The Insider: Daily Terrorism Report

— Today's report includes two important ABCNEWS investigations: Sources tell ABCNEWS that as late as August 2001 al Qaeda was still trying to insert new hijackers into the September 11th attacks. If they had succeeded in entering the country, how much more damage could have been done? Also, did the U.S. miss an opportunity to avoid the war in Iraq? Find out from someone who says he was the middleman who tried to cut a deal which was ignored. Meanwhile, the struggle with militants continues in Saudi Arabia, as two suspects blow themselves up in Mecca.


Bigger, Deadlier Attack?

Several suspected al Qaeda terrorists who tried unsuccessfully to enter the country around the same time as the Sept. 11 hijackers may have been part of a plan to launch other attacks on targets in the United States, ABCNEWS has learned. (ABCNEWS)

Thwarted Talks Could war with Iraq have been averted? The Iraqis were prepared to cut a deal, short of Saddam Hussein stepping down - but what went wrong? (ABCNEWS)



Saudi Arabia 2 Militants Blow Themselves Up in Mecca Two suspected militants blow themselves up in the holy city of Mecca as Saudis try to arrest them. (AP)

Saudi Police Kill Militant in Riyadh Raid Saudi police shot dead a Muslim militant during a dawn raid on a Riyadh neighborhood on Thursday, the second such strike on militant hideouts this week, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. (Reuters)

Comprehensive Plan to Thwart Possible Terrorist Attacks The Kingdom's security agencies have worked out a comprehensive plan to thwart possible terrorist attacks on Saudi and foreign pilgrims in Mecca during Ramadan, say informed sources. (Arab News)

Threat to U.S. Cities Posted on the Internet A statement by the previously unheard of "Al Bayan Islamic Movement" appeared on a number of online message boards and warned against attacks on major U.S. cities. Although the statement was posted on their online message board, the statement did not originate from the Saudi opposition group Al Islah, as some reports had indicated. (ABCNEWS I-team)

For more on the statement visit MEMRI

Yemen Yemen Receives Al Qaeda Suspect Yemeni authorities announced yesterday that they've received a Yemeni al Qaeda suspect who had been imprisoned in Bosnia for five years for suspected involvement in bombings there. Nabil Ali Al Hila is also the brother of Abdel Salam Al Hila who Yemeni sources claim had disappeared during a trip to Egypt and speculate he was handed over to the U.S. Abdel Salam is believed to have been responsible for arranging the travels of Afghan Arabs. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Morocco Sources Confirm Morocco Received Six Terror Suspects from Iran Moroccan sources told the Saudi Al Watan newspaper that the authorities had indeed received six terror suspects from Iran, one of whom was killed in a Casablanca shootout with security forces. The others were tried and sentenced, said sources without specifying when the extradition took place. Iran had earlier submitted to the U.N. a list of suspects who were deported to their countries of origins. (Al Watan)

Terror Cell Planned AssassinationsAsharq Al Awsat reports according to Moroccan security sources that members of a terror cell who were recently arrested were planning the assassination of a number of government officials, including interior minister Idris Jatou. (Asharq Al Awsat)


United States F.B.I. Gets New Rules on Early Terror Probes The F.B.I. will be able to more easily check a person's background for potential terrorist activities under national security guidelines issued Wednesday by Attorney General John Ashcroft. tmpl=story&u=/ap/20031106/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/fbi_terrorism_3 ">(AP)

U.N. Lists Places Lacking Terror Reports A U.N. Security Council committee named 58 countries Wednesday that missed an Oct. 31 deadline to submit reports on measures they are taking to stop supporting, financing and providing sanctuary to terrorists. (AP)

Center to Speed U.S. Translations Counterterrorism officials said on Wednesday that they planned to open a clearinghouse for government and private linguists by January to allow faster translation of possible terrorist communications. (NY Times)

