The Insider: Daily Terrorism Report

One hundred or more people were killed when Russian troops stormed a school Friday in a chaotic battle to free parents, teachers and children who had been held hostage for 53 hours by Chechen separatists, news wires report.

And, F.B.I. counterintelligence agents are investigating whether several Pentagon officials leaked classified information to Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, according to a law enforcement official and other people familiar with the case.

Plus, eight British terror suspects charged in a plot linked to U.S. financial targets were told on Friday they would not face trial until next September 2005.

And finally in Iraq, two French journalists held hostage in Iraq are out of danger and might be released within hours, a Sunni Muslim source said Friday.

THE WAR ON TERROR

INVESTIGATIONS

Russia

Russians Storm School; 100 Bodies Found

Commandos stormed a school Friday in southern Russia and battled separatist rebels holding hundreds of hostages, as crying children, some naked and covered in blood, fled through explosions and gunfire. More than 100 bodies were reportedly found in the gymnasium where hostages had been held. (AP)

Eyewitness: Scenes of Chaos

BBC correspondents Damian Grammaticas, Jonathan Charles and Sarah Rainsford describe what they have seen on the streets of Beslan. (BBC)

Russia School Siege: Nine Arab Attackers Killed Russian forces stormed a school Friday in southern part of the country and battled gunmen holding 1,200 hostages. An official told The AP the death toll could be more than 150. An estimated 520 people were wounded, health officials said. The regional health minister earlier reported that at least 218 children were wounded. (Al Bawaba)

United States

Wider FBI Probe of Pentagon Leaks Includes Chalabi

FBI counterintelligence agents are investigating whether several Pentagon officials leaked classified information to Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, according to a law enforcement official and other people familiar with the case. (Washington Post)

Israel Has Long Spied On U.S., Say Officials

Despite its fervent denials, Israel secretly maintains a large and active intelligence-gathering operation in the United States that has long attempted to recruit U.S. officials as spies and to procure classified documents, U.S. government officials said. (LA Times)

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Policeman Killed In Clash

Officials in Saudi Arabia say one policeman has been killed and three wounded in the latest clash with suspected Islamic militants. (BBC)

Yemen

Top Commander Wounded in Yemen Clashes

A senior Yemeni Army commander was wounded in fresh clashes with followers of the rebel cleric Hussein Badruddin Al-Houthi in the north of the country, military sources said yesterday. (Arab News)

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS

United Kingdom

U.S. Plot Suspects Face U.K. Trial in Sept. 2005

Eight British terror suspects charged in a plot linked to U.S. financial targets were told Friday they would not face trial until September 2005. (Reuters)

United States

U.S. Soldier 'Tried To Aid Al Qaeda'

A military court martial has convicted a U.S. National Guard soldier of trying to aid al-Qaeda. (Al Jazeera)

IRAQ NEWS

French Hostages Reportedly Out of Danger

Two French journalists held hostage in Iraq are out of danger and might be released within hours, a Sunni Muslim source said Friday. (UPI)

Kidnaps Deflate Muslim Revolt On Scarf Ban

A date France had feared for months passed without serious incident as more than 12 million pupils returned to school —and only a handful defied the ban on Islamic headscarves that became law yesterday. (Guardian)

Kidnappers Kill Three Turkish Hostages

An Iraqi extremist group has killed three Turkish hostages, Al-Jazeera television said yesterday, adding it had received a video of the execution. Police and medical officers said three Turkish drivers were found shot dead by the side of a road in Samarra, north of Baghdad. (Arab News)

Prison Probe Raises Questions About C.I.A.

