Ex-Oklahoma U. Student Could Be Responsible for Attacks

By Ryan Chittum Oklahoma Daily

(U-WIRE) NORMAN, Okla. – Federal authorities investigating last week’s terrorist attacks are looking into a former University of Oklahoma student detained by immigration officials in Norman, Okla., Sept. 11.

Hussein Al-Attas has been transferred to a facility in New York, and the FBI is investigating his connection to another man detained in Minnesota.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service detained Al-Attas the day of the attacks, but he may have had a previous run-in with the INS on a trip to Minnesota this summer, said Mitchell Gray, a Norman attorney who practices immigration law.

The FBI is investigating Al-Attas because he may have driven Zacarias Moussaoui to Minnesota this summer. The INS detained oussaoui Aug. 17 after his flight instructor became suspicious of his requests for training on jet simulators.

French intelligence officials tell the FBI that Moussaoui is a high-ranking operative in Osama bin Laden’s terrorist organization, according to published reports.

Moussaoui trained at Airman Flight School from February to May 29 and left without warning and without getting his pilot’s license, said Dale Davis, the school’s director of operations.

Al-Attas never contacted Airman, Gray said.

A person close to Al-Attas called Gray on Sunday to ask for help, saying Al-Attas had driven a man to Minnesota, the attorney said.

Al-Attas let Moussaoui live with him at one point, according to a member of the Islamic Society of Norman. Al-Attas often prays at the mosque and teaches classes on good character at an Islamic school, the member said.

Al-Attas was held in the Garvin County Jail in Pauls Valley, Okla., where the INS has a jail contract, until early this week when he was moved to Oklahoma City for transfer to New York.

A court record lists Al-Attas as a co-defendant with Muzahr Abduliqaadir in an action brought by Oklahoma Investment Group, the owners of Summer Pointe apartments.

A Summer Pointe maintenance man, who wished to be identified only as Jerry, said the tenants broke their lease and left without warning on Sept. 10.

Jerry met an older man in the apartment a couple of times.

“I fixed his air conditioning, that’s about it,” he said.

U. Mississippi Muslims React to Public Discrimination

By Jared Head & Robbie Ward The Student Printz

(U-WIRE) HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Three University of Southern ississippi students said the attacks on the World Trade Center were not acts done by Muslims because Islam is based on peace.

“You can call yourself anything you want,” said Khaled El-Sawi, a computer science instructor who hails from Egypt. “But the people who committed this terrorism were not true uslims. True Muslims would not have done this. By no means does that give you the right to kill innocent people and then claim that you are a Muslim.”

El-Sawi said Islam is an extension of Judaism and Christianity, and people need to be aware that all three religions believe in the same God. Islam denounces violence against women, children, the defenseless and the elderly. The word `Islam’ means peace.

“I heard the news of the attack when I was in class,” said Khalid Al Shouhaib, a doctorate mass communications candidate. “And it was horrifying for the entire class. There were no distinctions between international students, Muslim students or Christians. We were all afraid, scared and angry at the same time by the attacks.”

All international students connected with the College of International and Continual Education received E-mails shortly after the attacks from the international student office. The E-mail encouraged them to be careful and to take extra safety precautions because of possible harassment. Possible targets are people who can be identified as being of Middle Eastern descent, the E-mail said.

Al Shouhaib said he felt he might be stereotyped as someone like Osama bin Laden and possibly harassed or threatened. He and his wife were a little afraid to go out in the Hattiesburg, Miss., community, since his wife wears traditional Muslim dress, he said.

“I had friends, one American and one Asian who offered to go to Wal-Mart for groceries and bring them back to my house,” said Ali Jamal, a graduate mass communications student.

All three students agreed that no matter their nationality or religion, people worldwide are in a state of mourning for those who died in New York and Washington, D.C. They stressed that what happened was a crime against all of humanity, not just the United States.

“I feel that there are levels of catastrophes that go beyond country boundaries that affect the whole world,” said El-Sawi.

