Friday, September 14, 2001

The U.S. identifies 19 hijackers (fr. Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the UAE), including 7 trained pilots, who participated in the 9/11 attacks; 16 held valid U.S. visas, 12 had lived in Florida (some for yrs.), 2 were the sons of a high-ranking Saudi diplomat once posted to Washington, at least 3 had studied at the same college in Germany. (NYT, WP, WT 9/15; WP 9/18; CNN 9/21)

Asst. Secy. of State for Near East Affairs William Burns official meets with 15 Arab envoys, including the PLO rep., and tell them they must either declare their nations "mbrs. of an international coalition against terrorism or risk being isolated." Later, Arab envoys meet at the home of Saudi Arabian amb. Prince Bandar Bin Sultan to discuss U.S. plans. Egyptian amb. Nabil Fahmy warns the admin. to focus on finding and punishing those responsible for the 9/11 attacks and not to broaden the effort to include other geopolitical goals. (NYT 9/15; MM, WP 9/17; SA 9/17 in WNC 9/19)

Sharon rejects direct appeals by Bush, Powell to hold peace talks with the PA, which would facilitate U.S. efforts to form a coalition to strike at Bin Laden. Instead, he cancels tentative plans to hold an Arafat-Peres mtg. on 9/16, saying it would be "inappropriate" in light of the 9/11 U.S. attacks; tells Bush that Israel opposes the U.S. bringing the PA, Syria into its antiterrorism coalition. (AFP 9/14; AP, HP, NYT, WP 9/15; JP [Internet], WT 9/16; XIN 9/16 in WNC 9/17; WJW 9/27; JP, MEI 9/28)

Meanwhile, 3 Palestinians are killed by IDF fire in Gaza. Israeli authorities detain Mufti of Jerusalem Shaykh Ikrima Sabri following Friday prayers for several hrs. of questioning regarding his recent visit to Beirut. In Gaza's Nussayrat refugee camp, 100s of Palestinians protest against the U.S.'s threat to attack Afghanistan, fearing the U.S.'s "international campaign against terrorism" will be campaign against Muslims; undercover PSF officers confiscate reporters' film. Some 40,000 Israeli Arabs in Umm al-Fahm Israel hold a similar rally, denouncing the killing of American civilians but also condemning U.S. support for Israel. (HP, WP, WT 9/15; WP 9/16; WT 9/17; al-Quds 9/18 in WNC 9/19; WJW 9/20; LAW 9/29)