The Insider: Daily Terrorism Report

Oct. 23, 2003 -- [[[[Today's report includes Spain's release of an Al Jazeera reporter and more on the Madrid donor conference.]]]]]



Spain frees on bail Al Jazeera newsman in al Qaeda case

A Spanish judge on Thursday decided to release on bail for medical reasons Tayseer Alouni, a journalist from Arab television network Al Jazeera accused of belonging to an al Qaeda cell in Spain, court sources said. (Reuters)

Casablanca bombers have Al Qaeda links Five people allegedly implicated in the May bomb attacks in Casablanca, Morocco were all members of a Spanish-based Al Qaeda terrorist cell, judicial sources in Madrid said on Monday. (News 24 – South Africa)


German chancellery reinforces refusal to allow Hamburg court access to U.S.-held Sept. 11 suspect's statements

A German judge said on Monday statements from Ramzi bin al-Shaibah, a suspected September 11 conspirator, could not be used in the trial of a Moroccan accused of helping the suicide hijackers. (Reuters)

Moroccan calls 9/11 conviction 'unjust'

Mounir el Motassadeq who was found guilty of helping the Sept. 11 suicide hijackers told a court Tuesday that his conviction was "unjust" and denied that an Al Qaeda cell ever existed in Hamburg. (Washington Post)



Philippines says al-Qaeda suspect and associate of bin Laden's brother-in-law arrested

The Philippines said two Arab al-Qaeda suspects had been captured and that a huge manhunt was under way in the south of the country for dozens of militants from the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) group. (AFP)

The War in Iraq

Bush won't agree to quick Iraq handover

President Bush in his U.N. speech Tuesday will resist French and German pressures for a quick surrender of U.S. authority in Iraq, top aides said. American and European diplomats worked behind the scenes to draft a compromise on the pace of a handover. (The Guardian),1280,-3181132,00.html

Editorial: What the U.S. owes its friends

Now, more than ever, the annual address by the president to the United Nations cannot be a bravura declamation of "our way or the highway." Yet reports from Washington indicate President Bush will rigidly insist in his speech to the world body today that the invasion of Iraq was correct and it's up to nations that opposed the war to get over their distaste and bail the U.S. out of a deadly jam. (LA Times),1,3877255.story?coll=la-news-comment-editorials

Iraq to close down Arab satellite TV offices: spokesman

Iraq's Governing Council has decided to close down the Baghdad offices of the Arab satellite television stations Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, at least temporarily, for allegedly inciting violence, a council spokesman said. (AFP)

Iraqi defense chief argued with Saddam

Former Defense Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmad al-Tai, who surrendered to U.S. forces on Friday, had quarreled with Saddam Hussein as American troops prepared to invade Iraq last spring. However, Saddam rejected military plans to defend Baghdad in the belief that a political solution remained possible. (Washington Times)

Blow to Blair as majority say war not justified Tony Blair has decisively lost the debate over Iraq with a clear majority of voters now saying that the war was unjustified, according to the results of this month's Guardian/ICM poll published today. (The Guardian),3605,1047817,00.html

British Defense Secretary knew WMD press reports were wrong Defence secretary Geoff Hoon yesterday admitted he did nothing to correct newspaper reports that Iraq could launch its weapons of mass destruction over long distances against British troops, though he knew the stories were wrong. (The Guardian),3605,1047775,00.html

Editorial: An Iraqi rescue rope Washington could accuse 'regional' terrorism or Al Qaeda, or even the Baathists, of having attacked Aqila Al-Hashemi, a member of the Iraqi ruling council. But no matter who carried out the attack yesterday, the result is the same: the rescue rope is not in the hands of the Americans, and Iraq is still as far from stability as the U.S. is from Baghdad, Tikrit or Basra. (Al Hayat)

Suicide attacker who struck at UN carried two bombs The bomber seemed prepared to die in any of several ways here this morning. In the trunk of his car, was one bomb. Around his waist, in the form of an explosive belt, was another. (NY Times)

Plenty of clues in Iraqi crimes, but few trails (NY Times) Syria hints it could send peacekeepers to Iraq Syria has hinted it could send troops to help restore security in Iraq, but only if Washington sets a timetable for pulling out its forces and handing over the reconstruction of Iraq to the United Nations. (Reuters)

Editorial: Troops in Iraq: more isn't better The proponents of sending more soldiers to Iraq have not explained just how it will fix the problems on the ground. The answer is, it won't. (NY Times)

Opinion: Don't Send Turkish Troops to Iraq

Council on Foreign Relations' David Phillips writes on concerns over sending Turkish troops to Iraq. (CS Monitor)

