The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were supposed to occur the previous May or June, but were postponed by Al Qaeda leaders, according to sources privy to 9/11 commision findings, The Washington Post reported. The intelligence, based on information from US-held detainees, indicates that the attacks were delayed to allow Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker, more time to prepare, rather than because of heightened security. The panel investigating the terrorist plot holds its final public hearings this week.
After six months building a case against Nuradin Abdi, a Somali working for a cellphone company in Columbus, Ohio, Attorney General Ashcroft accused him of plotting to blow up a shopping mall in the city. Abdi was charged Monday with travel-document fraud and of conspiring with Al Qaeda.
The Social Security trust should be able to pay out full benefits until 2052, or 10 years longer than the system's trustees projected in March, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Monday. At the same time, CBO's new analysis confirmed that the Social Security program is in crisis but made no recommendations on how to narrow the gap between benefits and revenues.
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld told a Pentagon briefing that there is "no wiggle room in the president's mind or my mind about torture" of detainees in the counterterrorism war. He used the briefing Monday to address reports about a classified Justice Department memo that reportedly states some "cruel, inhuman, or degrading" acts may not amount to torture.
The White House refused to confirm an assertion by Iraq's new prime minister that former dictator Saddam Hussein would be handed over to the interim government in Baghdad by June 30. He'll be handed over "at the appropriate time," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, without elaboration.
The Southern Baptist Convention, the world's largest Baptist denomination, voted to quit the World Baptist Alliance because of its liberal theology.
Karla Patricia Chavez, a Honduran national, pled guilty in Houston Monday to conspiracy to transport and harbor undocumented immigrants, leading to 19 deaths last year. She was the alleged ringleader of a smuggling operation that resulted in the suffocation of the immigrants inside a sealed tractor-trailer truck. Chavez faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, but prosecutors are expected to seek a lighter punishment in exchange for her testimony against codefendants.