To Your Questions
we know who is responsible for Sept. 11?
Do we know who is responsible for Sept. 11?
Short answer, no.
Long answer, yes.
The U.S. has evidence linking Saudi militant Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network al-Qaida to the attacks in September.
In a tape released on October 7, bin Laden congratulated the terrorists and said more attacks were planned.
Attorney General John Ashcroft and F.B.I. Director Robert Mueller have identified the plane hijackers, and issued a list of the 22 most wanted terrorists worldwide.
Part of the evidence connects several of the hijackers to a terrorist network operating out of Germany. The United States and European allies have concluded Germany was likely the base for the terrorism attacks.
U.S. and Germany officials are now aggressively seeking three known fugitives involved with September 11. The fugitives are believed to have fled to Pakistan or Afghanistan.
In the United States, more than 1,000 people have been detained relating to the attacks. A small number of the detained people are charged with immigration violations. Most information about them has been kept private by the government.
For more on the search for who is responsible for the attacks of September 11: The U.S. Investigation
are an estimated 3 million Muslims living in the United States. Muslim
teens go to all different kinds of schools, play sports and try to get
their homework in on time like other students.
Since the September 11 attacks, some Muslim students have been harassed and discriminated against because they share the religion of Islam with terrorist organizations led by Osama bin Laden.
President Bush has met with Muslim leaders and has made it clear that America is fighting terrorism, not the religion of Islam.
still have complex feelings about the United States. The Muslim religion
does not allow alcohol or pre-marital sex. Muslims pray five times a
day. To a practicing Muslim, America offers opportunity, but tests faith
In a study this year titled "The Mosque in America: A National Portrait," 82 percent of American Muslims strongly agreed America offered opportunity; 28 percent said the nation was immoral and corrupt.
Many Muslims also have a problem with U.S. foreign policy, including sanctions on Iraq and support for Israel in the Middle East.
Muslim students are eager to explain their religion to other teens and show them Islam teaches peace and brotherhood, not violence and terrorism.
For more on Muslim Teens: Their own voices
There are also around 200,000 people from Afghanistan in the U.S. Recent events have made Afghan-Americans uneasy and fearful.
In an area of San Francisco called "Little Kabul," many restaurants and shops now display American flags.
living here are refugees from civil war and the religious extremism
of the Taliban. They are upset that Osama bin Laden lives in their former
homeland. However, they are concerned about their relatives who still
live in Afghanistan, now the U.S. is dropping bombs there.
For more on Afghans in America: Life in "Little Kabul" video
Anthrax can kill you, but only if you're exposed to a large number of anthrax particles. Anthrax is not contagious. Unlike mono, you can't pass anthrax to someone. The source of anthrax is a bacteria generally found on farm animals.
Many biologists can make a very basic form of anthrax. But, you would have to add other substances and process the bacteria in a very complex laboratory to make it into a dangerous powder.
You can get anthrax if you tough the bacteria and it gets into a cut. This is called cutaneous anthrax and is easily fixed with antibiotics.
You can also get anthrax by inhaling it or eating the bacteria in infected food.
You need large amounts of the bacteria to become infected. David Satcher, the U.S. Surgeon General says 8,000 to 10,000 spores are needed for infection. Even if you are infected, doctors can cure anthrax with antibiotics.
The anthrax mail scares are real, but less than 20 people are actually diagnosed with the bacteria. In New York City and Washington, DC, where mail related exposures have occurred, the postal service has started to clean the mail.
For more on Anthrax: The Bioterrorism Threat
The intent of the military strikes is to capture or kill members of the al-Qaida terror network blamed for the September 11 terrorist attacks.
We are also attacking the Taliban government because they refused to hand over Osama bin Laden. President Bush has called this the first war of the 21st century.
In every war, innocent people are killed. The U.S. accidentally bombed two Red Cross buildings, killing several Afghans.
Some U.S. bombs missed their targets, blowing up hospitals and residential villages. The Taliban has said that hundreds of civilians have died, but the exact number cannot be confirmed.
Also making life dangerous for people in Afghanistan is the fact that the Taliban are reportedly hidding in residential areas and parking military jeeps and planes next to houses.
