of Israelis. The Israeli army battered West Bank cities and refugee camps and scores of people, including civilians, died.

Palestinians have vowed to pursue their uprising against Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which has raged since talks on a Palestinian state stalled in 2000. Just a few years before talks broke down Palestinians had won self-rule over parts of those same areas in interim peace deals.

But Palestinian President Yasser Arafat has demanded an end to what he now terms ``terrorist attacks'' inside Israel, saying they harm prospects for his people's independence.

In the Gaza Strip Saturday, Israeli tanks fired shells into a wheat field, hitting two Palestinians and setting fire to the area near the Jewish settlement of Netzarim, Palestinian security sources said.

The fate of the two was unknown as Palestinian ambulances were unable to reach the scene, they said. The army said it was looking into the report.

Israel's attempts to halt Palestinian attacks by encircling West Bank towns and blocking roads with a network of checkpoints and barbed wire impose heavy burdens on civilians.

A Palestinian woman trying to reach hospital said she had given birth on a road to Bethlehem Saturday after soldiers denied her passage in a car driven by her husband. The baby later died, Palestinian doctors said.

The army denied soldiers had stopped her. It said there was no checkpoint on the road and soldiers from a nearby post had only reached the scene after they saw the ambulance arrive.

It said soldiers saw the woman being moved from her car into the ambulance by medics before she delivered the baby.

But a medic from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said the ambulance had arrived too late to assist with the birth. A doctor said the baby had died of a lung disorder 40 minutes after arrival at the Holy Family hospital in Bethlehem.
Debate on Arafat Stalls U.S. Policy, Aides to Bush Say
The notion of working with Mr. Arafat was implicit in the agreement reached between Mr. Bush and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah at the end of April at the president's ranch in Texas. They discussed a division of labor whereby Arab leaders would bring pressure on Mr. Arafat to undertake fundamental security and political changes, while Mr. Bush would bring pressure on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel to negotiate with an overhauled Palestinian leadership for new security arrangements and the framework to create a Palestinian state.

One Saudi political adviser said that the prince felt he had brought Mr. Arafat around, but that Mr. Bush had yet to bring Mr. Sharon around.

"The crown prince feels that he has delivered his guy, and now the president needs to deliver his guy," the adviser said. "Arafat has made his commitment on political and security reforms, and we want to hold his feet to the fire, but unless the process moves forward, we could lose the momentum and that could spell disaster."

After the meeting in Texas, Mr. Sharon came to Washington seeking to discredit Mr. Arafat with evidence linking him to groups that carried out suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. After Mr. Sharon's departure, a senior Israeli military official came to Washington with the message that Israel saw no "utility" in the Tenet mission because it was intended to rebuild a Palestinian security force under Mr. Arafat.

Palestinian officials said it would be difficult for Mr. Tenet to undertake serious discussions with Mr. Arafat about security changes if the administration remained uncommitted either to working with Mr. Arafat or to pushing forward on negotiations to create a Palestinian state.

One specialist on Middle Eastern affairs in the administration said there was strong concern that during times of indecision, "events move on," especially toward the return of extremist violence. "And events are not going to wait for us to make decisions," this official said.

Mr. Sharon and his supporters in Washington have been pressing the Bush administration to insist on Mr. Arafat's removal or sidelining. Arab leaders have warned of the dangers of any frontal assault on Mr. Arafat. They warn that any steps that would appear as an American effort to orchestrate Mr. Arafat's overthrow could usher in a more radical leadership.
Israeli Army Raids Bethlehem Again, Witnesses Say
Israeli tanks and troops raided Bethlehem Saturday for the first time since ending a siege of Palestinian militants inside the Church of the Nativity on May 10, local witnesses said.

Soldiers entered the West Bank city in jeeps followed by tanks and armored personnel carriers and shooting broke out with Israeli helicopter gunships whirring overhead, they said.

Palestinian police said Israeli troops were searching houses within 660 feet of Manger Square, site of the church built over the presumed birthplace of Jesus.
Israel Thwarts Bomb Attack, but Fears More to Come
The prime minister's office issued a communiqué today claiming that Israel had foiled 32 terror attacks since the end of the army's extensive military sweep through the West Bank on April 24. But there was a growing sense that whatever lull the operation had brought was already at an end.

Even the defense minister, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, was openly acknowledging that the recent offensive, in which scores were killed and thousands of Palestinian men were rounded up in Israel's largest military operation in 20 years, had heightened the motivation of Palestinian militants. "We are faced with a wave of suicide bombers," Mr. Ben-Eliezer said today.

