Dutch Man Charged

With Iraq Conspiracy

The United States has charged a Dutch citizen with conspiring to kill Americans in Iraq, the first U.S. criminal case connected to terrorist activities there, the Justice Department said.

Iraqi-born Wasem Delaema, 32, was arrested in May during a raid on his home in the Dutch city of Amersfoort. On Wednesday, U.S. authorities filed a criminal complaint in U.S. District Court in Washington and asked the Dutch government to extradite him for prosecution.

Among the charges is conspiring to kill Americans overseas. U.S. authorities allege Delaema helped plot attacks near Fallujah in October 2003. Dutch prosecutors say they seized a videotape showing Delaema and other masked men describing how they laid mines along a road near Fallujah where a U.S. military convoy was expected to pass.

Delaema's Dutch attorney, Victor Koppe, denied his client was involved in any attacks.

CIA Says Iran President

Was Not Hostage-Taker

A CIA analysis has concluded that a hostage-taker pictured in an old photo at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran is not Iranian President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a U.S. official said yesterday.

The analysis compared photos of Ahmadinejad and an embassy hostage-taker whom former U.S. hostages identified as the newly elected Iranian leader. It found discrepancies serious enough to suggest the two are different men.

"If there's a case to be made that Ahmadinejad was one of the hostage-takers, it will not be made on the basis of those photographs," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of sensitive nature of the subject matter.

The photos were widely published in the U.S. media late last month.

Scant Evidence Cited

On Screening of Saudis

Officials in the Department of Homeland Security cannot prove that they are adequately screening Saudis for terrorism-related risks when they seek entry into the United States, congressional investigators have found.

A report by the Government Accountability Office concluded that the department's visa security officers, stationed in Riyadh and Jeddah, do not compile comprehensive evidence of their security checks.

The visa officers in Saudi Arabia "provided anecdotal evidence of their contributions to the visa process," the GAO report found.

But Homeland Security "does not maintain comprehensive data on the results of their activities, such as the number of cases for which [visa officers] recommended refusal, and thus is unable to fully demonstrate the program's overall impact on visa operations," the report concluded.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who executed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were Saudi citizens. Shortly after the attacks, critics charged the State Department with being too lax in issuing visas to Saudi nationals.

-- From News Services