The Insider: Daily Terrorism Report

President Bush ignored repeated warnings about the threat al Qaeda posed and did too little to stop the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, a former counter-terrorism official told the media this weekend. In his book "Against All Enemies" to be released today, Richard Clarke, who worked in the last four presidents' administrations, says that right after the Sept. 11 attacks Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld suggested bombing Iraq, even though there was no evidence that links Baghdad to the attacks. The White House has rejected Clarke's charges that Bush did "a terrible job on the war against terrorism" and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice disputed accusations that the administration underestimated al Qaeda's threat. Clarke is set to testify Tuesday before the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks.

And, a Pakistani journalist claims that al Qaeda's number two, Ayman al Zawahri, said al Qaeda has briefcase nuclear bombs bought on the central Asian black market. Hamid Mir's statement appears in an Australian Broadcasting Corporation television program to be aired tonight. The journalist interviewed the two al Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and al Zawahri in 2001.



United States

Bush Accused of Ignoring Al Qaeda Until After 9/11

President Bush ignored the threat of al Qaeda for months and did too little to stop the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, a former administration counterterrorism official said Sunday. (Reuters)

He Said, She Said National Security Adviser disputes former counterterrorism aide's claims that the White House underestimated al Qaeda. (AP)

Al Qaeda

Biographer: Al Zawahri Says Al Qaeda Has Nuke Bombs

Al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al Zawahri claims the militant Islamic organization has bought briefcase nuclear bombs on the central Asian black market, according to Osama bin Laden's biographer. (Reuters)


Spaniard Led 4 Moroccans to Steal Dynamite

A Spaniard with a criminal record led four Moroccans to an explosives warehouse at a mine to steal dynamite used in the Madrid terror bombings, a newspaper reported Saturday. (AP)

The Hunt for Al Qaeda Al Qaeda Suspects May Have Fled in Tunnel

Top al Qaeda terrorists may have escaped a siege by thousands of Pakistani soldiers through several secret tunnels leading from mud fortresses to a dry mountain stream near the border with Afghanistan, a security chief said Monday. (AP)

Al Qaeda, Taliban Suspects Captured in Afghanistan

About a dozen suspected al Qaeda or Taliban militants have been captured in Afghanistan after crossing the border from Pakistan, where a major military offensive is under way, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said yesterday. (AFP)

Truce 'Holds' in Al Qaeda Search

A temporary ceasefire between militants and Pakistani troops hunting al Qaeda suspects near the Afghan border appears to be holding, officials say. (BBC)

U.S. Intelligence Helping in Al Qaeda Hunt

About a dozen U.S. intelligence officials are helping Pakistan in a fresh offensive against up to 400 al Qaeda fighters besieged in a rugged tribal region bordering Afghanistan, the military said. (Arab News)

Tribal Elders Seek Peace in Pakistan

Tribal elders in peace bid, while Pakistan conducts DNA tests to identify dead suspected militants. (AP)

Bin Laden's Deputy is Not Involved in Battle, Telegraph Says

Ayman al Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's top aide in the al Qaeda terrorist network, is not leading the resistance to combat operations in Pakistan, the Sunday Telegraph reported, citing unidentified officials in Pakistan and Afghanistan. (Bloomberg)

Al Qaeda Suspects Interrogated

Pakistani officials have begun to question alleged militants captured in an operation against al Qaeda targets. (BBC)

Sources: U.S. Seeks Interrogation of Egyptian Al Qaeda Members for Info On Al Zawahri

U.S. sources in Cairo confirmed that Washington seeks to interrogate a number of Egyptian al Qaeda members who were recently extradited to Egypt from a number of countries to obtain information on al Qaeda's number two Ayman al Zawahri including the 15 names he uses, reports Asharq Al Awsat. According to the sources, the investigators are specifically interested Khaled Morgan, who is the son of a leader of al Jihad group, a close aide of al Zawahri. The sources added that investigators were also trying to identify al Zawahri's DNA and gather information that would help identify him like his height. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Belgium Belgian Police Arrest Casablanca Suspect in Raids

Arrested suspect is subject of international alert by Moroccan authorities following Casablanca attacks. (Middle East Online)


Swiss Arrest Riyadh Bomb Suspect

Swiss authorities have arrested an "important" suspect in the May 2003 suicide bombings on expatriate housing compounds in Riyadh that claimed 35 lives, a press report said yesterday. (Arab News)


Britain Shuts Embassy in Terror Alert

The British embassy in Algiers was closed last night over fears of a terrorist attack. (The Herald)


Five Arrests in Somaliland

Authorities in Somalia's self-declared republic of Somaliland on Sunday blamed the murder of a Kenyan woman and her Somali colleague, both of who worked for a German aid agency, on the Islamic group known as Al Ittihad al Islamia. The militant group is listed by the United States as a terrorist organization with links to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network. (SA — South Africa)


United States

U.S. Army Drops All Charges Against Capt. Yee

The U.S. Army Friday night dropped charges against Chaplain James Yee of mishandling classified information. The former Muslim chaplain previously faced accusations of spying at the Guantanamo Bay prison where he served, charges that could have resulted in his execution. (Arab News)


Spain Bomb Suspects Head to Court

Five suspects arrested over the Madrid train bombings that killed 202 people will appear in court. (Reuters)


Guantánamo Detainees Deliver Intelligence Gains

Military officials say prisoners at the detention center in Guantánamo Bay have provided a stream of intelligence to interrogators during the past two years, including detailed information about al Qaeda's recruitment of Muslim men in Europe. (NY Times)

U.S. Frees 4 Saudi Prisoners

U.S. authorities have released 12 Guantanmo detainees, including four Saudis, seven Russians and a Spaniard, according to the lawyer in charge of the Saudis' defense team. (Al Hayat)

