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US troops in Pak for assault Bush in talks to prepare for military response

ISLAMABAD, Sep 15 (uni) Preparing for an assault on Afghanistan, a contingent of US marines and the FBI officials have landed in Pakistan for launching ‘target-oriented’ operation against Saudi fugitive Osama Bin Laden, prime suspect in black Tuesday string of attacks on the United States.

Leading Pakistani daily ‘The News’ reported today a contingent of the special services group of the US marines (green seals) and the FBI officials landed at the Islamabad International Airport at wee hours yesterday.

A military plane brought the us troops to Islamabad, who were later taken to an unknown place, the paper said.

The airport remained closed from 0300 hrs to 0500 hrs on Friday morning — which according to the paper was the time of arrival of US troops.

Senior Pakistani official confirmed a military movement was going on at the airport during its closure.

"There is a normal schedule of such type of exercises, and one should not worry about it," the official said.

The green seals are the latest version of super-trained, highly sophisticated, armed with hitech weaponry and aided by satellite-guided navigation commandos, who are given special and difficult assignments.

According to the paper, it was perceived that the elite green seals would change the mode of their action in case of missing bin laden. They would spread across Afghanistan, sniffing on Osama’s whereabouts. And in the event of detection, they would guide the us navy aircraft in the possible airstrikes, the paper added.

It said there were speculation that the green seals would also conduct a quick survey of the region before an anticipated attack on a larger scale, if, at all, required.

The green seals have conducted joint exercises with the Pakistan ssgs on multiple occasions on the pakistani soil since 1998, when the US first planned to hunt down Osama. These exercises were reportedly conducted in cherat, attock with a specific view the terrain was similar to the Afghanistan’s terrain, the paper said.

United States President George W Bush was on Saturday huddled in high-level talks with his top advisors at Camp David to prepare military response to Tuesday’s terror attacks.

The meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice followed the authorisation by the Congress to the President to use "all necessary and appropriate force" in retaliation.

Bush is expected to use his regular Saturday radio address to move away from healing touch to harsher language that "educates the public about the struggle that lies ahead".

Bush has already declared a national emergency and given the military the authority it needs to call up 50,000 reservists. The Pentagon has said the first 35,000 reservists to be called up - including fighter jet pilots and crews - would be for "homeland defence" - to protect US cities. They will include 13,000 airmen, 10,000 army soldiers, 7,500 marines, 3,000 navy personnel and 2,000 coastguard troops.

Bush travelled to Camp David for Saturday’s "decision-making meeting" after making his first visit to New York since the disaster. He addressed rescue workers through a loudspeaker, with his arm around a firefighter. As some of the crowd shouted that they could not hear, he replied: "I can hear you and the rest of the world hears you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."

-- Martin Thompson (, September 16, 2001


US special forces 'land in Pakistan' (09/16/2001) (Agencies)

Newspapers in Pakistan say foreign troops have already arrived in the country.

The Nation reports a special plane carrying over two dozen foreigners landed at the Chakala airbase.

The News quotes an eyewitness as saying he saw a small contingent of US troops landing in Islamabad. There is no official confirmation of the reports.

The paper says, according to unofficial reports, over 50 personnel from the Special Services Group of the US Marines' Green Seals have landed.

It adds they plan to conduct 'target-oriented' operations against Osama bin Laden, prime suspect behind the terrorist strikes in the US.

Diplomatic sources have confirmed the arrival of two American aircraft but refused to give further details, the Press Trust Of India reports.

The Pakistani Army has taken over Karachi airport and has increased its presence at other airports in the area, according to media reports.

It's unclear whether the army takeover is in preparation for a strike against neighbouring Afghanistan.

Pakistan is under intense pressure from both the US and Afghanistan's Taliban regime following Tuesday's terrorist attack.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 16, 2001.

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