The latest suicide bombing attempt came at 2 o'clock this morning, when a Palestinian tried to drive a car packed with pipe bombs into Studio 49, a popular Tel Aviv nightclub where about 200 young Israelis were dancing. A quick-acting security guard, Eli Federman, 36, opened fire on the driver and the car blew up before it could slam into the club. Three people were injured

The Tel Aviv police chief, Yossi Sedron, found himself delivering the same quote to reporters at two different incidents in less than a day: "A huge disaster has been prevented."

The other incident occurred on Thursday when a tanker was blown up by remote control, nearly setting off an explosion in Israel's biggest fuel depot in a congested area of Tel Aviv. Officials said today that the bomb was set off by a cellphone, attached to the bottom of the truck with a magnet and almost impossible to detect

Though many deaths had clearly been avoided this week, the string of incidents left Israelis entering the Sabbath tense and uneasy today, with the foreboding that more attacks were on the way.

The attempt to bomb the nightclub was claimed by Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, the nominal offshoot of Yasir Arafat's Fatah organization, but apparently increasingly independent of the old Palestinian leadership.

The brigades produced a videotaped statement identifying the suicide bomber as Amer Shkokani of the West Bank town of El Bireh, who said he was avenging the killing of brigade members by Israel.

On Wednesday, Israeli tank fire killed an Aksa leader, Mahmoud Titi, 30, in a Nablus cemetery.

The group also claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing in Rishon le Zion later on Wednesday that killed two Israelis and wounded dozens. It called the suicide attacks its "sole weapon to end the occupation of Palestine."
Agent Complaints Lead F.B.I. Director to Ask for Inquiry
Ms. Rowley wrote that Mr. Mueller's statements to Congress and the public about the attacks were incomplete, officials who have seen the letter said. She also asserted that Mr. Mueller had played down important warning signs of a developing pattern that the F.B.I. had failed to spot, including a memo on July 10 from an agent in Phoenix about Al Qaeda flight training.

Taken together, the evidence should have alerted headquarters here that Osama bin Laden's followers were planning a strike in the United States, Ms. Rowley contended. Ms. Rowley said Minneapolis agents became so frustrated by inaction at F.B.I. headquarters at one point that they went directly to the Central Intelligence Agency for help in building their case against Mr. Moussaoui. Going behind the backs of their superiors was a breach of bureau protocol, and officials at headquarters reprimanded the Minneapolis agents, the officials said.

Ms. Rowley has sought whistle-blower status at the bureau to protect her from possible reprisals. The agency is exempt from the federal whistle-blower protection law, which shields government employees who disclose misdeeds in their agencies from retaliation by superiors.
Despite F.B.I. Memo, Students in Phoenix Went Unchecked
Two men have come forward saying they had mixed success in trying to point Mr. Williams of the F.B.I. toward Islamic militants in the Phoenix area in the late 1990's.

One, Harry Joseph Ellen, 54, a Phoenix businessman who became a Muslim, said he had told Agent Williams about a conversation he had in late 1996 or early 1997 with a mysterious visitor from Algeria. The visitor identified himself as an instructor of commercial pilots, and he met in Phoenix with various Muslim men.

A second man, Aukai Collins, 28, an American who converted to Islam and lost a leg helping militants fight the Russians in Chechnya, told ABC News on Thursday that he gave the F.B.I. extensive reports on Islamic activity in Phoenix from 1996 to 1999.

Mr. Collins has written a book, "My Jihad," in which he says he met Mr. Hanjour in Phoenix and found him to be a nonreligious drifter who drank and chased women. Mr. Collins added in an interview today that he felt that F.B.I. agents had spent too much time watching the local mosque. "The real troublemakers avoided the mosque," he said.

Mr. Ellen and Mr. Collins said they had quarreled with Agent Williams and quit helping him. F.B.I. officials said today they had questions about both men's credibility.
Critic Is Described as Scrupulous and Determined
Former colleagues described Coleen Rowley today as a conscientious and scrupulous agent who has often found herself in the middle of the biggest cases in the F.B.I.'s office here in her past role as spokeswoman and her current position as general counsel.