U.S. Faces Quandary in Freeing Detainees

The Bush administration repatriated a group of British detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison earlier this month despite months of deep reservations by top Pentagon officials, who believed that they were hardened Taliban and al Qaeda operatives too dangerous to send home, according to officials familiar with the events. (Washington Post)



Spain Hosts Five-Nation Intelligence Summit On Anti-Terrorism

Spain is hosting a meeting today of intelligence chiefs from the U.K., Italy, France and Germany to discuss coordinating anti-terrorism efforts among the five countries, Spain's Interior Ministry said. (Bloomberg)


FBI Budget Squeezed After 9/11 Request for new counter-terror funds cut by two-thirds. (Washington Post)

Spain Blast Prompts Demands for Funds Transit agencies seek to improve rail safety. (Washington Post)


Australia's Biggest Counter-Terrorism Exercise Underway

Australia's largest-ever counter-terrorism exercise has begun. ( — Australia)


Egypt Wants U.N. Resolution Banning Asylum for Terrorists

Egypt wants the United Nations to adopt a semi-binding resolution that would ban all countries from giving "sanctuary or political asylum to terrorists," President Hosni Mubarak said here yesterday. (AFP)


"The Blessed Waziristan Operation": Statement Denies Al Zawahri Surrounded

A statement posted on the Global Islamic Media Center website claimed that Osama bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahri and other "mujaheddin leaders" were unharmed. The statement, which was dated March 20th, lists details of alleged daily attacks against U.S. and Pakistani forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It also includes details of engagements with Pakistani troops in the Waziristan area. (ABCNEWS Investigative Unit)


Coalition HQ Hit in Baghdad

The coalition headquarters in Baghdad came under rocket attack yesterday, hours after two U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq and global anti-war protests marked the anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion. (Reuters)

U.S. Soldiers Charged With Abuse of Iraqi Prisoners

The United States military charged six soldiers with abuses against Iraqi prisoners, US media reported yesterday. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur)

ITV Journalists 'Killed By U.S. Troops'

Two ITV journalists who went missing in the attack in which veteran reporter Terry Lloyd died were killed by US troops, according to new witness reports. (The Guardian)

Iraqi Militias Near Accord to Disband Move would aid U.S. handover. (Washington Post)

Powell: U.S. Looking into Saddam Money

U.S. administrators in Iraq have frozen records of a U.N. aid program to help investigators looking into possible corruption during the Saddam Hussein era, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Saturday during a stopover in Kuwait. (AP)

Jaysh Ansar Al Sunna Rejects New Umbrella Group

Jaysh Ansar al Sunna, the group believed to be responsible for many of the attacks in Iraq, said it will not be part of "The National Front for the Liberation of Iraq," a group recently formed to bring together all the groups fighting in Iraq. The statement was dated March 17th and posted on the website of the Global Islamic Media Center. (ABCNEWS Investigative Unit)


Is Al Qaeda Unstoppable?

Even if leadership is destroyed, terror network model will endure. (ABCNEWS)

You Cut the Head, but the Body Still Moves What impact would the capture of Ayman al-Zawahiri have on America's campaign against Al Qaeda? (NY Times)

The Secret War

On the North-West Frontier, soldiers are trying to tighten the noose around bin Laden's forces. But in Europe and America, there is no clear enemy to fight — yet every expert knows that a terrorist atrocity is coming. (The Observer)

9/11: For the Record by Condoleeza Rice The al Qaeda terrorist network posed a threat to the United States for almost a decade before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Throughout that period — during the eight years of the Clinton administration and the first eight months of the Bush administration prior to Sept. 11 — the U.S. government worked hard to counter the al Qaeda threat. (Washington Post)

Terror: Misdiagnosis Can Kill the Patient

The gruesome train bombings in Madrid and the stunning regime change which followed should be seized upon to rethink whether the "war on terrorism", as conceived and conducted since Sept. 11, 2001, is really the most effective way to deal with a problem that shows no signs of going away. (Arab News)

What Exactly Does Al Qaeda Want?

As Islamist attackers threaten further carnage in Europe, terrorism expert Jason Burke looks at what motives unite the disparate militant groups. (The Guardian)

Terrorists or Mujahideen?

Saturday was the third bloodiest day of the military operation in Wana, South Waziristan, the largest of the seven tribal areas in Pakistan. (Daily Times — Pakistan)

As Europe Hunts for Terrorists, the Hunted Press Advantages

The investigation of the Madrid bombings shows how terrorists continue to exploit advantages against the agents tracking them. (NY Times)

War on Terror is Suffering in Courtrooms

War on terror hits obstacles in court due to complexity of cases, U.S. reluctance with witnesses. (AP)

How We Got Homeland Security Wrong The fortification of Wyoming, and other strange tales from the new front line. (Time)

Know Thine Enemy

The first lesson in countering terrorists is political, not military: ensure their moderate compatriots have no reason to help them. (The Observer)

If They Capture Bin Laden or His Deputy Will Al Qaeda Fall?

The search for the mastermind of 9/11 continues, but the network he inspires has mutated into regional groups with local recruits. Al Qaeda is not so much an organization as an idea, so how can it be defeated? (The Independent)

Bin Laden, Tte Vatican, and the American Elections

It is absurd to try to give reasonable explanations to irrational criminal barbaric attacks. (Al Hayat)

Decoding the Chatter Inside the nerve center of America's counterterrorist operations. (Time)

Anniversary of Disaster

Iraq is on a knife edge. The U.S. must back down on the UN role or risk escalation of the conflict.(The Guardian)

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.