The Insider: Daily Terrorism Report

— An article in the Observer reports that since the attacks on September 11, 2001, Europe has increasingly become not only a target of terror but a popular training ground for it as well. The paper has conducted an investigation into Islamic militant networks in Europe - through interviews with senior level intelligence officials, secret recordings of phone calls between militants, and through classified intelligence briefings, the Observer has learned that terrorists have been able to not only sustain their network in Europe, but that they have managed to enlarge it even further, from England to Germany to Italy, even expanding eastward into Bulgaria and Poland.

And more on the ongoing investigation behind last month's assassination attempt on Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf — using a cell phone data card found at the scene of the explosion, authorities have been able to trace calls leading to the round-up of nearly 40 militants, many of them from the radical Pakistani Islamic group Jaish-i-Mohammed, a one time ally of Pakistan's security services and currently thought to have links to al Qaeda.



Europe Terror Cells Regroup — And Now Their Target is Europe Secret intelligence papers from across the continent reveal a growing danger from a widening network of fanatics — and this is a struggle the West cannot lose. (The Observer)

Pakistan Investigation of Attacks on Musharraf Points to Pakistani Group Building on clues from a cell phone data card, investigators probing last month's assassination attempts against Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president, say they are increasingly convinced that the bombings were partly orchestrated by militants associated with the radical Muslim group Jaish-i-Mohammed, a onetime ally of Pakistan's security services with links to al Qaeda. (Washington Post)

India Officials: "Al Qaeda" Passenger An Innocent Indian Leather-Garment Exporter An Indian Muslim, at the centre of a terrorism scare on trans-Atlantic flights, is an innocent leather-garment exporter. (AFP)

Scientists Discuss Ways to Fight Terror Forty experts from the United States and India met this week to explore ways to use science and technology to fight terrorism, the U.S. Embassy said Tuesday. (AP)

Africa Diplomat: Al Qaeda Launders Money in Africa Extremist groups like al Qaeda are using mafia-type methods to launder funds and hide their financial footprints, including through diamond trading in West Africa, a regional U.S. diplomat said Tuesday. (Reuters)

United States Schumer: More Security At Ship Terminal The new counter-terrorism operation that fingerprints foreign visitors is missing the boat in the city by failing to screen passengers arriving by cruise ship, Sen. Charles Schumer said Tuesday. (Newsday)

U.S. Congressman Wants Reward for Bin Laden Doubled The reward for finding Osama bin Laden, the elusive leader of the al Qaeda network and the world's most wanted man, should be doubled to $50 million, a U.S. congressman visiting Afghanistan said Tuesday. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia Militants' Confessions Reveal the "Superficiality" of Their Ideas During the confessions on local television yesterday, a number of Saudi terror suspects were confused between a number of Muslim clerics, who they said incited them to commit acts of violence, notes Asharq Al Awsat newspaper. It was also clear that the militants were only superficially familiar with the ideas promoted by these clerics, remarks the paper. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Experts: Terrorists Use Military Explosives After following up on the interior ministry's statements regarding the explosives found with terror suspects, a Saudi explosives expert told Asharq Al Awsat newspaper that they are of the ready-to-use military kind, which do not require assembly. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Greece Greece Tests Counter-Terrorism Tactics for Games Olympic security chiefs say Greece will soon test its ability to deal with terrorist attacks involving biological, chemical and nuclear weapons ahead of the summer Games. (ABC Online — Australia)

Australia Govt Denies Visa System Terror Risk The federal government has defended Australia's online visa system against claims it was tougher on imported salami than potential terrorists. (The Age)


United States U.S. Military Ordered to Hurry Guantanamo Trial Amid defense complaints that no case had been made against their client, a judge on Tuesday gave prosecutors a Feb. 25 deadline to present key evidence against a Syrian-American airman accused of spying while working as a translator in Guantanamo, Cuba. (Reuters)

Ohio Cleric Arrested; Terror Link is Cited A leading Islamic cleric who runs Ohio's largest mosque was arrested Tuesday on charges that he concealed his ties to terrorist causes when applying for U.S. citizenship. (NY Times)

Muslim Groups' IRS Files Sought Finance Committee to probe alleged terror ties; leaders decry tactics. (Washington Post)

Norway Court Orders Mullah Krekar to Remain in Custody An appeal court has ruled that Mullah Krekar shall remain in custody for at least four more weeks. (Norway Post)

Cambodia Cambodia to Try Terror Suspects for JI, Al Qaeda Links A Cambodian court will try five men next month for membership in the regional terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and links to al-Qaeda, RFA's Khmer service reports.(Radio Free Asia)