"She's a determined woman and a very vigorous advocate for what she believes to be the law," said Dag Sohlberg, a former agent who worked in the office for 26 years before retiring in 1998. "She is very detail-oriented and exacting."
F.B.I. Agent Says Superior Altered Report, Foiling Inquiry
Coleen Rowley, an agent and counsel in the F.B.I.'s Minneapolis field office, wrote in a 13-page letter received this week by the joint Congressional committee investigating the terrorist attacks that changes in the search warrant application made it all but impossible to convince the F.B.I.'s national security lawyers to pursue court authorization for the search. The identity of the supervisor at F.B.I. headquarters mentioned in Ms. Rowley's letter could not be determined.

Officials who have seen Ms. Rowley's letter say it accuses the supervisor of altering the application to play down the significance of information provided by French intelligence officials about Mr. Moussaoui's links to Islamic extremists.
The Face of Slavery &  Other African American Photographs -- American Museum of Photography
What we call "history" is born from a collage of glimpses and images, insights and documents. And while this Gallery does not presume to tell the comprehensive story of early photography and African Americans, it does offer tantalizing glimpses into the past. During the half-century covered by these photographs, African Americans fought slavery, withstood brutal racial hatred, and struggled to escape from poverty. Sometimes the camera was their ally... sometimes it was an instrument of prejudice... but often it was an observer, recording the images that we recognize today as the raw material of history.
Comprehenvise TV Production Course - Contents Television Production
A Comprehensive On-line Cybertext
in Studio and Field Production

While it does not grant either degrees or certificates ­- at this point, anyway ­- CyberCollege's Cybertext in Studio and Field Production is a comprehensive course in television production, from the first to the final stages. Featuring seventy separate modules, or lessons, on the various stages in the production process, the cyber course is impressively full bodied and multidimensional -- with full text, audio, and video components. Thus, one can read, listen to, and/or watch all that the course has to offer. Presented by Dr. Ron Whittaker, the modules are accessible in any order and for any length of time, so learners can return to pick up where they left off, or skip over what they already know. Available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, the course should help send a new generation of TV producers on their way.

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2002. The Scout Report

Friday, May 24, 2002

Student Tied to Terror Suspect Gave F.B.I. Disturbing Portrait
Hours after Zacarias Moussaoui was taken into custody last August, nearly a month before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal agents in Minnesota were told that he believed it was "acceptable to kill civilians who harm Muslims" and that he approved of Muslims who died as "martyrs" in such attacks, classified federal documents show.

The information in the documents came from interviews with Hussein al-Attas, who has not been linked to the attacks but is now being held as a material witness in the government's case against Mr. Moussaoui.

Mr. Attas, a student who had driven Mr. Moussaoui from Oklahoma to a flight school in Minnesota, said Mr. Moussaoui held strong anti-American views and had suggested that he might be willing to act on his beliefs.

"He did indicate that Moussaoui does not like anyone who is not a Muslim, and advised that he has stated that he would work in any way possible to make the lives of nonbelievers more difficult," Mr. Attas told investigators, a law enforcement summary of the interviews reviewed by The New York Times shows.

The interviews with Mr. Attas, which have not previously been made public, show that federal agents investigating Mr. Moussaoui were quickly developing a disturbing portrait of the man who officials now believe was meant to be the 20th hijacker. But the interviews also raise new questions about whether top officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation were aggressive enough in responding to that information.

The bureau's Minneapolis office, which conducted the interviews, had sought approval in August for a special warrant to further investigate Mr. Moussaoui but was rejected by senior bureau officials in Washington. This week, the general counsel in the Minneapolis F.B.I. office sent a detailed letter to Congress complaining that top officials in Washington had hindered the investigation.
Agent Complaints Lead F.B.I. Director to Ask for Inquiry
The agent, Coleen Rowley, general counsel in the Minneapolis office, also said in a detailed 13-page letter to the Congressional committee that is investigating the government's preparedness for the Sept. 11 attacks that Mr. Mueller had misrepresented the bureau's handling of Mr. Moussaoui's case after his arrest on immigration charges three weeks before the hijackings, according to officials who have reviewed her letter.

Ms. Rowley attacked Mr. Mueller's assertions that no information was available that would have helped the bureau to predict or thwart the hijackings, officials said.

Mr. Mueller responded this evening with a statement saying that he had referred the issue to the inspector general of the Justice Department for investigation.

Ms. Rowley wrote that Mr. Mueller's statements to Congress and the public about the attacks were incomplete, officials who have seen the letter said. She also asserted that Mr. Mueller had played down important warning signs of a developing pattern that the F.B.I. had failed to spot, including a memo on July 10 from an agent in Phoenix about Al Qaeda flight training.

