Canadian Spy Chief Calls

Iraq Home for Terrorism

MONTREAL -- Iraq has become a "kind of latter-day Afghanistan" that is training foreign terrorists and providing a testing ground for new terrorist techniques that are being exported, the head of Canada's intelligence service said Thursday.

In rare public comments, Jim Judd, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said the U.S. war in Iraq was "creating longer-term problems" than it set out to solve.

Although Judd insisted the view was "not new," his remarks were unusually critical for the intelligence head of a significant U.S. ally. The Canadian government did not support the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but it has 900 troops attached to NATO operations in Afghanistan and cooperates with the United States on terrorism issues.

Judd, who took over the agency last November, spoke to reporters while attending a conference of security professionals and experts in Montreal.

-- Doug Struck


New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), completing a three-day trip to North Korea, said the government in Pyongyang reaffirmed its intention to attend six-nation disarmament talks in early November.

Richardson, in a phone call from Tokyo, said senior North Korean officials did not respond when he asked them to shut down a plutonium reactor at Yongbyon as a show of good faith. He took a rare two-hour tour of the facility, and said he was told plutonium fuel usable for nuclear weapons had been moved to a reprocessing facility or "transferred elsewhere."

Richardson, a former U.N. ambassador, was not an official envoy but received permission from the Bush administration to travel to Pyongyang.

-- Glenn Kessler

* MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan -- The top U.N. relief coordinator warned that bold initiatives like the Berlin Airlift are needed to save as many as 3 million people left homeless by the Oct. 8 earthquake as winter approaches in the Himalayas.

The World Health Organization, meanwhile, reported that three quake survivors died of tetanus, reinforcing fears that disease and infected injuries could drive the death toll of about 79,000 far higher.

* BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Police said they had arrested the former economic development minister and his brother, the head of an oil shipper, for plotting a coup against President Ilham Aliyev less than three weeks before parliamentary elections.

* MOLDOVANOVKA, Kyrgyzstan -- Inmates took control of a prison outside the Kyrgyz capital and killed a lawmaker who arrived to look into prisoners' conditions, the government said. There were no details on how the shooting occurred.


* LONDON -- Britain's opposition Conservative Party narrowed its search for a new leader to a young reformer and a law-and-order hard-liner. David Cameron, 39, considered a centrist, topped the party's secret ballot of lawmakers with 90 votes, making him the favorite to lead the Conservatives against Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labor Party in the next election.

Second with 57 votes was David Davis, 56, who is considered the standard-bearer of the party's right wing. Cameron and Davis have six weeks to woo the party's 300,000 grass-roots members who will elect a leader in early December.

* MOSCOW -- Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been sent to Siberia to serve his eight-year sentence for fraud and tax evasion, authorities said, sparking outrage among rights activists and his attorneys.

* AMSTERDAM -- Three suspects in a Dutch crime ring hacked 1.5 million computers worldwide, setting up a "zombie network" that secretly stole credit card and other personal data, prosecutors said. The three, arrested Oct. 6, originally were estimated to have hacked 100,000 computers. They have yet to enter a plea.

* PARIS -- France acknowledged that troops under investigation for the death of a civilian in Ivory Coast did not act in self-defense, contradicting the previous official version of events.


* HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Police have arrested President Robert Mugabe's nephew over accusations he was involved in smuggling scarce flour, state media reported. The state-owned Herald said Leo Mugabe, a legislator, was arrested over the illegal export of flour worth more than $19.2 million to neighboring Mozambique early this year.

-- From News Services