President Bush is giving Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein an ultimatum: exile or military action, Secretary of State Powell said in a preview of a speech to the nation by the president Monday night. "The time for diplomacy has passed," Powell added. Hussein has repeatedly rejected demands to step down, and the address was widely seen as preparing the country for imminent war. Earlier in the day, Gen. Tommy Franks, who would command a US-led assault on Iraq, was meeting with military officials at Camp Doha, Kuwait, where the bulk of US and British forces are deployed. The State Department, meanwhile, ordered all nonessential staff out of Kuwait, Syria, and Israel, and advised US citizens to leave as well. Below, Marine Corps reservist Robert Lomonte says goodbye to his mother in Erie, Pa., before boarding a bus to Camp LeJeune, N.C.
In the event of US-led military action in Iraq, the FBI plans a massive mobilization to prevent possible retaliatory attacks by terrorists, the Washington Post reported. In the largest such effort since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the agency would suspend many criminal surveillance operations to monitor suspected Muslim extremists. Some Iraqis living in the US would be the focus of investigators, the Post reported, while noting that the FBI said the majority of such visitors do not pose a threat to security.
Oil prices jumped $1.25 a barrel to $36.83 Monday amid anticipation of war with Iraq. At midday on the New York Stock Exchange, meanwhile, share prices were up more than 2 percent after initial steep losses. Analysts attributed the rise to hopes of a brief conflict.
The trial of four men accused of operating a terrorist cell for a group linked to Al Qaeda is due to open today in Detroit. Karim Koubriti, Ahmed Hannan, Farouk Ali-Haimoud, and Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi are charged with conspiracy to support terrorist attacks allegedly planned for the US, Jordan, and Turkey. They were indicted based on a cache of documents, including fake identity papers and a day-planner, seized in a raid on a Detroit apartment 18 months ago.
A homeless couple were expected to face formal charges in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping Monday in Salt Lake City. The young teenager was found last week, nine months after her abduction. In a television interview, a lawyer for suspect Brian David Mitchell said his client, a self-styled prophet and advocate of polygamy, regards Smart as his junior wife. Mitchell's wife, Wanda Barzee, is also in custody.
Residents of Olympia, Wash., held a candlelight vigil for a student activist killed Sunday in the Gaza Strip. Rachel Corrie, who attended Evergreen State College in Olympia, was taking part in a protest to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home by Israeli authorities when she was run over twice by a bulldozer. Israel's military termed it an accident but protest organizers dispute that, saying Corrie was wearing reflective clothing and was standing directly in front of the vehicle, where she should have been visible.