Magazine article Newsweek

Meet Me in Manhattan

Magazine article Newsweek

Meet Me in Manhattan

Article excerpt

POPE JOHN PAUL II AND RAMZI AHMED Yousef, the man accused of plotting to kill him last year in the Philippines. Israeli prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Mousa Mohamed Abu Marzook, a leader of Hamas, the Islamic terror group. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind Muslim cleric accused of ordering his assassination. Reputed terrorists and their high-profile targets: all of them, and many more, will be gathered in New York City during the coming month--a hit man's dream and a policeman's nightmare.

The alleged terrorists are incarcerated at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan, awaiting imminent decisions--trial verdicts, appeal rulings, extradition judgments--that could rouse their followers to vengeful fury. The VIPS will travel in a midtown orbit from the United Nations (which celebrates its 50th anniversary at the end of next month) to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (where President Clinton will host a dinner for more than 100 world leaders) to Central Park (where the pope will celebrate mass in early October). More than 3,000 federal agents and 5,000 city police will be deployed to protect all the dignitaries--"the biggest security undertaking in history," says a Secret Service spokesman. The Secret Service, which protects visiting heads of state, has borrowed hundreds of personnel from other agencies, giving them two-week crash courses in how to be bodyguards. Their efforts will produce gridlock for Manhattanites and tedious delays at local airports. …

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