The Insider: Daily Terrorism Report

Russia authorities Wednesday investigate the possibility of terrorism in twin plane crashes that left 89 people dead. Emergency workers searched heaps of twisted metal and tall grass Wednesday for clues about what caused two airliners to plunge to earth within minutes of each other, news wires reported.

Militants said they had kidnapped the brother-in-law of Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan on Wednesday and demanded he end all military operations in the holy city of Najaf, according to a video, Al-Jazeera television reported. The militants called themselves the "Divine Wrath Brigades."

THE WAR ON TERROR

INVESTIGATIONS

Russia

Russia Probes Cause of Two Plane Crashes

Russian emergency workers searched heaps of twisted metal and tall grass Wednesday for clues about what caused two airliners to plunge to earth within minutes of each other, killing all 89 people aboard. Officials said one jet sent a hijack distress signal, raising fears terrorists had struck. (AP)

Pakistan

Kabul To Release All Remaining Prisoners

Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday announced he would free the last 400 Pakistanis who fought alongside the Taliban and had been languishing in decrepit Afghan jails since late 2001. (Gulf Times —Qatar)

Pakistan's Caretaker Prime Minister Steps Down

Pakistan's caretaker prime minister has stepped down, clearing the way for Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz to take control of the country's Parliament. (Voice of America)

United States Judge Frees 2 Suspects and Blasts Terror Case Two Islamic men accused of supporting terrorism after their arrest in an FBI sting operation were ordered released from jail yesterday by a judge who blasted the government's case by saying there is no evidence they have any links to terrorists. (Reuters)

U.S. Holds Virginia Man After Taping at Maryland Bridge A Virginian implicated in a scheme to raise money for Hamas, the militant group, was in federal custody on Tuesday, and officials analyzed what they regarded as a suspicious videotape of a major Maryland bridge that his wife shot from their vehicle last week. (NY Times)

Senate Task Force To Handle 9/11 Report

Senate leaders on Tuesday named a bipartisan working group of senators to come up with better ways for the chamber to oversee intelligence and homeland security. (Chicago Tribune)

Yemen

15 Yemeni Soldiers Killed In Ambush

Fifteen Yemeni soldiers have been killed in an ambush by supporters of a rebel cleric whose followers are battling government forces in the north of the country for more than three months, military officials said yesterday. (Arab News)

Australia

PM Promises Hicks Will Come Home

If the Australian David Hicks is found innocent by a U.S. military commission, he will be set free, the Prime Minister, John Howard, said yesterday. If he is found guilty, the Government will negotiate with the Americans for his sentence to be served in Australia. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Detainee Sees Father For First Time In 5 Years

The father of an imprisoned Australian cowboy accused of fighting with Afghanistan's ousted Taliban saw his son for the first time in five years Wednesday, as he prepared to go before an American military tribunal on war crimes charges. (AP) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A31445-2004Aug25.html

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS

Guantanamo

Bin Laden Aide Is Charged at First Tribunal

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