Taken together, the evidence should have alerted headquarters here that Osama bin Laden's followers were planning a strike in the United States, Ms. Rowley contended. Ms. Rowley said Minneapolis agents became so frustrated by inaction at F.B.I. headquarters at one point that they went directly to the Central Intelligence Agency for help in building their case against Mr. Moussaoui. Going behind the backs of their superiors was a breach of bureau protocol, and officials at headquarters reprimanded the Minneapolis agents, the officials said.

Ms. Rowley has sought whistle-blower status at the bureau to protect her from possible reprisals. The agency is exempt from the federal whistle-blower protection law, which shields government employees who disclose misdeeds in their agencies from retaliation by superiors.

Several lawmakers and other officials who have read the letter said it was a broad indictment of the lack of action and attention in the months before the hijackings. They said the letter was being taken as a serious matter by the joint House-Senate intelligence panel that is examining whether the government may have missed warning signs of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"Her letter really points to management failures at the F.B.I.," said Senator Richard J. Durbin, a Democrat of Illinois who is on the intelligence committee. The panel questioned Mr. Mueller about the letter on Wednesday in a closed meeting.

Ms. Rowley sent the letter to Mr. Mueller and copies to Congress as a personal communication. Today, the bureau ordered it classified.
Israelis Consider New Limits on West Bank Palestinians
The Israeli Army is stringing barbed wire around this city as part of what aid workers fear are sweeping new restrictions that will further squeeze the Palestinians' already crippled economy and perhaps stoke more violence.

The barbed wire, evidently intended to prevent Palestinian attacks, blocks what used to be a way to sneak in and out of Ramallah without passing checkpoints. It is likely only to increase the frustration at the nearby Kalandia checkpoint, the only approved way to and from Jerusalem. The checkpoint is already the source of deep Palestinian frustration and recently seems to have become more permanent with the addition of various concrete blocks to channel traffic.

On different days in the last week, hundreds of Palestinians — old women in head scarves carrying grocery bags, young girls in school uniforms, businessmen talking on cellphones — plodded both ways along a fenced-in corridor after waiting in line to present their papers to Israeli soldiers hunkered behind sandbags.

Clusters of taxis wait at each end. The roughly 10-mile commute between cities now takes three taxis and sometimes two hours or more.

Things may get even more difficult.

International aid officials said the Israeli Army outlined at a meeting on May 7 a plan to create eight zones in the West Bank, around each of its major cities. Palestinians needing to travel would apply for a special permit to enter or leave a zone, and the permits, to be renewed monthly, would be valid only from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., said several members of a committee of donor nations who attended the meeting.

The Israeli plan, international aid officials said, would encircle the eight major cities of the West Bank and their outlying villages: Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Jericho, Bethlehem and Hebron.

"All of us realize the Israelis have very legitimate security fears and concerns," said Nigel Roberts, the World Bank representative who attended the meeting. "But it is something of a dilemma. The closures have already had a devastating effect on the economy, and this will contribute to the impoverishment of the Palestinians and all the negative consequences that go with that."

If put into effect the plan would amount to a substantial tightening of the existing Israeli policy. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in proposals outlined in recent weeks, has also talked of creating buffer zones and even a wall dividing the West Bank and Israel, similar to the fencing off of the Gaza Strip.

The new plan would appear to go further, isolating sections of the West Bank from one another.

If the restrictions outlined are carried out, people who were at the meeting said, trucks would not be permitted to cross from zone to zone. Instead, goods would have to be unloaded at a transfer point, then loaded back onto another, local truck. The system, called "back to back," is already in use in the Gaza Strip.

For international aid agencies that move food, medicine or construction materials, this would mean a tremendous increase in workers, costs and time spent in transport.

Further, those who were briefed say, no one with Palestinian papers would be permitted inside Israel. The Israelis are defining this as including East Jerusalem, a largely Palestinian area where many aid agencies have their headquarters, employing Palestinians from Ramallah and nearby areas who would no longer be able to go to work. Nor would Palestinians with Israeli identification papers — like most Arab residents of East Jerusalem — be permitted to cross into the West Bank.

On a recent afternoon, Hassan Shibly, a 50-year-old engineering professor at Bir Zeit University, was on his way home to Jerusalem. He has just been offered a chance to run the master's degree program in his department. But, as a Jerusalem resident he will no longer be able to travel to work at the university.
con·cept: May 2002