- The Washington Times - Monday, January 27, 2003

Pearl slaying linked to al Qaeda
One of the leaders of the al Qaeda network is believed to be behind last year's abduction and execution in Pakistan of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl, Time magazine reported.
The report, which appears in the magazine's current issue, said that at least one witness indicated that Mr. Pearl's throat was slit by top al Qaeda terrorist Khalid Sheik Mohammed.
A Kuwaiti of Pakistani descent, Mohammed is believed by U.S. authorities to have been a key organizer of the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington, according to the report.
A Pakistani court has already sentenced to death Ahmed Omar Saeed and imprisoned three others for their roles in the abduction and murder of Mr. Pearl, who worked for the Wall Street Journal in Karachi, Pakistan.

U.S. spy plane crashes as pilot ejects safely
OSAN AIR FORCE BASE An American U-2 spy plane crashed about 30 miles south of Seoul yesterday, injuring four persons on the ground and the pilot, who ejected before impact, U.S. military officials said.
The aircraft was from the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron at Osan Air Force Base, and it crashed about 3 p.m. near Hwa Song, located west of the base.
U.S. officials reported that four residents living near the crash site were taken to a hospital. A nearby auto-repair shop and several houses caught fire because of the crash.
The 33rd Rescue Squadron retrieved the pilot, who had tried to guide the plane away from the heavily populated area.

Two U.N. workers killed in shootout
JALALABAD Bandits ambushed two U.N. vehicles on a remote road in eastern Afghanistan yesterday, leading to a shootout with police that killed four persons two of them Afghan U.N. employees.
The shootout started after bandits seized the vehicles and took the U.N. workers captive, apparently to rob them. Police arrived at the scene and exchanged fire with the bandits.
A police officer and a suspected bandit also were killed. Another suspected bandit was injured and arrested.
It was not clear how many U.N. workers were in the cars, though all were Afghans, a police spokesman said.

Al-Zarqawi named as ricin plot suspect
Some investigators believe Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, an al Qaeda leader of Palestinian descent, may have been behind a recently foiled London plot to poison food at a British military base with ricin, Newsweek magazine reported.
The report, set to appear in the magazine's current issue, also said that Jordanian authorities believe al-Zarqawi was involved in the slaying of a U.S. foreign-aid official in Amman late last year.
The discovery of traces of ricin a highly toxic poison at a London apartment earlier this month has renewed fears of terrorism in Britain.
According to Newsweek, al-Zarqawi is suspected to be one of al Qaeda's top experts on chemical and biological weapons.

Impaler's town is spared from grisly theme park
BUCHAREST Western consultants have spared Vlad the Impaler's historic birthplace in Transylvania from a Dracula theme park, saying the Bucharest area is better for the project, the Tourism Ministry said yesterday.
Conservationists and UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural arm, have long fought plans to build the park near Sighisoara, saying it would ruin the 13th-century town, which is listed as a World Heritage Site.
The town's most notorious resident was the 15th-century Count Vlad Tepes, whose exploits inspired Bram Stoker's Gothic novel "Dracula."

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