Al Qaeda Recruiting

Non-Arabs, FBI Says

Al Qaeda may be recruiting non-Arabs less likely to attract the notice of security personnel to carry out attacks inside the United States, the FBI warned yesterday.

The terrorist network especially seeks operatives who have U.S. citizenship or legal residency status, the FBI's counterterrorism division said in its weekly bulletin to 18,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide.

"Finding operatives with U.S. status would greatly facilitate al Qaeda's ability to carry out an attack within the United States," the bulletin said.

The new warning comes amid a stream of intelligence indicating that al Qaeda is determined to strike the United States in the summer or fall. U.S. officials have said the terrorist network blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks hopes to inflict mass casualties again and disrupt the U.S. political process in this presidential election year.

Using non-Arabs might make it easier for al Qaeda to circumvent security measures in Europe and the United States, the bulletin said. Of special concern are people with ties to Islamic extremist groups in North Africa and parts of Asia outside the Middle East.

Senate Sets Vote

On Judicial Hopeful

Senate Republicans scheduled a vote next week on an appeals court nominee strongly opposed by environmentalists, renewing a battle in which Democrats have prevailed in blocking some of President Bush's more controversial choices for the bench.

On Tuesday, the Senate will vote on whether to consider Bush's nomination of Idaho lawyer William G. Myers III to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Myers often represented mining and cattle interests before becoming the Interior Department's solicitor in 2001. He once wrote that environmental groups are "mountain biking to the courthouse as never before, bent on stopping human activity wherever it may promote health, safety and welfare."

For the Record

* A federal appeals court threw out new government regulations allowing commercial truck drivers to spend more time on the road without taking a break. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found the first major rewrite of the hours of service rule in more than 60 years was "arbitrary and capricious" because the Transportation Department failed to consider driver health. The new rule cut two hours off a trucker's allowable workday, including unloading and breaks, to 14 hours but permitted drivers to be on the road for 11 consecutive hours, up one hour. It also permitted truckers to work as much as 77 hours in seven days, or 88 hours in eight days -- an increase of more than percent over the old limit.

* President Bush picked B. Lynn Pascoe, a deputy assistant secretary of state, to be the next U.S. ambassador to Indonesia. Pascoe's current role is at the European and Eurasian Affairs bureau at the State Department, specializing in the Eastern Mediterranean, Caucasus and Central Asia. He was previously chief of mission in Malaysia, and before that, director of the American Institute in Taiwan.

-- From News Services