Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

in association with the Fairness Project
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
If your email program has difficulty viewing this page, see web version:


October 29, 2002

To contact the Presidents Conference:

In-Depth Issue:

Al Qaeda Nukes are Reality, Intelligence Says - Neil Doyle (Washington Times)

    It is now a working assumption in security circles that al Qaeda does have a secret nuclear stash.
    U.S. officials said that during Christmas, enough low-grade uranium-238 was discovered in tunnels near a former al Qaeda base in Kandahar to make one "dirty" radiological bomb. That the retreating fighters from al Qaeda and Afghanistan's Taliban regime chose to leave this behind when they took to the mountains fueled suspicion that their nuclear crown jewels went with them.
    One former Soviet military intelligence agent says that Israeli intelligence "reported that bin Laden bought tactical nuclear weapons from some former Soviet republics. They are not the suitcase-type bombs that people often refer to, but more the warhead-type munitions. These are the payloads of short-range missiles, torpedoes, and the like."
    One senior Western intelligence contact is adamant that the terrorists have a number of these weapons - nine, to be precise. The price on the deal is put at $30 million, plus 2 tons of opium per nuke.

Saddam's Palaces Hide Bioweapons Labs - Jed Babbin (Washington Times)

    Saddam Hussein's palaces are the primary locations of his weapons of mass destruction programs.
    The Al-Seqoor ("the Eagle") palace in the main Baghdad "Presidential Complex" houses an underground biological weapons lab called Al-Tahaddi, "the Challenge," where work is reportedly underway on the Ebola and West Nile viruses, among others.
    Just west is the Al-Radwaniyeh compound, used to store biological weapons and with hardened bunkers for a large command and control facility.
    About 80 miles northwest of Baghdad is the Jabal Makhul Presidential Site, home of Project 555, Saddam's uranium enrichment program, with technicians working overtime shifts, trying to make fissile materials for nuclear weapons.
    Many of Saddam's palace compounds have man-made lakes built over the tunnels where WMD work is being done, as a barrier to bombardment. Typical of this is the Al-Tharthar Presidential Site, 150 miles north of Baghdad, where a large man-made lake sits above a tunnel complex housing weapons of mass destruction. Saddam's palace compound in his hometown of Tikrit includes another such tunnel complex for WMD storage and research.

Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues

News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Israeli Special Forces Go on a Scud Hunt
    Israel's Unit 262, the equivalent of Britain's Special Air Service (SAS), is on a mission in western Iraq to protect Israel from missile strikes. The Israelis are understood to have deployed two teams of 24 commandos, that have detected at least one Scud base. The commandos hide by day and operate at night, using data from the Israeli spy satellite Ofek-5, which transmits images of Iraqi targets to Israel every 60 minutes. As another precaution, Israeli air force officers are working with their Jordanian counterparts to detect low-level Iraqi planes flying towards Israel. (Front Page Magazine/Sunday Times - UK)
  • Al Qaeda's New Leaders
    U.S. and European intelligence sources have identified six emerging leaders who are now directing al Qaeda's global military and financial networks, most of them little-known Middle Eastern men who built their terrorist resumes together mounting lethal attacks against the USS Cole and U.S. embassies in eastern Africa. (Washington Post)
  • Slaying of U.S. Diplomat Outrages Washington
    No one immediately claimed responsibility for the murder of Lawrence Foley, 62, a senior administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) who started his 37-year public service career as a peace corps volunteer in India and has been in Amman with his wife since August 2000. It was the first assassination of a Western diplomat in Jordan, the fourth largest recipient of USAID funds in the world. (ABC News)
  • U.S. Navy Stems Flow of Iraqi Oil
    The United States and its allies, with quiet help from Iran, have all but shut off the flow of illegal Iraqi oil in the Persian Gulf. "What was a blockade that was probably only 30 to 40 percent effective previously is now in the 80 to 90 percent range of effectiveness," said Commodore Peter Sinclair, the Australian officer who commands the allied flotilla that is charged with enforcing the embargo in the Gulf. (New York Times)
  • CIA Tracks al Qaeda Fundraising
    "Al Qaeda relies on a steady stream of contributions" from a worldwide network of individuals and charities, including some in the U.S., according to an unclassified CIA report. The report also notes that al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists are improving their ability to conduct cyberattacks on infrastructure that relies on electronic or computer systems. (MSNBC/AP)
  • Canadian Forces Stockpile Drugs to Combat Iraqi Anthrax
    Canada's Department of National Defence has been stockpiling drugs used to treat troops exposed to Iraqi chemical and biological weapons, suggesting that, despite government denials, the armed forces is preparing to join a military campaign against Saddam Hussein. (National Post - Canada)
  • Poll Reveals American Unease with Islam
    A surprising new ABC News/Beliefnet poll shows that after starting out surprisingly tolerant, public opinion of Islam has become more negative. The percentage of Americans having an unfavorable view of Islam has jumped from 24 percent in January 2002 to 33 percent now. Muslim leaders maintained that Osama bin Laden was an aberration, a single twisted soul distorting Islam. But the reality is something more disturbing - that Islam is now being used as a justification for violence - not by a few, but by many. (ABC News)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • PA Sentences Human Rights Worker to Death
    On Monday a court in Gaza City sentenced Haidar Ghanem, 39, a field researcher for the human rights group B'tselem, to death by firing squad after finding him guilty of "collaboration" with Israel, the fourth Palestinian to receive the death sentence in recent weeks.
        A statement issued by B'tselem a few days after Ghanem's arrest said: "B'tselem is deeply concerned that Ghanem was arrested because of his work with the organization. B'tselem also fears that the purpose of his arrest is to deter human rights workers from carrying out their work honestly and with the intention of uncovering the truth. B'tselem is concerned that torture is being used in Ghanem's interrogation." B'tselem strongly rejected any accusation that Ghanem was a collaborator. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Tanzim Error Leads to Bomber's Arrest
    In an announcement claiming credit for the homicide bombing in Ariel on Sunday, the Tanzim mistakenly identified the bomber as Muhammad Shakir of Nablus. In fact, Shakir had not yet performed his mission, but after learning of his intentions, the IDF pursued and captured him.
        Continued IDF operations in Jenin have resulted in the arrest of 60 Palestinians and the discovery and destruction of 4 weapons laboratories. (Yediot Ahronot)
  • Jailed Iranian Jewish "Spies" Get Leave, Could Get Parole
    All Jewish Iranians convicted of spying for Israel have been granted home leave over the past three weeks, said the head of the Fars province Justice Department, Hossein-Ali Amiri, on Monday. He further confirmed that the Jews could be released on parole. (Islamic Republic News Agency - Iran)
        See also (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Gamal Mubarak: Successor Story in Egypt? - Jonathan Schanzer
    Unlike his predecessors, 74-year-old Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has never designated a vice president. Despite repeated, emphatic, and official assertions to the contrary, all indications point to his youngest son Gamal, 38, being groomed to succeed his father. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Our Brothers, the Bedouin - Moshe Arens
    I have traveled on three occasions this year to the Bedouin village of Zarzir in the Galilee to pay condolence calls on the families of soldiers who fell in the defense of Israel. In recent years, the number of Bedouin youngsters volunteering for service in the IDF, in the ranks of the Bedouin battalion stationed near Gaza, as soldiers in regular units of the IDF, or as trackers in the IDF ground forces, has increased. Of all of the segments of Israeli society, the Bedouin are the most disadvantaged This hour of crisis for Israel's Bedouin is a time for Israelis to express their support for the Bedouin community, and for the government to intensify its efforts to deal with their many problems. (Ha'aretz)
  • Talking Points:

    Sharon Proposes "Road Map" Revisions - Aluf Benn and Gideon Alon (Ha'aretz)

    Commenting on the road-map plan for peace in the Middle East worked out by the Quartet - the U.S., EU, UN, and Russia - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday:

    • Palestinian Authority compliance with demands for security reforms is a precondition to progress.
    • Israel will not agree to move forward on the road-map plan unless the PA fully meets its obligations.
    • No final status issues are to be discussed at this stage.
    • Sharon also revealed that Russia has halted plans to sell the SA-18 mobile ground-to-air missile to Syria, saying it did so "at Israel's request." (Jerusalem Post)

    To subscribe to the Daily Alert, please send a blank email message to:
    To unsubscribe to the Daily Alert, please send a blank email message to: