Skip to comments.**Operation Infinite Freedom - Situation Room - 2 JUN 03/Day 75 - LIVE THREAD***
Posted on 06/01/2003 8:51:17 PM PDT by null and void
Welcome to the Daily Thread of Operation Infinite Freedom - Situation Room.
It is designed for general conversation about the ongoing war on terror, and the related events of the day. In depth discussion of events should be left to individual threads - but links to the threads or other articles is highly encouraged. This allows us to stay abreast of the situation in general, while also providing a means of obtaining specific information.
Imam Samudra, the alleged mastermind behind last year's Bali bombings, is escorted out of an armored police truck as he arrives in court in Denpasar, Bali June 2, 2003. Samudra faces six charges under Indonesia's anti-terrorism laws for planning, financing, and carrying out the attack which killed more than 200 people, mostly foreign tourists, last October.
BALI, Indonesia (Reuters) - A 33-year-old computer expert went on trial for his life on Monday, accused of masterminding the deadly Bali bomb attacks that prosecutors say were part of a plan to wage war on the United States.
Prosecutors have charged Imam Samudra with plotting, organizing and carrying out premeditated crimes of terror and causing mass casualties in the bombings last October 12. He has denied none of the charges and, if convicted, faces a maximum penalty of death.
SEOUL, South Korea - President Roh Moo-hyun said Monday that South Korea and the United States would never tolerate North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons, and they would strive to resolve the ongoing nuclear tension peacefully.
"South Korea and the United States share a firm principle that North Korea should never possess nuclear weapons and that the issue should be resolved through a peaceful manner," Roh said in a nationally televised news conference.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqis ordered by the U.S.-led occupation force to begin turning in their weapons showed little sign of compliance Sunday, the first day of a two-week amnesty period designed to make the streets of postwar Iraq safer.
In a land where gun culture runs deep and lawlessness is a serious concern, separating people from their firearms is no easy task especially in Baghdad, a city occupied by heavily armed American forces.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iraq's U.S. administrators have decided to select a small group of Iraqis to serve on an interim advisory council rather than convene large a national conference to create a transitional authority, The Washington Post reported on Monday.
The newspaper quoted a senior U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity as saying that the council could be formed within about six weeks.
ROME - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell arrived Sunday in Rome for a meeting with Pope John Paul II, the first high-level U.S.- Vatican talks since the pontiff personally appealed to President Bush to avoid war against Iraq.
Powell made no comments to reporters after flying in to Rome's Ciampino airport from St. Petersburg, Russia, where Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks. He was to meet with the pope on Monday morning.
EVIAN, France - President Bush on Sunday dismissed a tentative proposal by North Korea that it might agree to discuss its nuclear weapons program with a group of nations, if it could also hold direct talks on the side with just the United States.
The idea was conveyed to Bush by Chinese President Hu Jintao, a senior Bush administration official said. Bush suggested he wasn't interested in such a format, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
RABAT, Morocco - Moroccan King Mohammed VI will skip a planned trip to Egypt this week for a summit gathering President Bush and Arab leaders, a government official said Sunday.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the decision was made because Morocco is still dealing with the aftermath of terrorist attacks last month in Casablanca.
MANILA, Philippines - Muslim separatists in the south began a unilaterally declared 10-day cease-fire Monday, but government officials said there will be no letup in pursuing rebels blamed for recent attacks.
The insurgents announced on Wednesday they would halt their fire starting Monday, but demanded that the government withdraw troops from guerrilla areas and cancel arrest warrants for rebel leaders.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel signalled support on Sunday for efforts by the Palestinian prime minister to persuade militants to stop attacks on Israelis, removing an obstacle to the success of a summit with U.S. President George W. Bush.
"A ceasefire -- that's fine," a senior Israeli government source told Reuters. "The point is, at the end of the day there have to be real steps to disarm and dismantle the Palestinian terrorist groups."
LONDON (AFP) - Prime Minister Tony Blair duped the public over the threat posed by Saddam Hussein in order to ensure Britain invaded Iraq, Clare Short, who resigned from his cabinet, told a British Sunday newspaper.
"There was political spin put on the intelligence information to create a sense of urgency," Short, who stepped down as International Development Secretary following the end of the conflict in Iraq, told the Sunday Telegraph.
DEHEISHE REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank - A shrine of sorts fills a corner of Fatima Jafari's living room. Two well-worn coffee pots, a water jug used for washing hands and some squares of embroidered fabric are all that remain of the home her family left in July 1948 as Israeli guns closed in on her village.
More than half a century later, she still dreams of returning to that land southwest of Jerusalem and now inside Israel's borders, even though she was only 40 days old when she left, and even though that home is now rubble.
WASHINGTON - President Bush is drawing praise from lawmakers for involving himself in the Israeli-Palestinian impasse this week. They also are offering advice: stay engaged.
Either Bush himself or an exceptionally high-ranking emissary must keep at it, two senior senators said Sunday.
EVIAN, France - President Bush will press Arab leaders to do more to show open support for new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, U.S. officials said as the president prepared to open an intense round of personal diplomacy in the region.
Bush hoped to win additional backing for a U.S.-backed peace plan that would lead to creation of a Palestinian state by 2005.
JERUSALEM - Israel eased some travel restrictions and Palestinians predicted a cease-fire soon, as both sides prepared for a crucial peace summit this week with President Bush.
The summit, set for Wednesday in the Jordanian resort of Aqaba, marks the official launch of the "road map" peace plan, the latest blueprint for ending 32 months of bloody Mideast violence and nudging the two warring sides into peace talks.
One of the 19 suspected militants linked to last month's Riyadh bombings was killed in a shootout which also claimed the lives of two policemen, a Saudi interior ministry official said yesterday.
The militant was killed late on Saturday in a gunfight with police after a car chase in the north of the country, the official said.
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