Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran

IRAN

Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran

The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com. (ABC News)

AL QAEDA

New al Qaeda Tapes Feature U.S. Capitol Under 'Attack'

Al Qaeda has a new opening graphic for its propaganda tapes: the U.S. Capitol under "attack." (ABC News)

LITVINENKO INVESTIGATION

U.K. to Seek Extradition of Russian Suspect

The United Kingdom will seek to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, the former Russian security service bodyguard whom they want to charge with the murder of former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko. (ABC News)

Litvinenko Suspect Denies Charges

The Russian man the UK wants to charge with murdering Alexander Litvinenko has denied any involvement and said the case is "politically motivated". (BBC)

Key Figures in the Litvinenko Affair

Key figures in the investigation into Alexander Litvinenko's murder: (AP)

LEBANON

Ceasefire Collapses in Battle between Lebanese Troops and Islamic Militants

A new attempt at cease-fire in the fierce battle at a Palestinian refugee camp fell apart Tuesday when Lebanese troops and Islamic militants resumed barrages after a pause that lasted nearly an hour. (AP)

U.S.

Bomb Plot Thwarted at Falwell's Funeral

Even in death, the Rev. Jerry Falwell rouses the most volatile of emotions. Thousands came to say farewell to the man who mobilized Christian evangelicals and made them a major force in American politics. A small group of protesters gathered near the service; students from Falwell's Liberty University staged their own counter-protest, but the funeral was not disrupted. (ABC News)

U.S. Government Gave Airtime to Terrorists, Official Admits

Al Hurra television, the U.S. government's $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East, is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic, according to a senior official who oversees the program. (ABC News)

Doctor Convicted of Supporting Al-Qaida

A Florida doctor on trial for pledging to help al-Qaida had hoped to convince a jury that he did not know he had offered his medical expertise to the terror group. (AP)

Online Exposure of Federal Witnesses Prompts U.S. to Curb Access

There are three "rats of the week" on the home page of whosarat.com, a Web site devoted to exposing the identities of witnesses cooperating with the U.S. government. The site posts their names and mug shots, along with court documents detailing what they have agreed to do in exchange for lenient sentences. (International Herald Tribune)

PAKISTAN

Pakistani Forces Raid Militant Training Camp

Pakistani security forces clashed on Tuesday with al Qaeda-linked militants running a training camp near the Afghan border, the Pakistani military said. (Reuters)

Hostage Crisis Builds at Lal Masjid

Pakistani authorities have detained about 40 Islamist students amid a stand-off over two policemen held hostage at an extremist mosque in the capital Islamabad, officials said on Monday. (Times of India )

IRAQ NEWS

Car Bombing in Baghdad Market Kills 25

A parked car bomb ripped through a crowded outdoor market in southwestern Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 25 people despite a 3-month-old security crackdown meant to reduce violence in the capital. (AP)

Gunmen Kill Eight Students in North Baghdad-Police

At least eight college students were killed and another three wounded when gunmen opened fire on their minibus in northern Baghdad on Tuesday, police said. (Reuters)

Gunmen Kill Iraqi Family, Including Infant - Police

Militants killed a family of six, including an infant and three other children, when they stopped their car at a fake security checkpoint north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Tuesday, police said. (Reuters)

IRAN/IRAQ

Iran's Secret Plan for Summer Offensive to Force US Out Of Iraq

Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say. (The Guardian)

SCHOLAR HELD IN IRAN

U.S. Requests Access to Scholar Held in Iran

The U.S. is requesting access to the Iranian-American scholar being held in Iran, according to a State Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. (ABC News)

American Scholar Is Charged in Iran

Noted American scholar and Potomac resident Haleh Esfandiari has been charged with "seeking to topple the ruling Islamic establishment," Tehran's state-controlled television reported yesterday. (Washington Post)

