Most British Muslims oppose Afghanistan war
LONDON Eight out of 10 Muslims in Britain oppose military action in Afghanistan, according to a BBC poll released yesterday.
A majority 57 percent did not believe assertions by Prime Minister Tony Blair that the action is not a war against Islam. Only 34 percent agreed with him.
The telephone survey of 500 Muslims for BBC radio was conducted before the capture of the Afghan capital, Kabul, by opposition Northern Alliance forces.
The poll also found that the vast majority agreed the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States were unjustifiable, but two-thirds of those questioned felt Osama bin Laden’s guilt had not been proven.
Khalid Mahmood, a member of Parliament for Mr. Blair’s ruling Labor Party, questioned the findings, saying the poll may not have been representative.
Al Jazeera TV reporter briefly detained in Texas
DOHA, Qatar The Al Jazeera satellite channel said one of its correspondents in the United States was detained for several hours by police yesterday while covering the U.S.-Russian summit in Texas.
“American police detained Al-Jazeera’s Washington correspondent Mohammed al-Alami,” the network said in an on-screen announcement.
The journalist had been detained at Waco airport, from where he was to travel to Crawford for the summit between President Bush and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
“The police told me that a credit card of Al Jazeera’s Washington office that I used to rent a car and reserve a plane ticket and my hotel room had in the past served for transactions linked to Afghanistan,” he said.
FBI spokesman Rene Salinas confirmed that Mr. Alami had been detained but said he was released later when it became clear that it was a case of mistaken identity.
Nuclear-bomb papers found in Kabul house
LONDON Documents giving details of how to build a nuclear bomb have been found in a looted Kabul house used by Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network, the Times of London newspaper reports in today’s editions.
The paper said its reporter had discovered the partly burned papers in a building abandoned by al Qaeda as the city was overrun by fighters from the opposition Northern Alliance.
Notes in Arabic, German, Urdu and English described the detonation of explosives to compress plutonium and trigger a thermonuclear reaction, the paper said.
Bin Laden claimed in an interview last week to have a nuclear bomb a claim dismissed by British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon.
U.S. envoy offers ways to end Sudan civil war
KHARTOUM, Sudan A new U.S. special envoy to Sudan said yesterday he had suggested several steps to the Sudanese government to help end the country’s 18-year-old civil war and gave himself a year to achieve results.
The visit by former Sen. John Danforth is part of a renewed U.S. effort to end the conflict, but has also taken on added significance following the September 11 attacks, which appear to have prompted an improvement in ties between the two foes.
Mr. Danforth told a news conference at the U.S. Embassy that his proposals included a call to allow relief agencies to monitor the situation in Sudan’s central Nuba region, where the United Nations has said 158,000 people have been impoverished and displaced by recent fighting.
Hijackers seize plane, free passengers
GEORGETOWN, Guyana Hijackers seized a small commercial aircraft at gunpoint in Guyana yesterday but released all eight passengers unharmed after forcing the pilot to fly them to neighboring Brazil, police said.
Two Britons and three Canadians were among the passengers.
The 13-seat Cessna Caravan owned by Trans Guyana was heading from the southern town of Lethem to the capital, Georgetown, when one of four hijackers placed a gun to the pilot’s head, forcing him to divert to an airstrip in Brazil.
A senior Guyanese police official said the hijackers were two Colombians, a Brazilian and a Uruguayan.