Jordan Al Makdessi On Trial for Planning Attacks On Military Bases The name of the Jordanian Essam Mohammed Al Eteibi who is more known as Abu Mohammed Al Makdessi was mentioned by Saudi militants whose confessions were aired on Saudi television yesterday. A Jordanian source however told Asharq Al Awsat newspaper that Saudi Arabia did not request the extradition of al Makdessi, who is currently on trial for planning attacks on military bases and the U.S. embassy in Jordan. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Lebanon Saudi and Three Lebanese On Trial for Connections to Al Qaeda A Saudi and three Lebanese men appeared in a military court, as they were charged with belonging to al Qaeda network and planning to establish a base for the network in northern Lebanon under the cover of a restaurant project to harbor the hunted members of the terrorist organization. (Asharq Al Awsat)


U.S. Probes Online Terror Talk Intelligence agencies are investigating a series of internet warnings, said to be issued by al Qaeda, about major terrorist attacks on the United States. (BBC)


Official: Saddam Was Bush's Focus While Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld disputed former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's accounts, an official told ABCNEWS he was present in the same meetings during which President Bush ordered the Pentagon to explore the possibility of a ground invasion of Iraq well before the Sept. 11, 2001. (ABCNEWS)

U.S. May Change Plans for Iraq Handover Shiite leader's objections may prompt U.S. to change its plans for transfer of power to Iraqis. (AP)

The Other Casualties As attacks on Americans continue, Iraqi civilians get caught in the crossfire. (ABCNEWS)

GIs Nab Relatives of Key Iraqi Insurgent U.S. troops arrest four family members of most-wanted Iraqi insurgent during raid in Samarra, Iraq. (AP)

U.N. Considers Return to Iraq The United Nations is exploring the possibility of returning to Iraq but Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said repeatedly he will not risk the lives of international staffers unless the world body has a major role in the country. (AP)

Iraqis Accuse U.S. Troops in Deaths of Civilians The five were killed in incidents in two cities. (LA Times)

Hussein Warned Iraqis to Beware Outside Fighters, Document Says Saddam Hussein warned Iraqis to be wary of joining forces with foreign fighters entering Iraq to battle U.S. troops. (NY Times)

Kurdish Official Fears Ibrahim May Go to Saudi Arabia Khedr Hassan, an official from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, said he feared that former Iraqi vice president Ezzat Ibrahim may be able to escape to Saudi Arabia. Hassan said he had "concrete information" that seven Baath officials who are close to Ibrahim are preparing to leave Kirkuk Thursday morning to go to Saudi Arabia and prepare for Ibrahim's secret transfer there. The Baath officials will claim to be going to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage, said Hassan, explaining that he will hold discussions with Iraqi and U.S. officials today to arrest them before they leave. (Elaph)

Rumsfeld: Saddam's Prisoner of War Status No Bar to Trial By Iraqis Saddam Hussein's classification as an enemy prisoner of war will have no effect on whether he can be prosecuted and tried by Iraq or other countries who have claims against him, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said. (AFP)

Oil-Rich City Will Be Major Test for Iraq Iraq's long-suppressed Kurds have converged on oil-rich Kirkuk to claim it as their own, setting the stage for a struggle that will profoundly affect this country once the Americans hand over power to a new Iraqi leadership. (AP)

Canadians to Bid On Iraq Projects President Bush reversed United States policy on Tuesday and said Canada would be allowed to bid on some of the $18.6 billion in American-financed Iraqi reconstruction projects, bringing to an end a bitter dispute with a major ally. (NY Times)

Helicopter Crews Dread the Six O'Clock Shadow For guerrillas around Fallujah, U.S. Army helicopters have become a target of choice. With increasing frequency, they are targeting the aircraft with Soviet-designed shoulder-fired missiles. (Washington Post)


Trying to Balance Security, Freedom and Those Detainees The funny thing about freedom is how quickly people will chuck it out the window when forced to choose between that and their personal security. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Are We Safer? Not As Long As Al Qaeda Lurks Have we permitted ourselves to become bogged down in Iraq, in what at best is a sideshow in the global war on terrorism, while diverting precious manpower and resources away from the real objective? (Knight Ridder)

Book Review: "Al Qaeda's Strategy and Bombings: The Mistakes and the Dangers" Asharq Al Awsat newspaper continues its review of the book published by the Egyptian Al Gama'a Al Islamiya, where it criticizes al Qaeda's ideas and acts. The book continues to point out to al Qaeda's mistakes and its promotion of wrong ideas. It argues against the legitimacy of using car suicide bombings and hijacking planes to crash them in targets. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Keeping Detentions Secret The Supreme Court's decision not to release the identities of hundreds of men rounded up after Sept. 11 diminishes the freedom of all Americans. (NY Times)

Overdue Reversal On Iraq The White House's course reversal Tuesday to let Canadian firms bid on billions of dollars worth of construction contracts in Iraq was overdue. The policy switch recognizes the reality that the U.S. needs allies — and not just in Iraq. (LA Times)

The Kurdish Question Kurds in Iraq not to demand so much autonomy that it may endanger the nation's unity will be a delicate task. (NY 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.