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Al Qaida hunt goes global

The week's news at a glance.

Washington, D.C.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is considering dispatching American commandos to capture and, if necessary, kill al Qaida leaders wherever they hide worldwide, Pentagon officials said this week. Since many al Qaida terrorists survived the war in Afghanistan, the officials said, the U.S. must be prepared to fight them in any foreign country. “We’re at war with al Qaida,” one of Rumsfeld’s advisers told The New York Times. “If we find an enemy combatant, then we should be able to use military forces to take military action against them.” Pentagon lawyers are studying the legal implications of the new policy, which could conflict with an executive order prohibiting assassinations. It could also involve sending counterterrorism forces on missions without notifying local governments.

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