The Insider: Daily Terrorism Report

British Airways, Air France and Continental Airlines cancelled a total of nine flights this weekend scheduled for Sunday and Monday upon receiving word from U.S. intelligence officials that al Qaeda may be planning a chemical or biological attack aboard an aircraft, officials said. The Washington Post learned from intelligence officials on Sunday that threats included releasing a biological agent like smallpox or anthrax on a plane so those aboard would spread the infection without knowing it. The last time officials cancelled a series of flights upon learning of credible terror threats was over the 2003 holiday season. At that time, at least 15 transatlantic flights were either cancelled, delayed, disrupted or escorted by military fighter jets.

And news from Pakistan — the founder of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, has signed a detailed confession admitting that during the last 15 years he provided Iran, North Korea and Libya with the designs and technology to produce the fuel for nuclear weapons. Plus more on the planned U.S. anti-terror "spring offensive" in Pakistan — hardline Pakistani religious leaders warn that tribesmen may fire on U.S. forces if such an offensive takes place.



Flights Canceled Over Al Qaeda Attack Fears Airlines grounded a domestic U.S. flight and several transatlantic flights on Sunday amid reports U.S. officials had intelligence suggesting al Qaeda may be planning a chemical or biological attack on an aircraft. (Reuters)

'Dirty Bomb' a Fear in Scrubbed Flights Intelligence pointed to a possible al Qaeda use of unconventional arms, a U.S. official says. (LA Times)

States Eye Terror Database Although privacy worries led several states to pull out of a federally funded crime and terrorism database project, others are actively considering joining and thereby sharing information on their citizens, The Associated Press has learned. (AP)

France France: No Data to Back U.S. Terror Fears France nixed flights as precaution though it has no data to back terror fears, official says. (AP)

United Kingdom Pilots Call for Evaluation of U.S. Intelligence Pilots today called for greater scrutiny of warnings from US intelligence services, after a new terror alert forced six transatlantic flights to be grounded. (The Guardian)


Key Pakistani is Said to Admit Atom Transfers The founder of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, has signed a detailed confession admitting that during the last 15 years he provided Iran, North Korea and Libya with the designs and technology to produce the fuel for nuclear weapons, according to a senior Pakistani official and three Pakistani journalists who attended a special government briefing here on Sunday night. (NY Times)

Hard-Liners Warn U.S. Over Proposed Al Qaeda Operations Inside Pakistan A hard-line religious coalition warned on Friday that tribesmen might fire on U.S. forces if a planned "spring offensive" against terror suspects extended into Pakistan. (AP)

Pak-Afghan-US Meeting Agrees to Enhance Cooperation Pakistan and Afghanistan on Saturday agreed to share more intelligence with the US military, the Afghan government said. (Hi Pakistan)

Saudi Arabia Riyadh Arrests Seven Militants Planning "Terror" Attack Saudi Arabia said it had arrested seven suspected members of a group planning a terror attack and seized large amounts of arms and explosives a day after six security men were shot dead in Riyadh. (AFP)

United Nations U.N. Dissolves Panel Monitoring Al Qaeda Group had criticized Security Council. (Washington Post)

Afghanistan Karzai: Bin Laden Alive, Still in Region Osama bin Laden is alive and may be hiding somewhere along the Afghan border, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday. (AP)

Documents: Taliban Turned Down 30 U.S. Requests to Kick Out Bin Laden Afghanistan's former Taliban rulers rebuffed more than 30 U.S. requests to expel Osama bin Laden between 1996 and just before the September 11 attacks in 2001, newly declassified official documents revealed Friday. (AFP)

Balkans Al Qaeda 'Targeting Balkans' The chief of military intelligence in Serbia and Montenegro today warned the al Qaeda network and other terror groups were present in the region and planning to step up their activities. (Herald Sun)


United Kingdom Blunkett Anti-Terror Proposals Condemned Human rights campaigners today condemned proposed legal reforms that would allow terror suspects to be tried in secret without a jury. (The Guardian)

United States White House Holding Notes Taken by 9/11 Commission Panel may subpoena its summaries of Bush briefings. (Washington Post)

Kenya Suspects On Trial for 2002 Kenya Bombing Four Kenyan men charged with murder in the car bombing of a Kenya costal resort planned the attack with other al Qaeda operatives, a prosecutor told a Nairobi court Monday as the suspects' trial got underway after months of delays. (AP)

