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Sunday, September 15, 2002

Official says investigation into Lackawanna cell began before Sept. 11

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Five men who worked, lived and socialized together in western New York were schooled in the tools of terror, including the use of suicide as a weapon, in camps run by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network, federal officials said. Federal authorities who announced the arrest of the members of the alleged terror cell said Osama bin Laden himself lectured the men on his anti-American beliefs while they were in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in the months leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
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U.S. wants custody of Sept. 11 suspect held in Pakistan
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States wants custody of Ramzi Binalshibh and will work with Pakistani authorities to have them hand over the suspected Sept. 11 plotter captured last week in Karachi, President Bush's national security adviser said Sunday. "Oh, we will be working with the Pakistani officials to make certain that he gets to the right place," Condoleezza Rice said. "There's no doubt that the United States will want to have access to him and to have him, because this is an important breakthrough."

Train carrying sulfuric acid derails in Tennessee
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A train derailed near Knoxville and ruptured a tanker carrying 10,000 gallons of sulfuric acid Sunday, creating a billowing fume cloud that was visible for miles. More than 9,000 homes were evacuated but no one was injured. Twenty-four cars of a 100-car train left the track late morning in the Farragut community, said Alan Lawson, deputy director of the Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Management Agency. The cause remained under investigation.

Victims group criticizes bishops
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Bishops in some Roman Catholic dioceses around the country are not following rules set by a child protection charter approved in June, a national victims' advocacy group said Sunday. Members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said more than a dozen bishops have not adhered to rules of a charter requiring them to remove from public ministry priests suspected of molesting children or other sexual misconduct.

FBI finds anthrax in Florida building
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) - FBI investigators believe photocopy machines were the reason anthrax spores were spread throughout an office building where a tainted letter was mailed in last year's attacks, according to a published report. Federal investigators returned last month to the American Media Inc. building for 12 days, armed with new techniques for detecting large quantities of anthrax.

Three New York subway stations reopen
NEW YORK (AP) - Three subway stations closed after debris from the collapsed World Trade Center towers filled their tunnels last Sept. 11 reopened Sunday, a month ahead of schedule. "Every day this great city comes back a little stronger and moves forward a little better," Gov. George Pataki said outside the South Ferry No. 1 and No. 9 subway station.

Muslim medical student says Florida scare was a misunderstanding
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - A Miami hospital says it no longer wants the three Muslim medical students who were detained for 17 hours after a woman said she overheard them discussing terror plans. The men later said the incident was simply a misunderstanding. The head of Larkin Community Hospital in Miami said Sunday he had received more than 200 e-mails after the incident, some threatening.

Hundreds protest possible war against Iraq
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Hundreds of anti-war protesters marched and spoke out Saturday against any possible military action in Iraq. "We believe that this war can be stopped if the people intervene in the political process," said Richard Becker of the International Act Now to Stop War and End Racism Coalition.

Muslim medical students turned away after Florida scare
MIAMI (AP) - The Miami hospital where three Muslim medical students were headed before they were detained in a 17-hour terror scare on a Florida highway says they aren't welcome there anymore. The head of Larkin Community Hospital said Sunday he had received more than 200 e-mails after the incident, some of them threatening.

Lackawanna arrests deepen Muslim uneasiness
LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (AP) - Clutching a shortwave radio tuned to an Arabic music station in Kuwait, Hassan Muhsen talked at length about the lure of immigrant life in the United States before his mood suddenly darkened. "Thank God we're in America, the system is good and fair, but there is ignorance also," said the 53-year-old retired steelworker. "Since yesterday I heard it three times: 'Go home!'"

U.S. tracks terror network calls
WASHINGTON (AP) - Government agents have recently uncovered numerous calls from difficult-to-track prepaid cell phones, Internet-based phone service, prepaid phone cards and public pay phones in the United States to known al-Qaida locations overseas, federal officials said. The calls are one piece of a growing body of evidence pointing to the presence of suspected members of terrorist sleeper cells operating on U.S. soil, and a growing sophistication on their part to keep their communications secret, the officials said.

Trial date set for Kansas man accused of multiple murder
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The first two bodies were found crammed inside yellow metal barrels in a field in rural Kansas. Days later, three more missing women were found dead in 55-gallon drums at a storage locker 30 miles away in Missouri. Authorities say John E. Robinson Sr. - who owned the field and rented the locker - had trolled the Internet for sex under the name "slavemaster" and is responsible for both Kansas murders as well as four other killings, sexual assaults and the fraudulent adoption of the infant daughter of one of his victims.

Remnants of Tropical Storm Hanna head inland
ATLANTA (AP) - Tropical Storm Hanna, downgraded to a tropical depression, headed for the Carolinas on Sunday after knocking down power lines and tree branches in a path across Alabama and Georgia. "There's no real threat," said Jim Noffsinger, a National Weather Service forecaster. "You're talking about something that's now only got 20 mph winds."

Phony N.Y. firefighter arrested in Canada
LETHBRIDGE, Canada (AP)- An American parole violator who claimed to be a New York city firefighter on stress leave in Canada, where he received a hero's welcome, was arrested by Canadian police, an official said Sunday. "Michael Carle LaCarte, 39, was arrested on Friday and is now being held at a correctional institute," Staff Sgt. Dave Hastie told the Associated Press.

Boston FBI agent to be sentenced for racketeering
BOSTON (AP) - To some, John Connolly is a hero, an FBI agent who risked his life to help bring down the New England Mafia. To others, he personifies the corruption that has tainted the agency's reputation.

Family of 5 dies in Michigan house explosion
BANGOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - An explosion flattened a farmhouse Sunday and killed a family of five just a day after they moved in, police said. The bodies of three adults and two children, ages 1 and 4, were found in the wreckage, police said.

Immigrant pleads to INS for asylum
POTTSTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Bernard Lukwago says he was forced to serve as a human shield for rebel forces in his native Uganda when he was 15, and all he wanted at the time was to return home. Now, that's the last place he wants to go.

'Lascivious' child modeling sites may be tough to ban
NEW YORK (AP) - The photos on the Web sites portray no nudity and no sex, yet men by the thousands pay to ogle them - shots of preteen girls posing in bikinis and halter tops. Defended as free speech by some, such pictures are being blasted as a "fix for pedophiles" by a congressman who is waging an uphill campaign to banish them from the Internet.

Schools install Internet filters despite flaws
(AP) - Dale Alexander, the information technology director for Albuquerque, N.M., public schools, was not exactly a fan of filtering software for blocking pornography and other Web sites deemed inappropriate for children. But when Congress required it of schools that receive certain technology grants, Alexander had no trouble deciding whether to install the software - up to $14.7 million was at stake.

Brooklyn's '$5 doctor' Salvator Altchek dies at 92
NEW YORK (AP) - Salvator Altchek, a humanitarian doctor for Brooklyn's multiethnic population for more than six decades, has died. He was 92. Called the $5 doctor because of his low rates, Altchek, who died Tuesday, treated streetwalkers, lawyers, shopkeepers and just about anyone else who came to his row house in Brooklyn Heights.

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