Victory shows focus in war on terrorism

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 4, 2003

But it has not been without successes, and last weekend’s capture of the man authorities believe is the mastermind of the attacks shows the U.S. has not lost its focus when it comes to the war on terrorism.

Pakistani authorities, working closely with U.S. intelligence, plucked Khalid Shaikh Mohammed from his bed in the middle of the night.

The photo of him unshaven and bleary-eyed, clad in a white T-shirt, is the closest the American people have seen to a tangible victory in the war on terrorism in some time.

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But the man himself &045; believed to be as high as No. 3 in the al-Qaida terrorist network &045; is not all we captured. Pakistani authorities also turned over cellphones and computer files that could prove invaluable as intelligence authorities continue to seek new information about possible attacks on the United States.

We still have a long way to go in our unconventional war on terrorism, and we have new questions to answer. Just Tuesday, a blast in the Philippines brought home the reality we must face in whether to fight the war against extremist groups in that country.

But last weekend’s victory &045; which would not have happened without the Pakistani authorities &045; shows that we are winning this war, and that we have support from others in the world.