The Insider: Daily Terrorism Report

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)


Saudi Arabia

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)


Turkish Police Kill Two Rebel Kurd Suspects Turkish Gendarme teams killed on Wednesday [30 June] two members of PKK/Kongra-Gel [Kurdistan Workers' Party/People's Congress of Kurdistan] terrorist organization in Caglayancerit town of southern Kahramanmaras province. Gendarme teams launched an operation in Karabayirlar hamlet of Engizek Mountain and killed two terrorists during the clash. Bodies of terrorists were brought to Caglayancerit town. (Anatolia news agency — BBC Monitoring)

Iran Iran Categorically Denies Videotaping of Sensitive Areas in New York by Security Guards The Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations categorically denied the shooting of videotapes and photos from "security or sensitive" New York City tourist sites by two Iranian security guards, a press release attributed to Morteza Ramandi, press attache of the Iranian mission said on Tuesday. (IRNA)


Taliban Set Fire to Four Lorries Used By Us Forces in Central Afghanistan A military commander in Kandahar [southern Afghanistan] says that four lorries were set fire to by the Taleban on the Kandahar-Urozgan highway yesterday. The lorries were carrying equipment to US soldiers deployed in Urozgan [Province in central Afghanistan]. An important commander in Kandahar, Gen Khan Mohammad, told AIP today that the Taleban set fire to four lorries on the Kandahar-Urozgan highway in Dara-e Nur [untraced] 50 km from Kandahar yesterday. He said: "The lorries were carrying equipment to US soldiers deployed in Urozgan." Gen. Khan Mohammad also said that the Taleban took 12 people who were in the lorries with them. There has been no report about them [the 12 people]. (Afghan Islamic Press news agency — BBC Monitoring)

Two Explosions Injure 27 in Eastern Afghan Province Two separate explosions occurring within five minutes of each other shook Jalalabad [capital of eastern Nangarhar Province] at around 1300 local time [0830 gmt]. The first explosion was at a former bus station which used to service Chaparhar District of the province. The explosion injured two policemen, a bakery worker and a passer-by. The wounded were taken to a hospital. The second explosion happened in the eastern part of the city's central Chawk-e Talashi square. A total of 27 people including three policemen, four children and passers-by were injured in the blasts. According to Fazlorrahman, head of the Public Health Department in Nangarhar Province, four of the injured are in critical condition. (Hindokosh news agency — BBC Monitoring)

Infighting Delays Afghanistan Elections Historic Afghan elections scheduled for September will be delayed because of wrangling among officials and political parties, a senior government official told The Associated Press on Thursday. (AP)


Army To Call Up 4,000 More Reservists The Army plans to summon a new group of about 4,000 reserve troops for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the total number of additional call-ups announced this week to nearly 10,000, officials said Wednesday. (LA Times)

U.S. Raises Reward for Al-Zarqawi to $25m U.S. authorities have increased to $25 million the reward for information leading to the arrest of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian militant suspected of masterminding a wave of terror attacks in Iraq. The increase, announced by the State Department Wednesday, more than doubles the previous offering of $10 million that was set in February and puts al-Zarqawi on par with Saddam Hussein, now jailed. Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has a $50 million bounty on his head. (Washington Post)


Iraqis React To Saddam Trial With Mixed Feelings The fate of Saddam Hussein, transferred to Iraqi custody yesterday, sparks controversy more than six months after his capture, as many Iraqis regard their foreign-bestowed sovereignty with mixed feelings. (AFP)

Much At Stake in an Iraq Trial When Saddam Hussein is charged with crimes against humanity in an Iraqi court on Thursday, much more will be at stake than his own fate. For the people of this country, the Iraqi Special Tribunal could open the door for a thorough accounting of the crimes committed by his notoriously repressive government. (NY Times)

The U.S.-led CPA is Leaving a Legacy of Muddled Accounting Handing over sovereignty to the new Iraqi interim government means that the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) ceased to exist. Many fear that the US and UN commissioned audits checking for waste and fraud in Iraq reconstruction contracts will simply disappear and accountability will be lost. (The Daily Star — Lebanon)

Is This Good for America? Who among us didn't hear Monday's news of Iraqi sovereignty, filter it through our respective opinions about Iraq, and silently ask: Is this good for my side? (Bahrain Tribune)

The Trial of Saddam Hussein In Saddam Hussein's Iraq, courts counted for nothing, while fear, death and vengeance were the only laws of the land. A new Iraq must be built on more solid foundations: democracy and the rule of law. One of the first challenges will be bringing Saddam Hussein to justice. His trial can be a significant step toward the rule of law - or a detour back to the rule of revenge. He should have a fair trial under an elected government applying the relevant principles of Iraqi and international law. (NY Times)

Print Media Invade New Iraq Under the ousted leader Saddam Hussein's long reign Iraqis had only access to five state-controlled dailies.In the nearly 15 months since Saddam Hussein's overthrow, 278 newspapers have appeared, almost one every three days. (Iraq Press Agency)

Time Running Out in Sudan Sudan has edged away from being the playground for terrorists it was in the 1990s, when Carlos the Jackal, Abu Nidal and Osama bin Laden called the African country home. In recent years it has tried to improve relations with the United States, but the Sudanese government's lies about the ethnic cleansing it is sponsoring in the country's Darfur region threaten to again make it a pariah. (LA Times)

A Saudi Opportunity After 13 months of battling a branch of the al Qaeda movement, Saudi Arabia's government has all but declared victory. Authorities say they have wiped out the leadership of all five of the terrorist movement's cells that were known to exist a year ago; the last breakthrough came 10 days ago with the slaying of four militants responsible for the beheading of American Paul M. Johnson Jr. Al Qaeda's Saudi organization, officials say, is in shambles, which is why ruling Crown Prince Abdullah has given its surviving members one month to surrender in exchange for amnesty. (Washington Post)


Insurgency And Counterinsurgency In Iraq For 50 years, the United States has had ill-fated experiences in effectively fighting insurgencies. In counterinsurgency terms, Vietnam and Iraq form two legs of a historically fraught triangle - with El Salvador providing the connecting leg. In light of this history, the author analyzes where the United States has gone wrong in Iraq; what unique challenges the conflict presents to coalition forces deployed there; and what light both shed on future counterinsurgency planning, operations, and requirements. (Rand Institute)

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