Canada Canada Condemns U.S. Deportation Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien has criticized the United States for deporting a Canadian citizen to Syria where he was held for nearly a year without trial. (BBC)


Philippines Authorities: Filipino-American Deported For Selling Weapons to Abu Sayyaf Philippine authorities have arrested and deported a Filipino-American to the United States for allegedly selling weapons to the Abu Sayyaf Muslim kidnap gang, the bureau of immigration said. (AFP)


Somalia AP: Informants Hunt Terrorists in Somalia U.S. agents recruit network of informants hunting for terrorists in Somalia. (AP)

Kenya Terrorists in Kenya Killings Posed as Fishermen, a Report Says The terrorists who struck at Israelis in Kenya last year posed as lobstermen while smuggling missiles from Somalia. (NY Times)


United Kingdom Pakistan Seeks U.K. Spying Assurance Pakistan has asked the U.K. Government for an inquiry into reports that its high commission in London was bugged by British intelligence services in 2001. The Sunday Times had earlier reported that the British intelligence service had fitted bugging devices in an unnamed embassy in London. (BBC)

Scientists In Anti-Terror Action MPs have called on U.K. scientists to do more to combat the threat of terrorism. (BBC)

Germany Air Force to Shoot Down Terror Jets Germany's cabinet Wednesday approved a bill giving air force pilots a legal basis for shooting down hijacked jetliners as a last-ditch measure. (DPA)


Saddam Fled Baghdad Villa in April Minutes before U.S. Bombing Saddam Hussein fled from a villa in Baghdad's al Mansur neighborhood where he was set to meet four close aides on April 7, only 15 minutes before it was bombed by US forces, according to a former Iraqi government official. (AFP)

Pentagon Orders Iraq Replacement Troops The U.S. had hoped to employ more foreign forces, but few nations have offered to help. (LA Times)

Leaked Memo Splits Iraq War Inquiry The Senate committee investigating prewar intelligence on Iraq has erupted into partisan warfare over whether the investigation will probe discussions between senior Bush administration officials and the federal intelligence agencies. (Financial Times)

U.S. Plan to Bring in Turks Collapses Negotiations over deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq at a standstill, amid a growing expectation that the controversial plan will be scrapped altogether, diplomatic sources say. (The Guardian)

U.S. Detains Relatives of Suspects in Iraq Attacks As the U.S. military searches for tactics to break an escalating guerrilla war, the arrests have unleashed more anger and etched deeper the cultural divide. (Washington Post)

European Muslims Heading to Fight in Iraq The head of Denmark's domestic intelligence agency said Tuesday that some European Muslims, angered by the U.S. occupation of Iraq, are heading there to join the anti-American resistance. (AP)

At Last Locals Are Given The Task Of Curbing The Growing Rebellion American officials agree "in principle" to give Iraqis responsibility for new security force to tackle growing insurgency, says head of Iraq's governing council. (The Guardian)

Embedded Reporters 'Sanitized' Iraq War Television reports produced by "embedded" correspondents in the Iraq conflict gave a sanitized picture of war, according to BBC study. (The Guardian)

Analysis & Opinion:

What Next for Iraq? Experts Have Their Say Is there a solution, and if so, what is it? The Guardian asked experts from several countries for the answers. (The Guardian)

No 'Cronyism' in Iraq The premise of the accusations is completely contrary to the way government contracting works, both in theory and in practice. (Washington Post)

Iraqis at the Wheel We need more than an Iraqi police force. We need an Iraqi leader elected through a constitutional or political process. (NY Times)

Iraq's Unbridgeable Divide After the downing of a U.S. helicopter in Iraq with the loss of 15 soldiers, BBC correspondent Jonny Dymond in Baghdad finds a revealing divide between the reaction of US troops and that of Iraqi civilians. (BBC)

Death Be Not Loud If President Bush grieves publicly for those killed in Iraq, he runs the risk of reminding people of what's going on there. (NY Times)