COLOMBIA

Paramilitary Ties to Elite in Colombia Are Detailed

Top paramilitary commanders have in recent days confirmed what human rights groups and others have long alleged: Some of Colombia's most influential political, military and business figures helped build a powerful anti-guerrilla movement that operated with impunity, killed civilians and shipped cocaine to U.S. cities. (Washington Post)

MISSING U.S. CITIZENS

Missing: 27 U.S. Citizens; Hopes Dim for Many, Some Held for Years

At least 27 American citizens, including five U.S. servicemen and 22 private businessmen and contractors, are being held hostage by militant groups worldwide, an ABCNews.com analysis has found. And the fate of many of them has received little attention since their kidnappings. (ABC News)

CHINA/TAINTED FOOD

China Investigating Tainted Toothpaste

The maker of a Chinese toothpaste found to contain a potentially deadly chemical said Tuesday that he is under investigation, but claimed his product was safe. (AP)

ANALYSIS & OPINION

Some Young US Muslims OK Suicide Attacks

By Alan Fram

One in four younger U.S. Muslims say suicide bombings to defend their religion are acceptable at least in some circumstances, though most Muslim Americans overwhelmingly reject the tactic and are critical of Islamic extremism and al-Qaida, a poll says. (AP)

America -- The World's Arms Pusher

By Frida Berrigan

They don't call us the sole superpower for nothing. Paul Wolfowitz might be looking for a new job right now, but the term he used to describe the pervasiveness of U.S. power back when he was a mere deputy secretary of Defense — hyperpower — still fits the bill. Consider some of the areas in which the United States is still No. 1. (LA Times)

Turkish Anxiety on Kirkuk May Mean New Conflicts

By Meliha Altunisik

Turkey is interested in the fate of the Kirkuk region of Iraq for three main reasons. First, Turkish policymakers perceive the insistence of Iraqi Kurdish leaders to include the region within the Kurdish Regional Government as a sign of their intention to break away from Iraq. According to this view, Iraqi Kurdish leaders want to incorporate the region due to its oil resources to create an economically viable Kurdish state. This contradicts the Turkish policy of keeping Iraq's territorial integrity intact - a policy Turkey has pursued since the Gulf war of 1991. That policy reflects Turkey's concerns over the instability that the emergence of a Kurdish state would create in the region, especially in Turkey itself. There, it touches on the Kurdish issue via the demonstration effect and irredentism. (Daily Star)

In Iraq, Nobody Is Accountable

By Ali al-Fadhily

Killings, crime, lack of medical care, the collapse of education - the list goes on. But with the occupation by US-led forces now into its fifth year, and a supposedly democratic government in place, no one knows whom to hold accountable for all that is going wrong. (Asia Times)

Fatwa by Unknown Sheikh Who Sanctifies Killing Hamas Members

Triggers Harsh Reactions

In an article posted May 16, 2007 by the Palestine Press Agency, a certain Sheikh Shaker Al-Hiran labels Hamas as Khawarij and sanctifies killing its members. The article responded to the recent cycle of bloodshed between Hamas and Fatah in the Gaza Strip, placing the blame on Hamas and accusing Hamas of acting against a legitimate ruler. The Saudi daily Al-Watan published it on its front page on May 22, 2007. In another article, posted May 18, 2007 on the Fatah website, Al-Hiran went even farther, comparing Hamas to the Jews. This article triggered harsh reactions and prompted online messages from readers questioning Al-Hiran's existence. The following are summaries of the articles. (MEMRI)

Letter From Jordan: Behind The Lines, Iraqis Learn A Dangerous Craft

Dwaine Childs, a stocky former U.S. marine from West Virginia, peers through sunglasses at a row of Iraqi men wielding AK-47 assault weapons and orders them to fire. (International Herald Tribune)

The Insider Daily Investigative Report (DIR) is a summary of major news articles and broadcasts relating to investigative news, including international terrorism and developments in Iraq. The DIR is edited daily from foreign and U.S. sources by Chris Isham and Elizabeth Sprague of the ABC News Investigative Unit. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ABCNEWS.