Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein appeared before a single Iraqi judge in a courtroom near Baghdad today to hear charges of crimes stemming from his reign. Eleven other senior members of his Baathist regime are also facing criminal charges for alleged atrocities committed during more than three decades of Saddam's reign. The proceedings took place in a makeshift courtroom in a small building in one of Saddam's former palace compounds on the banks of the Tigris River. Meanwhile in Fallujah, U.S. jets pounded a suspected safe house of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in on Thursday, the latest in a series of strikes against the man suspected of masterminding deadly attacks and beheadings in Iraq. The missile strike, which a doctor in the insurgent-controlled city said killed four people, came hours before Saddam Hussein was to appear in an Iraqi court.
And in Saudi Arabia, two terrorists, including Abdullah ibn Ahmed Al-Rashoud, one of the 26 most wanted, were shot dead in a fierce gunbattle with security forces east of the capital Wednesday. Two police officers were also killed and three civilians injured in the shootout, according to a security source. The name of the second terrorist killed was not known but Bandar Al-Dakheel, also on the list of the most wanted terrorists in the Kingdom, managed to flee the shootout scene in a Ford Crown Victoria.
Day in Court Defiant Saddam Hussein hears charges in an Iraqi court. (ABCNEWS)
Bearing Witness Massacre survivor ready to speak out against Saddam. (ABCNEWS)
First Public Appearance By Former Dictator in 7 Months Saddam Hussein defiantly faced an Iraqi judicial hearing today, where he was read seven preliminary charges that included the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, suppressing the Shiite uprising, and the gassing of the Kurds, according to a television pool report. (NY Times)
U.S. Strikes Suspected Iraq Terror Hideout U.S. launches another airstrike at suspected hideout of terror leader Al-Zarqawi in Fallujah. (AP)
CIA Felt Pressure To Alter Iraq Data, Author Says In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, CIA analysts were ordered repeatedly to redo intelligence assessments that concluded al-Qaida had no operational ties to Iraq, according to a veteran CIA counterterrorism official who has written a book that is sharply critical of the decision to go to war with Iraq. (LA Times)
Top Terrorist Killed in Shootout Two terrorists, including Abdullah ibn Ahmed al Rashoud, one of the 26 most wanted, were shot dead in a fierce gunbattle with security forces east of the capital yesterday. (Arab News)
Saudi Cleric Allegedly Tied to Al Qaeda Killed in Shootout
An Islamic cleric who allegedly issued religious decrees for an al Qaeda-linked terrorist group was killed Wednesday during a car chase and shootout with police. A policeman was also killed, according to an Interior Ministry statement. (Washington Post)
Powell, in Sudan, Presses for Action Surrounded by thousands of chanting victims of violence, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell strode through a sprawling refugee camp in western Sudan on Wednesday and demanded that the Sudanese government ease a humanitarian crisis that has left more than 1 million people homeless. (Washington Post)