El-Sawi pointed out that this is not a religious battle but rather a political struggle.

In Light of Recent Attacks, Arab Studies Gain Popularity

By Ben Heath Daily Texan

(U-WIRE) AUSTIN, Texas – Recent national events have drawn the nation’s attention to the Middle East, producing more interest in the region’s culture and language and perhaps causing increased enrollment in Arabic classes, said individuals involved with University of Texas’ Arab community Thursday.

A rising population of young Islamic students, a large number of opening job opportunities and an increased interest in the culture could explain the rising numbers of students in UT’s Middle Eastern Language and Cultures department, said Mohammad Mohammad, Arabic language coordinator.

Over the past two years, the number of students in Arab language classes has increased.

“Registration in all Middle Eastern language classes has already been rising,” Mohammad said. “Arabic is at record numbers, and all the other [Middle Eastern] languages are going up.”

Mohammad said his first-year Arabic class has about 90 students this semester, a relatively large number for an Arabic course.

Though this rise began before the Sept. 11 attacks, it could be accelerated by recent events, he said. On Sept. 17, the FBI began seeking employees fluent in Arabic, Farsi or Pashto – two other prominent languages in the Arab community.

“I would expect [more growth],” Mohammad said. “It’s too early to say. We will have to wait until next fall. If there are scholarships present, then that may [have a positive effect on enrollment].”

Nayel Aawar, president of the Arab Students Association, said Arabic will become one of the most important languages in Western education.

“It will be viewed just as Spanish is now,” Aawar said. “It’s going to play a big role in all kinds of studies and interests, not just [Arab studies], due to recent political events and the mere fact that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.”

Aawar added that anyone who enrolls in an Arabic class will find the experience enriching.

“[An Arabic student] will benefit from learning about the culture that invented algebra and some of the first forms of medicine,” he said.

“Hopefully it will open people’s eyes and change the false stereotypical ideas of the Arab world and beliefs.”

Mohammad said greater interest in Arabic will lead to added knowledge of Arab culture.

“If you want to know the Arabs really well, then Arabic will give you a window into their soul,” Mohammad said. “It’s a vehicle for interacting with the people. It’s how they live, how they love and how they swear.”

U.S. Draft Unlikely

By Alice Walton Daily Trojan

(U-WIRE) LOS ANGELES – More students are seeking information about the armed forces and ROTC programs since last week’s attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., ROTC officials said, but many University of Southern California students say they would be reluctant to join.

While a draft seems unlikely, students are weighing in about the possibility to join armed forces.

“At this time, there has been no indication from the Congress or the Administration that a return to the draft will be necessary,” said a statement from the Selective Service, the agency in charge of draft procedures.

Chris Hermanas, a freshman, said he has already talked about the possibility of war with his friends.

“If we knew who we were fighting against then my friends and I agreed that we would go fight together,” he said.

“My grandpa fought in World War II and we all have been turned off by war.”

Some students simply see a draft as a frightening possibility.

“I don’t want the draft to be reinstated because that would mean my brother would have to go,” said Molly O’Meara, a freshman.

In light of the recent national events, many undocumented immigrants and retired military personnel are contacting Army recruitment offices looking to serve or help out in some way, said Army Sergeant First Class Chong Y. Byun.

Students are trying to avoid the issues, he said.

“They are not very supportive of what the country is trying to do,” he said. “They are not patriotic.”

Some young students echo Byun’s sentiments. “I would definitely not go,” said Kanwar Kaleka, a freshman saying majoring in psychology. “It is a stupid war because we don’t know who we are fighting.”

Boston ROTC Students Likely Unaffected by Prospect of War

By Joanna Mayhew The Daily Free Press

(U-WIRE) BOSTON – Although President George W. Bush vowed to wage a new war on terrorism Thursday night, campus ROTC units are unlikely to be immediately sent into action, program directors said.

At the same time, armed services recruiters across the city have seen a jump in the number of people looking to enlist.

