Zarqawi's Successor

IRAQ NEWS

4 Iraqis and the Syrian Abu Al Ghadeya are Competing for the Succession of Zarqawi

Jordanian sources from his hometown of Zarqa and from the town of Salat say Zarqawi was severely wounded 2 weeks during the battle in Al Qaem. The sources say that the 2 most probable successors are Abu Maseera al Iraqi and Abu Darda'a. Both men were part of Saddam's army and led " operation Faith," which aimed at creating a salafi movement within the ex-Iraqi army and the former Republican Guard. They then were in charge of training the " Al Quds army" and the Arab volunteers. Other contenders are: Abu Al Ghadeya, a Syrian national who met Zarqawi in Afghanistan, Abu Azam al Iraqi and Abu Saad al Duliemi both of who are leaders of Al qaeda in Al Anbar. (ABC News)

Reports: Zarqawi Shot in Lung

Insurgents said Wednesday in interviews and statements on the Internet that the leader of the group al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi, was struggling with a gunshot wound to the lung. One of Zarqawi's commanders said the Jordanian guerrilla was receiving oxygen, heightening suspicion that the groundwork was being laid for an announcement of his replacement or death. (Washington Post)

10 Insurgents Are Killed in New Round of Battles in Iraqi City

American and Iraqi military forces swept into Haditha, in western Iraq, before dawn on Wednesday, fighting street battles with insurgents in a new offensive to stamp out the violence that has plagued the restive west. (NY Times)

Shiites Offer to Give Sunnis Larger Role on Broader Panel Writing a Constitution

Under American pressure to draw Sunni Arabs into the drafting of Iraq's constitution, the Shiite religious parties that dominate the transitional government agreed Wednesday to re-establish a constitutional commission with as many as 15 of the 101 seats reserved for Sunni Arabs. (NY Times)

U.S. Troops Pour Into Rebel-Held Iraqi Town

U.S. forces Wednesday launched another sweep through an insurgent stronghold in western Iraq, deploying more than 1,000 troops to flush out foreign fighters and Iraqi extremists from Haditha, a reservoir town where a third of Iraq's electricity is produced. (LA Times)

Iraqi Government to Launch New Baghdad Security Ring

The government announced Thursday that a security cordon of 40,000 Iraqi soldiers and police will ring Baghdad starting next week to try to halt a spree of insurgent violence that has killed more than 620 people this month. (Washington Post)

Unarmed Iraqi Cooperated, Soldier Testifies

An unarmed Iraqi cooperated with American troops searching his house and said "USA good" minutes before he was shot to death, a former U.S. soldier testified Wednesday at his onetime squad leader's murder trial. (Washington Post)

Capital Punishment Returns to Iraq

Public Welcomes Practice Suspended After U.S. Invasion. Three men convicted of murder, rape and kidnapping sat before the judge, awaiting their fates. But first they had to face their victims' seething families. (Washington Post)

Glass Salesmen Take Home Uneasy Profits in Shattered Baghdad

At midday, the stores and sidewalks of Sadoun Street, Baghdad's once-bustling commercial center, were nearly deserted.A pharmacy's double doors were held closed by a rusty chain. The manager of a family restaurant had no patrons to feed. And a dealer in Swiss watches mused about moving to a city where wealthy customers would not be afraid to shop downtown. (Washington Post)

INVESTIGATIONS

Egypt

Violence Mars Egyptian Referendum About Presidential Vote

Egyptians voted Wednesday on an amendment to open the way for presidential elections with more than one candidate for the first time, but the voting was marred by attacks on opposition protesters, who had called for a boycott. (NY Times)

Protesters Attacked in Cairo

A nationwide referendum on multi-party elections in Egypt turned violent Wednesday as pro-government mobs attacked and beat demonstrators on the streets of the capital. (Washington Post)

India

Northeastern Rebels Agree to Cease-Fire

Rebels fighting for a tribal homeland in India's northeast signed a one-year cease-fire. The pact was signed Tuesday between the federal and Assam state governments and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, the Home Ministry said. (LA Times)

Indonesia

U.S. Embassy in Indonesia Closed After Threat

The American embassy here was closed today because of what officials would only describe as an unspecified security threat. But a Western counter terrorism official and private security analyst said the decision was made after a diagram of the embassy and details of how to carry out an attack using explosives were posted on an Islamic Web site. The diagram, posted by a group calling itself the Brigade Istimata International, showed the location of the ambassador's office and of surveillance cameras and thermal devices. (NY Times)

