U.S. Says al Qaeda in Iraq Not Dead

IRAQ NEWS

U.S. Denies Iraqi Reports Al Qaeda Leader Dead

The U.S. military and Iraqi government denied reports on Thursday that al Qaeda's leader in Iraq had been killed in a raid but said DNA tests would be conducted on bodies recovered after the attack to make sure. (Reuters)

Official Use Only: 57 Dead Cops

It was just another week in Iraq, folks: Ministry of Interior cops found 268 bodies, were targets of 73 shootings and bombings, and took 206 casualties, including 57 deaths. That's the toll from September 17 to September 23, according to a U.S. report out of Baghdad, "MOI Forces Threat Report," stamped "For Official Use Only." (U.S. News & World Report)

Baghdad Abolishes Police Unit Tied to Death Squads

Iraq demobilized an entire police brigade suspected of links to sectarian death squads on Wednesday as a series of bombs exploded near an Iraqi minister's convoy, killing at least 21 people. (The Daily Star)

Leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq is Iraqi

The leader of al Qaeda in Iraq is an Iraqi and not an Egyptian as is widely believed, according to a report on al Jazeera's website quoting a statement issued by the Muhaeddin Consultative Council, which al Qaeda in Iraq is part of. The statement said Abu Ayyub al Masri aka Abu Hamza al Muhajjer was an Iraqi. Al though "al Masri" means "the Egyptian" it is not necessarily an indication of his nationality. (Al Jazeera)

U.S. Navy Corpsman Accused In Kidnapping, Murder of Iraqi to Testify On Marines' Role

A Navy corpsman accused of kidnapping and murdering an Iraqi man will give testimony about seven Marines' role in the incident in return for having charges against him dropped, his attorney said. (AP)

FOLEY SCANDAL

Top GOP Staffer Forced Out for Role in Page Scandal

ABC News' Senior National Correspondent Jake Tapper reports that Kirk Fordham has resigned. (ABC News)

Ethics Committee Ready to Probe Foley Case

Speaker Dennis Hastert's job is on the line as members of the House ethics committee decide how to launch a credible investigation of former Rep. Mark Foley's salacious computer messages to teenage pages. (AP)

Foley's Former Chief of Staff Says Foley's Behavior Was No Secret to Speaker Hastert

As the FBI investigation picked up steam, with agents contacting former pages across the country, there were new allegations that Foley's suspect behavior towards pages was no secret to the Speaker of the House and his top staff for at least three years. (ABC News)

U.S.

U.S. Eavesdropping 'Can Continue'

Washington can continue wiretapping without warrants until its appeal against a ban on the practice is heard, a US federal appeals court has ruled. (BBC)

State Prison Crowding Emergency Declared

With California's jam-packed prisons nearly out of room for more felons, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday proclaimed a state of emergency, an unusual move that could allow the transfer of inmates as soon as next month to other states without their consent. (LA Times)

THE TALIBAN

FRONTLINE: Return of the Taliban

Nearly five years after the Taliban were toppled, al Qaeda and the Taliban continue to use Pakistan as a de facto base, virtually unchallenged and far out of America's reach. (Frontline - PBS)

Taliban Lay Plan for Islamic Intifada

With the snows approaching, the Taliban's spring offensive has fallen short of its primary objective of reviving the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan, as the country was known under Taliban rule from 1996-2001. (Asia Times)

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