Cadet Command spokesman Paul Kotakis said the curriculum of college ROTC chapters remains basically unchanged in the wake of last week’s attacks. He said the odds of a ROTC student being ordered to active duty is slight.

“The only way an ROTC member could be sent into active duty is if they had a pre-existing relationship with the National Guard. Then, if their individual unit within the National Guard is called into action, they would be sent,” Kotakis said.

Massachusetts National Guard would not release information on whether any units have been called to active duty.

Any increase of student interest in the ROTC program will not be known for some time, said Conrad Donahue, a BU professor of naval science, since the program is restricted to the same add and drop rules like any other academic course.

However, two Harvard University students attempted to join the unit last week, he said.

Security at ROTC buildings on Bay State Road has also been tightened, he said.

“We are open regular hours, but now have heightened security, such as more restricted access to certain areas,” Donahue said. “We are just keeping a tighter watch on everything, as I am sure the rest of the university is doing.”

Navy ROTC Cadet Ryan Maloney, a College of Arts and Sciences freshman, said the security changes have mostly been minor. The building door is now locked at all times and security codes have been changed.

Maloney also said he was instructed not to wear his uniform last week to be inconspicuous.

Cadets have been discussing last week’s attacks, but most believe they will not be called unless the conflict significantly widened. ROTC units are some of the last military resources to be mobilized.

“I guess war is why you are in the military,” said Navy ROTC cadet Patrick Murphy II, a BU freshman. “You have to learn to expect it at anytime.”

“The ROTC has become much more important to me,” urphy said. “It has also become much more of a reality. I take more pride in it just knowing that there are guys being sent into possible combat. That could have been me if I was born four years earlier.”

Recruiters are working double-time to keep up with the “distinct increase” in enlistment interest, said Staff Seargent. Herman King, Boston-area Army recruiter.

“We’ve been getting many more calls the past week concerning eligibility. A huge number are past the age limit, but there are also many between the requirements age, that is, 17 to 34 years old.”

Large increases have been seen in the number of college graduates attempting to join the officer program, which leads to a commission, he said.

Applicants must have a general equivalency degree or high school diploma, few law offenses, a clean bill of health and a score a 31 or higher on military entrance exams.

Officials Confirm U. Penn E. Coli Outbreak

(U-WIRE) PHILADELPHIA – Officials for the Health Department’s Division of Disease Control confirmed Thursday that 13 University of Pennsylvania students have been diagnosed with the E. Coli bacteria.

Disease Control officials linked the outbreak to food prepared by a private caterer for a barbeque outside W.E.B. DuBois College House Sept. 9. An official also said that the bacteria was not related to Campus Dining Services.

Evelyn Wiener, director of Student Health Services, said that she was first notified of students’ having symptoms of the bacteria last Saturday and that she sent an E-mail to DuBois residents notifying them of the outbreak the next day.

In the letter, she said the outbreak had been traced to a cookout hosted by Zeta Phi Beta, the Black Student League and UMOJA.

She also advised students with intestinal symptoms to seek immediate medical attention.

Rebecca Harmon, spokeswoman for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, said several infected students have visited area hospitals so far.

“According to our lab results, we have four culture-confirmed cases, with one person being admitted to HUP, one admitted to Presbyterian and 2 were outpatients,” Harmon said. “A fifth case was admitted to HUP, but it’s a presumed case only.”

“Student Health has managed some other cases on an outpatient basis,” she added, “but I can’t confirm that number. To our knowledge no one has evidenced any serious complications.”

Wiener said that all four cases admitted have since been discharged.

The Department of Public Health and the Department of Infection Control at HUP have been consulting Student Health Services over the past week as to the cause and extent of the outbreak.

DuBois House Dean Patricia Williams could not be reached for comment last night.

Additionally, students were advised by Disease Control officials not to treat their symptoms with antibiotics or over-the-counter medicines for stomach discomfort.