The latest Army investigation into the Abu Ghraib scandal is raising new questions about whether the C.I.A., operating outside military rules, contributed to the breakdown of military discipline at the prison. (AP)

Militia Leaders Charging Betrayal by Iraqi Premier

Leaders of the insurgent Mahdi Army declared Thursday that they had been betrayed by Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, who has been trying to lure away the militia's supporters with millions of dollars in aid. (NY Times)

U.S. Troops Urge Sadr Fighters To Hand In Heavy Weapons

U.S. troops in the Baghdad slum of Sadr City urged the Mehdi Army militia to turn in its heavy weapons, as talks continued Thursday between the Iraqi government and Moqtada al-Sadr's movement following a surprise truce call by the firebrand cleric. (AFP)

Oil Prices Soar On Iraq Fears and Yukos Woes

World oil prices soared yesterday after a pipeline explosion in Iraq fuelled fears about disruptions to supplies, traders said. (Gulf Daily News —Bahrain)

Samarra Latest No-Go Zone For U.S. Troops, Iraq Trying To End Standoff There

Over the past few months, insurgents in Samarra have deposed the U.S.-picked leaders and put to death people suspected of collaborating with them, making the northern Iraqi city the latest no-go zone for Iraqi and American troops. (AP)

Filipinos Still Seek Work In Iraq Despite Danger and Ban

Despite a presidential order banning Filipino workers from going to Iraq, hundreds of people still line up every day at employment agencies here, hoping for a chance to get a job in that strife-torn country. (NY Times)

ANALYSIS & OPINION

A Terrible Lesson From A Classroom In Beslan

Children make it different. Like the tragedies of Columbine and Dunblane, the terror that stalks the classrooms of besieged Middle School 1 in Beslan, North Ossetia, is uniquely disturbing. (Guardian)

Acts of Terror

Ten years ago Russian President Boris Yeltsin's government made the catastrophic decision to launch an invasion of Chechnya. Although the government said it aimed to put down a separatist rebellion in what had been an autonomous republic in Russia, the invasion instead set off an endless and vicious circle of violence. (Washington Post)

Putin's Authority Under Challenge on Range of Fronts

For the second time in a week, Vladimir Putin was forced to interrupt his Black Sea holiday Wednesday and rush back to Moscow to deal with a horrifying terrorist outrage linked to the crisis in Chechnya. (Arab News)

Reports In, U.S. Must Act On Abu Ghraib

Vacationing Under the azure sky of Aspen in the Rockies, I was able to put aside the cares of a tormented world ... the dealings with the Shiite militants in Iraq, the struggle over parcels of land on Israel's West Bank, the growing number of the poor and medically uninsured in our own country, and even the battle of "527," that gaping loophole in the campaign-finance law that underwrote the nominally independent attack on the war record of Sen. John Kerry. (Christian Science Monitor)

Shortening the Washington-Paris Distance

The cold blooded slaughter of the Nepalese workers and the abduction and threat of killing the two French journalists, represent an additional evidence for those who still need such evidence on the fact that there is no relationship between the terrorism in Iraq and between what some describe as resistance. (Al Hayat)

France's Friends

What with all the bold and brave speechifying in New York City this week to re-nominate President George W. Bush, it's not surprising that the real news of the day —at least for Ye Olde Europeans —has escaped notice. Sacre bleu: Franco-Iraqi relations are at an all-time low. (Washington Times)

Iraq —By The Numbers

In his Thursday night convention speech, President Bush heralded his administration's accomplishment in defeating the tyranny of Saddam Hussein and giving the Iraqi people a future of freedom and hope. (LA Times)

Fear Is More Damaging To Democracy Than Terror

The question that dogs Tony Blair at every turn reared up again in the extract from the fomer BBC director-general Greg Dyke's memoirs this week: either Blair misunderstood the 45-minute claim and was therefore incompetent, or he lied. As long as he dodges this question, its corrosive impact on his reputation and that of his government spreads. (Gulf Times —Qatar)

A Case For Reelection Based On The War

President Bush delivered two speeches in Madison Square Garden last night. One was a fairly pedestrian affair -- a laundry list of domestic policies and promises that sounded like a State of the Union address. The other was a soaring defense of his record as commander in chief since Sept. 11, 2001. (Boston Globe)

The Insider Daily Terrorism Report (DTR) is a summary of major news articles and broadcasts relating to international terrorism and developments in Iraq. The DTR is edited daily from foreign and U.S. sources by Chris Isham, Hoda Osman, and Brinda Adhikari of the ABCNEWS Investigative Unit. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ABCNEWS.