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RESPONSE TO TERROR

Events at a Glance

November 17, 2001

MILITARY FRONT

Mohammed Atef, the top military strategist in the Al Qaeda terrorist network, is believed to have been killed in a U.S. air attack, said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who added that U.S. troops are fighting on the ground in Afghanistan.

INVESTIGATION

Five years before the World Trade Center Towers toppled, U.S. authorities had identified crop-dusters and suicide flights as potential terrorist weapons, taking steps to avert an attack from the air during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

SECURITY

The airport security legislation that President Bush plans to sign has the potential to plug holes in today's porous air transportation system, but many of its deadlines and other provisions are unrealistic, security experts said.

ANTHRAX

A letter addressed to Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) that appears to contain anthrax was discovered by FBI agents searching through tons of unopened Capitol Hill mail. The mail had been quarantined since a letter containing the deadly spores sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) was opened a month ago.

DIPLOMACY

The transition in Afghanistan is in trouble, complicated by the opposition Northern Alliance's steady progress in creating a de facto government.

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