Bush Backs Continuing Military Ties With Indonesia

President Bush said yesterday that it makes sense for the United States to maintain close military ties with Indonesia, despite the objections of human rights activists who say such coordination should be withheld until Indonesia does more to address human rights abuses by its military. (Washington Post)

Iran

Europe Gets Iran to Extend Freeze in Nuclear Work

The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany persuaded Iran on Wednesday to continue its freeze on nuclear activities, averting a diplomatic crisis that could have led to punitive international measures against Iran. In exchange, the Europeans offered to present Iran with detailed, step-by-step proposals by early August at the latest on how to move toward consensus on the shape of Iran's nuclear program. Last November in Paris, Iran agreed to suspend all of its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities while it negotiated the economic, nuclear, political and security benefits it would receive. (NY Times)

Italy

Author Charged With Defaming Islam

A judge ordered author Oriana Fallaci to face trial on charges of defaming Islam. The case arose after Muslim activist Adel Smith alleged that parts of Fallaci's book, "The Strength of Reason," are offensive to Islam, such as a passage that calls Islam "a pool … that never purifies," said Smith's attorney, Matteo Nicoli. (LA Times)

Pakistan

Pakistan is Aiding in Iran Inquiry

The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Pakistan turned over uranium enrichment components Wednesday that could help solve one of the biggest mysteries in the inquiry on Iran's disputed nuclear program. (LA Times)

Spain

52 Hurt by Madrid Car Bomb Blamed on ETA

Suspected Basque rebels detonated a car bomb in Madrid, injuring 52 people, five seriously. (LA Times)

U.S.

Guantánamo Prisoners Told FBI of Qur'an Desecration in 2002, New Documents Reveal

New documents released by the FBI include previously undisclosed interviews in which prisoners at Guantánamo complain that guards have mistreated the Qur'an, the American Civil Liberties Union said today. In one 2002 summary, an FBI interrogator notes a prisoner's allegation that guards flushed a Qur'an down the toilet. (American Civil Liberties Union)

Pivotal Vote on Bolton Debate Is Set for Today

The Senate debate over John R. Bolton, President Bush's embattled nominee for United Nations ambassador, was in its final stages this afternoon, with at least one pivotal vote set for early this evening. (NY Times)

U.S. 'Thumbs Its Nose' at Rights, Amnesty Says

In coordinated broadsides from London and Washington, Amnesty International accused the Bush administration on Wednesday of condoning "atrocious" human rights violations, thereby diminishing its moral authority and setting a global example encouraging abuse by other nations. (NY Times)

Seal Officer's Trial Gives Glimpse of C.I.A.'s Role in Abuse

The court martial of a member of the Navy Seals accused of abusing an Iraqi detainee who later died in Central Intelligence Agency custody is providing revealing glimpses of the agency's involvement in the prisoner abuse scandal. (NY Times)

Mushroom Clouds: New Mapping Tool Shows N-Blast Effects in Washington

If terrorists detonated a 20-kiloton nuclear bomb inside a truck in Washington's Dupont Circle, the blast would rip through the White House and most of the city's downtown office district. (CQ Quarterly)

ANALYSIS & OPINION

With the Gloves Off

Torturing prisoners, rather than making the U.S. safer, puts us all in greater danger. (NY Times)

A Lawmaker Works, Oddly Enough, to Keep His Voters' Backyards Dangerous

Joe Barton, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, seems poised to block legislation to secure chemical plants against terrorist attacks. (NY Times)

With a Little Help From Our Friends

Are Pakistan and Iran to blame for riots in Afghanistan? (NY Times)

A Cheer for Mr. Mubarak

Laura Bush's tour of the Middle East was cast as a way to earn badly needed goodwill for the United States in a region that her husband seeks to transform. Mrs. Bush duly promoted women's education in Jordan and the peace process in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Yet when the first lady arrived in Egypt she chose to lavish her own goodwill not on that country's struggling pro-democracy movement but on 77-year-old strongman Hosni Mubarak. (Washington Post)

'American Gulag'

It's always sad when a solid, trustworthy institution loses its bearings and joins in the partisan fracas that nowadays passes for political discourse. It's particularly sad when the institution is Amnesty International, which for more than 40 years has been a tough, single-minded defender of political prisoners around the world and a scourge of left- and right-wing dictators alike. (Washington Post)

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

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