The Insider: Daily Terrorism Report

— In an exclusive report, ABCNEWS obtained a note handwritten by former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in which he authorized the withdrawal of more than $1 billion from the Iraqi Central Bank on March 19, 2003. The cash was in fact taken out of the Central Bank that day. While U.S. forces have recovered most of this amount, the missing $132 million is suspected to have financed recent attacks against coalition forces.

And in another ABCNEWS exclusive, experts say that suspected 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui was mentally too unstable to have participated in the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. Prosecutors in the case are seeking the death penalty.


Missing Millions Saddam's fortune may still be financing Iraqi insurgency. (ABCNEWS)

Near-Miss on Saddam Aide U.S. Sweep Draws More Iraqi Anger U.S. forces said yesterday they came close to catching Saddam Hussein's former top deputy in a big, two-day sweep through the northern town of Hawija early this week. (Reuters)

U.S. Army Arrest Deputy to Firebrand Shiite Cleric A deputy of a firebrand Iraqi Shiite leader has been arrested in Baghdad in connection with the killing of two US soldiers in October, a US general said. (AFP)

Report: Japan to Send Troops to Iraq Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has approved a plan to start sending 1,000 troops for non-combat duty in Iraq by the end of December, a newspaper reported Thursday. (AP)

Shiite Cleric New Head of Iraq's Council The new president of Iraq's Governing Council is a Shiite cleric and former militia leader who strongly objects to a key part of a U.S. plan to give sovereignty to Iraqis by July 1. (AP)

Iraqis to Form Anti-Guerrilla Militia Iraqi political parties and coalition authorities are discussing the creation of a 1,000-member militia to bolster the U.S. military's fight against a guerrilla insurgency, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Body Armor Saves Lives in Iraq Pentagon criticized for undersupply of protective vests. (Washington Post)

Saudi Arabia to Withhold $1 Billion Aid for Iraq Saudi Arabia will withhold the $1 billion in loans and credits that it pledged last month for Iraq's reconstruction. (Arab News)'s Ad Campaign Targets U.S. Spending on Iraq, the antiwar organization that started five years ago with a plea to Congress to drop the impeachment case against President Clinton, today will launch its latest advertising salvo of the 2004 election season. (LA Times)

Baath Party Statement Hails the Resistance A statement allegedly issued by the former Iraqi Baath Party and sent to Al Quds Al Arabi newspaper commended the efforts of the national security forces in resisting the occupying forces. (Al Quds Al Arabi)

U.S. Rejects Iraqi Plan to Hold Census By Summer Iraqi census officials devised a plan to count the population next summer and prepare a voter roll for September elections, but the U.S. rejected the idea. (NY Times)


Editorial: A Failure in U.S. Intelligence Just how intelligent is US intelligence in Iraq? Eight months after the invasion, it remains extraordinary that Washington seems to have little idea of whom it is fighting. (Arab News)

Samarra: A Great Feat of U.S. Arms or Massacre of the Innocent? — by Simon Tisdall What really happened in Samarra? According to U.S. military spokesmen, a series of ambushes on coalition convoys by the Saddam Fedayeen militia was repulsed with unprecedented, devastating enemy losses. (The Guardian)

God and Man in Baghdad — by Thomas L. Friedman The essential debate for the first post-Saddam democratic government in Iraq will be how far to extend religious authority. (NY Times)

Search for a New U.N. Role — by Kofi A. Annan The organization has been under a microscope since the U.S. defied it on Iraq. (LA Times)

Why Al-Arabiya Was Restricted — by Jalal Talabani On Nov. 23, I took an important step in protecting the fledgling democracy we are nurturing in Iraq. On behalf of Iraq's Governing Council, I temporarily banned the Arab satellite channel al-Arabiya from using satellite uplink facilities to transmit news reports from its Baghdad bureau. Since then I have heard a hundred variants on this question: "How can you claim to be promoting democracy while stifling a free press?" The answer is quite simple. (Washington Post)



United States

Experts Say Moussaoui Was Too Mentally Unfit to Plot Sept. 11 Attacks (ABCNEWS)

Compromise Hinted in Moussaoui Case Judges on a federal appeals panel strongly hinted Wednesday that they were searching for a middle ground in the constitutional dispute that has halted the case against terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui. (Washington Post)

First of Lackawanna Six is Sentenced Yemeni-American man who met with bin laden is first of Lackawanna six to be sentenced to jail. (AP)

Pentagon Gives Guantanamo Detainee Lawyer An Australian prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has become the first foreign terrorist suspect to be given a U.S. military lawyer, the Pentagon announced Wednesday. (AP)