Wiener also said that though no new cases were likely to surface from the initial barbeque, students with any leftovers from the event should dispose of them. Also, she cautioned that students use good hygiene as E. Coli can be spread through secondary contact.

Sikh Students Fear Off-Campus Attacks in Washington, D.C.

By Gracie Lhee The GW Hatchet

(U-WIRE) WASHINGTON – Students who practice the Sikh religion said while the George Washington University campus has provided a diverse and tolerant environment, they are faced with ignorance and prejudice off campus.

“We are lucky that we go to an internationally diverse university,” junior Amrith Mago said. “It has a huge difference on how open-minded the students are.”

Sophomore Ravjot Singh, a practicing Sikh who wears a turban and a beard, said he has not been harassed physically or verbally but has received dirty looks. Singh said he and other practicing members now take extra precautions when going out. Some said they have ceased to go off campus with friends.

Sikh Students’ Association President Jaspal Singh said he has not gone out the past week, afraid intoxicated students or others coming home from bars could take out feelings of hatred on them.

“GW has not been violent, it’s outside of campus like the D.C. area and mainly Virginia that are a problem,” Jaspal Singh said.

Sikhs have been mistakenly targeted nationwide in anti-Arab backlash that has arisen since U.S. intelligence officials announced the terrorist groups responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks are suspected to be radical Islamic fundamentalists.

“Turn on the radio and you will hear American [callers]; the message is to send all the brown people back to their country and bomb them,” junior and practicing Sikh Naina Dhingra said.

Jaspal Singh said some media reports have inaccurately categorized Sikhs as Arabs.

Singh explained that Sikhism, which draws aspects from Hinduism and Islam, is a monotheistic, nonviolent religion that accepts all faiths.

“Unfortunately, many people in the West tend to mistake Sikhs as Muslims (because) of the turban and beard that a few uslims also keep,” Singh said.

Junior Amrith Mago said a Sikh man was killed Sept. 15 in Arizona in an act police believe was racially motivated. The man, India-native Balbir Singh Sodhi, was shot at his gas station in esa, Ariz., according to CNN.

“I heard of it through the news recently,” senior Ana Perez said. “Officials were telling [Sikhs] to place American flags on their cars to distinguish them as Americans. It was really sad they had to do that because of our ignorance.”

Students Hold Anti-War Rally at UC-Berkeley

By Ashley Surdin and Patrick Paik Daily Californian

(U-WIRE) BERKELEY, Calif. – More than 2,500 people converged at noon Thursday on the University of California-Berkeley’s campus to participate in one of the largest peace demonstrations since

President Bush deemed last week’s terrorist attacks “an act of war.”

After rallying for an hour on Sproul Plaza, demonstrators marched through campus into downtown Berkeley, Calif., chanting “Join us!” to onlookers as they passed the Civic Center.

Students, professors and politicians spoke on Sproul Plaza to a peaceful but passionate crowd carrying protest signs and U.S. flags.

“I want freedom, and I want justice. I want to honor those victims by dedicating myself against all violence,” said June Jordan, a UC Berkeley African American studies professor.

“[We should] bring perpetrators to an international court of justice, there to convict them, and there to punish them,” she said.

Signs that read “An Eye for an Eye Makes the World Go Blind” and “No War, No Racist Attacks” were held high as numerous speakers called for peace instead of war.

Speakers at the rally said Bush should work with other nations to root out the actual terrorists and avoid killing innocent civilians in any military action.

Bush has already ordered U.S. military forces to the Persian Gulf after the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan failed to hand over the suspected perpetrator of last week’s terrorist attacks, Osama bin Laden.

“You don’t want the hand of the United States killing innocent civilians. Send them food rather than bombs,” said Hatem Bazian, a UC Berkeley Near Eastern studies lecturer and speaker for the Muslim Student Association.

“Being a patriot does not mean you have to believe in war,” Bazian said.

Students who supported the anti-war movement said they were energized by the strong show of support during the demonstration, which was organized by the Berkeley Stop the War Coalition.

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