Iraq Council Head shifts to position at odds with U.S. Ahmad Chalabi, the president of Iraq's interim government, is in New York this week to press alternatives to the Bush administration's occupation policy in postwar Iraq, he and his aides say. In the process, he may complete a personal transformation from protégé of Pentagon conservatives to Iraqi nationalist with a loud, independent voice. (NY Times)


Saudi Arabia

Saudi farm raid sets off hostage standoff

Saudi security forces raided a farm in a search for Islamic militants Tuesday, setting off a running battle with gunmen who fled into a hospital and took foreigners hostage, security officials said. (AP)

Some 600 arrested since Riyadh bombings

Saudi ambassador to Britain says two-thirds of arrested since Riyadh bombings in May are still in custody. (AFP)

Satellite communication devices smuggled into the country

Informed sources revealed that satellite communication devices of the same type used by terrorist cells were smuggled into Saudi Arabia through three neighboring countries; Yemen, Qatar and the UAE. Saudi authorities had previously found the same devices which were believed to have been used by terrorists in coordinating operations. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Analysis: Al Qaeda mutating like a virus Terror networks operating with renewed vigor Iraq war helping bin Laden recruit suicide bombers (Toronto Star)


16 Taliban arrested in Afghanistan sweep

Sixteen Taliban have been arrested in southern Afghanistan in a sweep by 1,000 Afghan fighters and more than 300 U.S.-led coalition troops hunting for leaders of the former regime, a local commander said Thursday. (AP)

Taliban claims it has control over four districts The Taliban are in control of four districts in southeast Afghanistan and have formed four committees to organize "resistance" to US-led forces, a spokesperson for the resurgent militia was quoted saying here on Monday. (News 24 – South Africa),6119,2-10-1462_1419875,00.html

Analysis: Taliban's shoots start to sprout from roots that the US failed to eradicate First there were warnings: two men on motorcycles who threatened a water supply team from the Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees for working with the infidels, and gunmen at a roadblock who torched a Dacaar vehicle. (Financial Times)


Yemen frees top terror suspect, plans to release 150 others in Ramadan

Yemen has released a "top terror suspect" after five years in jail and said it will free 150 others who have "sworn off violence" during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, the defense ministry's weekly newspaper said Thursday. (AFP)

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FBI teams probe sites of terror overseas Scouring the mangled USS Cole, Kevin Finnerty and his fellow FBI agents came across strands of burned orange carpet, evidence that would become crucial in the investigation into the terrorist explosion in Yemen that killed 17 sailors. (Washington Post)


Trial of terror suspects to begin next week

Jordan's Supreme Court will start next week the trial of 10 Jordanians and three Saudis for planning attacks against US interests in the country. Four of the suspects are still at large and will be tried in absentia. Sources told Asharq Al Awsat that the arrest of the group was made after they spoke in phone conversations about obtaining explosives and planning attacks.(Asharq Al Awsat)


U.S. worries al-Qaeda in Iran may be running operations

A handful of senior al-Qaeda operatives who fled to Iran after the Afghan war may have developed a working relationship with a secretive military unit linked to Iran's religious hard-liners, American counterterrorism officials say. (AP)


Australians quiz terror leader The alleged mastermind of a terrorist bombing, the Lebanese Mohammed Yehia Kaaki, has been interrogated at the Australian embassy in Beirut over his relationship with two Sydney brothers. (The Australian),5744,7334941%5E2702,00.html


United States

Statue of Liberty threat triggers security boost

A threat to attack the Statue of Liberty prompted city police to tighten security near the monument yesterday with increased air and sea patrols. (Newsday),0,4702867.story?coll=nyc-topheadlines-span

Wife, FBI agent testify at hearing for Yemen man accused of al-Qaeda links

Using freshly declassified evidence, an Akron FBI agent testified yesterday that the bureau believes a Kent man is an al-Qaida operative as potentially lethal as the terrorists who flew the hijacked planes Sept. 11, 2001. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Shake-up amid war on terror 'has hit campaign'

The US effort to shut down financial support for terrorist networks is being seriously hampered by a government reorganisation that has left the most experienced agencies without any real power, the US government's former top counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke said yesterday. (Financial Times)

Moussaoui wants testimony from Hambali, Government is expected to oppose motion

Zacarias Moussaoui has asked his trial judge for access to another high-ranking captured al Qaeda leader, this time the man known as Hambali, who is recognized as the terror group's top operative in Southeast Asia.(CNN)

Probe of two groups that train Muslim chaplains sought

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) yesterday renewed his request for an investigation into two institutes that train Islamic chaplains for the military in light of the Sept. 10 arrest of Army Capt. James "Yousef" Yee, an imam who ministered to detainees held at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Washington Post)

Guantanamo probe stirs wider security concerns

The investigation into security breaches at the US military's Guantanamo Bay prison has not yet turned up evidence of a coordinated Al Qaeda penetration of the heavily guarded Cuban camp. (CS Monitor)