One hundred police with automatic weapons ringed the Karachi, Paskistan, courthouse Friday as prosecutors charged a British-educated Islamic militant and 10 accomplices with the kidnap-murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
Seven of the suspects remain at large. All face the death penalty if convicted.
Chief Prosecutor Raja Quereshi accused Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the chief suspect, and 10 others of murder, kidnapping and terrorism.
The decision to charge Saeed in Pakistan will complicate efforts to have him stand trial in the United States. American prosecutors could now have to wait for the case to play itself out in Pakistani courts _ a process that could take years if appeals are filed.
Meanwhile, in a move triggered by last Sunday's deadly attack on a church frequented by Americans, the State Department ordered dependents and nonessential workers at the U.S. Embassy and three consulates in Pakistan to go home.
Other Americans in the country were encouraged to consider leaving as well.
"The department has reports that American citizens generally have been targeted for kidnapping or other terrorist acts," the bureau of consular affairs said in a statement.
LAWYERS SAY LINDH COERCED: Claiming John Walker Lindh was a soldier, not a terrorist, his attorneys presented new details Friday of his initial weeks in captivity, and said the traumatized young prisoner cooperated with the FBI only in the hope of ending mistreatment by U.S. authorities.
The assertion by John Walker Lindh's defense team is the latest challenge to potentially incriminating statements he made during captivity, especially in FBI interviews Dec. 9 and 10.
Lindh's lawyers also asked a federal judge for access to 33 e-mails sent among Justice Department officials about their client while he was in military custody.
BUSH WANTS STRUCTURAL STUDY: President Bush is requesting $16-million for a study of the World Trade Center collapse that could result in tougher building standards for skyscrapers. A preliminary report outlining the structural reasons why the trade center collapsed after being struck by two hijacked airliners is due out in late April or early May.
TRIBUNAL NEWS GETS TO DETAINEES: Hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base learned Friday for the first time that the U.S. government plans to use military tribunals to determine if they have links to the Taliban or the al-Qaida terrorist network.
Although the government has talked about the tribunals for months, the 300 detainees from 33 countries were never told of the tribunals.
Amnesty International on Friday called the tribunals "second-class justice" for foreigners and disputed Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's claim that the detainees would be presumed innocent.
"President Bush has repeatedly labeled the detainees as "killers," Amnesty said. "Similarly, Secretary Rumsfeld has referred to the Guantanamo detainees as the 'best-trained, vicious killers on the face of the earth," and as "hard-core, well-trained terrorists."'