Omar Khadr May Be Moved From Cuba Teenager Killed U.S. Medic in Afghanistan A Toronto teenager being held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay may be transferred from the Cuban prison due to his poor health, officials in Ottawa said yesterday. (National Post)

U.S. Court Rules Against Parts of Anti-Terror Law Federal prosecutor's interpretation of 1996 act, a major tool of Justice Department, is unconstitutional, 9th Circuit panel finds. (LA Times)

Army Chaplain's Lawyer Gets Secret Data The attorney for a Guantanamo Muslim accused of mishandling classified material will raise 'double-standard' issue at a hearing. (LA Times)

United Kingdom Man Charged as Accomplice in 'Shoe' Case A British man arrested last week in southwestern England was charged Wednesday with conspiring with the convicted "shoe bomber," Richard C. Reid, in an explosives plot, the police said. (NY Times)

Australia Sydney Man Faces Court On Terrorism Offences A Sydney man has appeared in court charged with making preparations to carry out a terrorist attack. He's the first person to be charged under Australia's new counter-terrorism laws. (Sydney Morning Herald)


Saudi Arabia Muhaya Blast Suspect Arrested Police say they have arrested a prime suspect in the Nov. 8 bombing of the al Muhaya residential compound in Riyadh. They have also seized a huge cache of arms, including a surface-to-air missile, an Interior Ministry spokesman said yesterday. An expert in electric and electronic military equipment told Asharq Al Awsat that the devices found with the terror suspects were the same as the ones used by security forces. He believes they were specifically made for terrorists and criminals as they are not sold on the market. (Arab News, Asharq Al Awsat)

Airline Fears As Saudis Seize Terror Suspect With Missile Fears were raised over the safety of flights to Saudi Arabia yesterday when security forces arrested a suspected terrorist with a surface-to-air missile. Asharq Al Awsat points out that this was the second time that missiles are found with terrorists. In June 2002, missiles were found with seven terror suspects who were arrested. (The Daily Telegraph, Asharq Al Awsat)

Seven Terror Cells 'Destroyed' in Past Months A senior Saudi security official told Al Hayat that authorities were able in the past months to "destroy" seven terror cells, which represent the majority of terrorist activities in the Kingdom. The source said only two cells remain and are being hunted down by security forces. The source also clarified that the terror suspect arrested yesterday was not among those on the list of 19 most wanted, but is "dangerous" and belongs to al Qaeda. (Al Hayat)

Afghanistan Afghan Police Arrest Suspected Terrorists Afghan police and international peacekeepers have arrested at least two suspected terrorists in the capital, officials said Thursday. (AP)

France Police Arrest Al Qaeda 'Helpers' Police in France say they are holding three men on suspicion of sheltering a member of al Qaeda. (BBC)

Yemen Terror Attacks Foiled It was revealed yesterday that a week before the arrest of al Qaeda terror suspect Abu Assem Al Makki (Al Ahdal), Yemeni security forces foiled a number of terror attacks against government buildings. Those planning the attacks were arrested. (Elaph)

Switzerland Bin Laden Link to Swiss Bank Account Swiss authorities involved in the global hunt for terror money have established that both Osama bin Laden and suspected al Qaeda No 2 Ayman al Zawahiri had links to Swiss bank accounts. (AP)

More Australians Tied to Al Qaeda: ASIO There are 'almost certainly' more Australians who have trained with al Qaeda and other terrorist groups but are still unknown to intelligence organisations, ASIO has warned. (Sydney Morning Herald)


United States Seeking to Block Terrorist Route, Rumsfeld Asks Help in Azerbaijan Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld arrived at this Caspian Sea port on Wednesday to warn that the inland ocean, which produces oil as well as caviar, is also a transit route for terrorists, unconventional weapons and narcotics.(NY Times)

Ridge: Tech Cos. Must Help Fight Terror Technology companies must cooperate in the battle against cyberterrorism — or submit to government-imposed security regulations — Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and other senior officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Mayor Agrees to Allow Panel to Examine Sept. 11 Records In an abrupt reversal, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City announced on Wednesday that he had agreed to release records of emergency 911 calls and other materials sought by the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. (NY Times)


Sudden Shift on Detainee When the Pentagon said this week that it would let an American being held as an enemy combatant meet a lawyer, which it had refused to do for months, it appeared on the surface to be a major concession to the critics of the policy of detaining terrorism suspects. (NY Times)

The Law of Say-So The Pentagon's announcement Tuesday that its officials have agreed that an American citizen held for 18 months may finally consult with a lawyer is at once a relief and scary. (LA Times)

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