Nato set to support US retaliation

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The Independent US

America's allies in Europe are considering adopting a declaration that a terrorist attack against the United States should be considered an attack on all members of Nato.

The allied ambassadors are taking up the proposition at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, said a senior US official which, if adopted, would be a strong show of support.

But the official said it would not necessarily mean the allies would provide military units to counter terrorism along with the United States.

The proposal involves invoking Article V of the Nato charter. This declares an attack on any member of the alliance is to be considered an attack on all of them.

At the European Union and Nato complexes, flags flew Wednesday at half–staff. NATO told non–essential staff not to report for work at the alliance's sprawling headquarters on Brussels' eastern outskirts.

The allies pledged moral support for Washington on Tuesday. "The United States can rely on its 18 allies in North America and Europe for assistance and support," said Nato Secretary–General Lord Robertson.