Daily brief: U.S. marks 9/11 anniversary

The Rack: Dexter Filkins, "The Journalist and the Spies" (The New Yorker). Solemn remembrance In the United States and around the world yesterday, leaders, still-grieving loved ones, survivors, and ordinary people stopped to mark the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and reflect on the wars and change that have followed (NYT, NYT, Post, WSJ, ...

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images
STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images
STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

The Rack: Dexter Filkins, "The Journalist and the Spies" (The New Yorker).

Solemn remembrance

In the United States and around the world yesterday, leaders, still-grieving loved ones, survivors, and ordinary people stopped to mark the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and reflect on the wars and change that have followed (NYT, NYT, Post, WSJ, CNN, LAT, Reuters, AP, Times, Tel, Guardian, CSM). Speaking in Washington after memorial services in New York, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, U.S. President Barack Obama honored those who died on 9/11 and after, but urged hope for the future, saying, "Our character as a nation has not changed... Our belief in America, born of a timeless ideal that men and women should govern themselves; that all people are created equal, and deserve the same freedom to determine their own destiny -- that belief, through test and trials, has only been strengthened" (BBC, Guardian, Post, Post, NYT, WSJ, WSJ, Times).

The Rack: Dexter Filkins, "The Journalist and the Spies" (The New Yorker).

Solemn remembrance

In the United States and around the world yesterday, leaders, still-grieving loved ones, survivors, and ordinary people stopped to mark the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and reflect on the wars and change that have followed (NYT, NYT, Post, WSJ, CNN, LAT, Reuters, AP, Times, Tel, Guardian, CSM). Speaking in Washington after memorial services in New York, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, U.S. President Barack Obama honored those who died on 9/11 and after, but urged hope for the future, saying, "Our character as a nation has not changed… Our belief in America, born of a timeless ideal that men and women should govern themselves; that all people are created equal, and deserve the same freedom to determine their own destiny — that belief, through test and trials, has only been strengthened" (BBC, Guardian, Post, Post, NYT, WSJ, WSJ, Times).

The anniversary was also marked in Pakistan, whose government ran a full-page ad in the Journal expressing solidarity with the United States and noting its own grievous losses since 9/11 from terrorist attacks, as the Islamist party Jamat-e-Islami staged a small anti-U.S. protest in Islamabad (Dawn, AFP, Dawn, CBS). McClatchy notes the remaining safe havens for al-Qaeda in Pakistan, as many in the United States continue to question Pakistan’s commitment to combating terrorism (McClatchy, Reuters, The News). Al-Jazeera reports on the lingering doubts in Pakistan about the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden (AJE). And Huma Imtiaz has a must-read on the decline of Brooklyn’s "Little Pakistan" after the 9/11 attacks (ET).

Meanwhile, Reuters looks at how Afghanistan has changed since 9/11 and the subsequent U.S. invasion, reports on the Afghan refugees who remain in Pakistan, and profiles a New York State police officer who took victims’ families to Ground Zero after 9/11, and is now learning Dari and training Afghan police in the country’s province of Bamiyan (Reuters, Reuters, Reuters).

At war

A massive Taliban truck bomb struck outside of a U.S. outpost in central Wardak province Saturday, wounding 77 American troops and killing five Afghans, including one eight-year-old girl who was felled by shrapnel nearly a half-mile from the base (NYT, Post, LAT, AP, DT, BBC, CNN, Reuters). In a statement issued the day of the attack, the militant group said, "each year, 9/11 reminds the Afghans of an event in which they had no role whatsoever" and added that Afghans would send the United States, "to the dustbin of the history like they did send other empires of the past" (WSJ, AP).

Many across Afghanistan this weekend also remembered famed anti-Soviet and anti-Taliban commander Ahmed Shah Massoud, killed by al-Qaeda suicide bombers 10 years ago September 9, while the L.A. Times reports on the tenuous awareness in Afghanistan of the links between the U.S. invasion and 9/11, in a country where nearly half the population is under the age of 15 (NYT, NPR, LAT).

The Times of London reports that the Taliban will be allowed — with U.S. backing — to open an office in Qatar, so as to be able to conduct negotiations to end the fighting (Times). Al-Jazeera interviews former Taliban foreign minister Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, who said that the Taliban had offered to try bin Laden under various courts several times before 9/11, but that the United States did not take the offers seriously (AJE). Ernesto Londoño interviews several former Guantánamo Bay detainees trying to rebuild their lives in Afghanistan (Post). And in Britain, a Manchester court convicted three men, including former Taliban militant Munir Farooqi, of trying to recruit men to fight NATO troops in Afghanistan (Tel, BBC, Guardian).

Finally, according to a Human Rights Watch report released this week, Afghan Local Police (ALP) units, local militias started last year by then-U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus, have been responsible for a series of abuses, including torture, rape, extortion, and murder (Guardian, AFP, AP). And Afghanistan’s national security adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta said Friday that the United States and Afghanistan were close to signing a long-term strategic partnership agreement (AP).

On the homefront

An Albanian man living in Brooklyn, Agron Hasbajrami, was arraigned Friday on charges that he had sent money to terrorist groups in Pakistan, and was trying to travel to the country’s tribal areas to receive militant training (AP, NYT, CNN, LAT, ABC, WSJ, AFP). Four militants have been reported killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan that hit a house and a vehicle Sunday (AFP, ET, AP, CNN, DT, BBC). And Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik announced Saturday that his country had sealed its border with Afghanistan, and said that Taliban leaders were moving to Quetta after being flushed out of the country’s tribal areas (DT, ET). And two Americans were kidnapped and then released hours later in Quetta this morning (ET).

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Awami National Party (ANP) traded barbs this weekend following a rambling, lengthy press conference Friday in which MQM head Altaf Hussain, speaking from London, accused the ANP of accepting millions in U.S. funding, as well as being involved in "terrorist activity" in Karachi along with other parties, and called for the party to be banned (Dawn, Geo, ET, ET, Dawn, Dawn, Dawn, ET). In Karachi, paramilitary Rangers arrested over 200 people and seized arms in raids Sunday (Dawn, ET). And the Tribune reports that a Barelvi Muslim proselytizing organization, Dawat-e-Islami, will have its activities restricted by Pakistan’s military(ET) A man believed to be a follower of the group, Mumtaz Qadri, assassinated Punjab governor Salman Taseer earlier this year.

In an interview this weekend, former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf swore he would return to Pakistan by next year, while the Tribune reports that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is in talks with Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APLN) to allow Musharraf to come back (BBC, ET). And Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari has been given a clean bill of health, after undergoing medical checks in London (Dawn, AP).

The United Nations said Saturday that flooding in Sindh province had killed 200 people and damaged more than 1 million homes (CNN, Dawn, ET, Dawn). Iran is expected to give $100 million in aid for the region, as Reuters reports that the flooding, combined with last year’s devastation, has placed a major strain on Pakistan’s economy (ET, Reuters).

Tomb raiders

Officials in Pakistan’s Khyber-Puktunkhwa province told Dawn this weekend that "well-organized gangs" of smugglers were looting ancient archaeological sites in the area (Dawn). While there are approximately 3,000 documented archaeological sites in the province, only 92 are protected by authorities.

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