Norway Oslo Court Extends Mullah Custody A Norwegian court has ordered the founder of an Islamic militant group to remain in custody for another four weeks. (BBC)


Guantanamo Bay Drill Focuses On Al Qaeda Firing heavy machine-guns and mortars, U.S. soldiers practiced repulsing a commando attack Saturday at the maximum-security prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay. (AP)

Australian in Guantanamo May Get Trial An Australian detained at U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on suspicion of terror activities was expected to be among the next group of prisoners to face an American military court, Australia's justice minister said Saturday. (AP)

ON THE WEB Internet Statements Warns of Syrian Sheikh A statement posted on a number of extremist internet sites warned the mujaheddin who enter Iraq through Syria against a Syrian Sheik who turns them in to the authorities, Asharq Al Awsat newspaper reported Saturday. The statement, which was entitled "A Warning to the Mujaheddin in Iraq," was issued by Al Faruq website, which in the past published several al Qaeda statements in the past. (Asharq Al Awsat)


2 Iraq Suicide Bombings Kill at Least 67 67 Killed, 267 hurt in suicide bombings at Kurd party offices in Iraq; GI dies in rocket attack. (AP)

Bush to Seek Intelligence Failures Probe Bush will sign executive order seeking investigation into U.S. intelligence failures in Iraq. (AP)

No. 10 Set to Decide On WMD Inquiry Downing Street appeared today to be on the brink of a climbdown over granting an inquiry into the intelligence basis for the war in Iraq. (The Guardian)

Saddam Reportedly Helps U.S. Interrogators Saddam gives U.S. interrogators useful information, senior military official says. (AP)

No Evidence CIA Slanted Iraq Data Probers say analysts remained consistent. (Washington Post)

Iraqis to Shoulder Responsibility for Baghdad Security The American military will move most of its forces to the perimeter as a troop rotation takes place. The shift could take months. (LA Times)

Bremer: Saddam to Be Handed Over to Special Court Ousted dictator Saddam Hussein remains in Iraq and will be handed over to a special court being set up by the U.S.-appointed Governing Council to face charges of genocide and invasion of neighboring countries, U.S. administrator Paul Bremer said in an interview published Saturday. (Arab News)

Iraqi Governing Council Limits Al Jazeera Coverage Iraq's Governing Council on Saturday banned Arabic television station Al Jazeera from covering Council events for a month over remarks made during a phone-in show broadcast last week which were deemed insulting. (Reuters)


What Went Wrong He was the most dangerous man alive, sitting atop a massive stockpile of deadly weapons. The only way to end the gathering threat was to take Saddam out-and fast. Only there wasn't any WMD. The fateful fictions that led to war. (Newsweek)

An Intelligence Inquiry That's Awash in Disputes at the Outset Intelligence officials are hoping that the commission that President Bush plans to appoint to examine intelligence lapses will offer them help, not finger pointing. (NY Times)

Bombings Cripple More Than Civilians The violence seems certain to reduce the already slim chances of Iraqi elections before July and could delay those scheduled for 2005. (LA Times)

A Tactical Retreat On Iraq Bush implicitly concedes that pre-war allegations appear to be wrong. (Washington Post)

No Surprise in Dearth of WMDs The real proof of former UN weapons inspector David Kay's assertion that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq just prior to the war is that none have been used by the "insurgents." (The Boston Globe)

Condemning Correct Information Blair was confident that he had some benefit in this investigation. (Al Hayat)

Explosive Secrets from Pakistan The secret is out: The know-how and perhaps even the equipment to make nuclear weapons has been leaked from Pakistan to countries like Iran and Libya. The question now is: Who dunnit? Greedy scientists or the Pakistani military? (Council on Foreign Relations)

All This Jaw About Jihad is Just Tosh It is crazy to confect an image of a world ravaged by violence. (The Guardian)

Mr. Arar's Lawsuit The federal lawsuit filed last week by Maher Arar — the Syrian-born Canadian whom the federal government deported to Syria — offers a good opportunity to shed some light on one of the more peculiar civil liberties cases to arise during the war on terrorism. (Washington Post)

Safer Option for Civil Rights Spontaneous applause greeted President Bush's State of the Union mention that "key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire next year." The president quickly went on to declare, "Our law enforcement needs this vital legislation," and to tell Congress, " you need to renew the Patriot Act." (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.