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by CSO Contributor

** UPDATE: 10 Die in Three-Day Standoff ** In Ariz., ‘Minutemen’ Start Border Patrols; Patriot Act Changes to Be Proposed; Possible U.S.-EU Fight Looms over Biometric Passports

Apr 05, 20053 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

10 Die in Three-Day Standoff

Ten Islamic extremists were killed during a three-day gunfight with Saudi security forces that ended Tuesday. According to the Associated Press, the fighting began Sunday in ar-Rass, some 220 miles northwest of Riyadh. The death toll climbed to 10 Tuesday as two militants were killed and a third died of previous wounds. Officials say 35 police have been wounded during the fighting. One source told the AP that among those killed were Moroccan Kareem Altohami al-Mojati and Saudi Saud Homood Obaid al-Otaibi. Both are ranked among the top-10 on Saudi Arabia’s list of most-wanted al Qaeda-linked terror suspects.

For more details, read the full Associated Press article in

In Ariz., ‘Minutemen’ Start Border Patrols

President Bush has called the “Minuteman Project,” a group of U.S. citizens who plan to voluntarily patrol the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona, “vigilante” activity. But organizers claim the project will deter immigrants from crossing the border illegally. The Washington Post reports that it was difficult to tell what the effect of the patrols was on the first official day, Monday. Border officials say the decrease in activity probably had more to do with increased vigilance on the Mexican side of the border than the Minuteman Project. Said Scott Kerr, 29, a worker with a relief group that leaves water and food for immigrants crossing this dry, dangerous terrain, “Migrants aren’t crossing here, that’s the effect.” (Registration required.)

For more details, read the full report in the Washington Post.

Patriot Act Changes to Be Proposed

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales is prepared to make some concessions concerning the USA Patriot Act, a Justice Dept. official has told the Washington Post. Gonzales will support changes in the law that allow secret warrants for financial documents, library data and other business records. Gonzales will tell the Senate Judiciary committee today that such warants should be limited to national security investigations and would allow targets of the warrants to mount legal challenges. This is a marked departure from former Attorney General John Ashcroft, who staunchly supported the provisions of the Patriot Act and refused to consider proposed changes to the legislation.

For more details, read the full article in the Washington Post. (Registration required.)

Possible U.S.-EU Fight Looms over Biometric Passports

Last week the European Union said that it will need more time to meet U.S. demands that require European travelers to the United States have passports with biometric capabilities. Because the U.S. government is unlikely to push back it’s October 2005 deadline, the EU is considering measures, such as requiring passports for U.S. travelers to Europe to contain digitized facial data, as a bargaining chip. However, according to a report by IDG News the U.S. law only affects new passports, so people with valid machine-readable passports can continue to use them to travel to the U.S. even after the October deadline.

For more details, read the full IDG News report in Computerworld.