Despite making every attempt to only attack military targets, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfled admitted the three weeks of bombing has produced some mistakes.
"We did not start the war. The terrorists started it. So let there be no doubt. Responsibility for every single casualty in this war, be they innocent Afghans or innocent Americans, rests at the feet of Taliban and al-Qaida," said Rumsfeld.
Some Americans think the U.S. should stop the bombing in Afghanistan because of the civilian deaths.
"The fact of the matter is the more we step up the bombing the more we take actions that are supposed to get at the Taliban, the al-Qaida networks, the more we will be killing civilians," Professor William Hartung of The New School said on the NewsHour.
The U.S. has apologized for the loss of innocent life and in the past has compensated countries for killing innocent residents.
For more on military action:Combating Terrorism
Many teenagers in Afghanistan have become refugees. Whether running from the Taliban or U.S. bombing raids, thousands have traveled across mountains and minefields to refugee camps in Pakistan.
families share a single room with a dank concrete floor. They sleep
in thin bed sheets. The camp is dotted with white canvas tents and there
is poverty everywhere. Naked children wallow in mud, chickens forage
in garbage heaps and the air has a bad smell.
Now in Pakistan, she has been placed in a classroom with students who are much younger than she is. That's because five years ago, when the Taliban captured Kabul, she was in the fifth grade. The Taliban's strict rules forbade girls to attend school. And so Farishta is in the fifth grade still.
Some classes meet outdoors, with canvas as a roof and the grass for chairs. Students squeeze together on benches in the rooms inside. They arrive in shifts; first the morning pupils, then the afternoon ones.
use the yellow plastic bags that contained U.S.-supplied vegetarian
meals to hold their school notebooks.
"I can do the plus and the minus, but the division seems too hard to understand.''
Students are now free to learn without the fear they felt in Afghanistan. Before, male students were arrested for the crime of trimming their beards. Girls were beaten for showing their faces, polishing their toes or leaving the house without a male relative.
Women are free from their burkas -- the head-to-toe covering that the Taliban forced women to wear. Farishta's aunt, Mahtab, 20, hated the Taliban's mandatory womenswear. She suffered eyestrain from looking out its meshed peephole. It made her feel caged. She is glad to be done with it.
Despite their new freedom, many refugees are upset with the United States bombing of Afghanistan. Mahtab's mother-in-law was killed, she said, and "it pierced her heart.'' She said her anger is "easier to understand if it is you being bombed.''
based on reporting by Barry Bearak for the New York Times
One of the goals of the military strikes in Afghanistan is to force the Taliban out of power.
The United States is holding discussions with Afghanistan's neighbors and other political forces in the country to figure out who should govern Afghanistan after the Taliban.
Secretary of State Colin Powell has suggested the United Nations should play a large role in helping to decide who should govern Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has many groups who would like control of the government. Various ethnic groups within Afghanistan all want representation-- and most of them do not get along with each other.
There is the Northern Alliance, which has been fighting the Taliban for years and controls five percent of the country to the north.
There is even a former king who is in exile in Rome. Many countries support a role for him, although not absolute power.
There has already been a meeting of tribal leaders to discuss a post-Taliban government and another meeting is scheduled in Turkey soon.
the process to set up a new government could take a year or more.
For more on this topic, take a look at a NewsHour forum on the future government of Afghanistan.
Students across the country have united to help people affected by the tragedy. Teenagers under 18 generally cannot donate blood or volunteer, but a group of friends can raise money to help one of many organizations:
Wash America: Children across the country are organizing car washes to raise money for the American Red Cross.
Unicef, Kids Helping Kids: Send drawings, letters and expressions of care. The messages will be delivered to children affected by the tragedy.
York State Fraternal Order of Police: A fund for injured officers
and families of victims.
New York State WTC Relief Fund: An effort funding emergency response and support for victims and their families, including both civilians and rescue workers.
America's Fund for Afghan Children: President Bush asks American children to help Afghan children by contributing one dollar to: America's Fund for Afghan Children, c/o The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington D.C. 20509-1600.
Kids for Kids helps children of the victims in New York attend summer camp so they can support each other in their grieving.
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