Morning Report: February 23, 2005

Man with Saudi ties accused in Bush assassination plot. A23-year-old Virginia man has been charged in connection with a conspiracy to assassinate President Bush, according to news reports: 'Ahmed Omar Abu Ali appeared in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, and was charged with providing material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization -- al Qaeda. According to the six-count indictment, Abu Ali "did knowingly and unlawfully conspire to knowingly provide material support and resources ... knowing and intending that they were to be used in preparation for, and for carrying out, the assassination of the president of the United States." The 23-year-old Abu Ali is not charged with a conspiracy to assassinate Bush, only for supporting terrorists and, as part of that, discussing Bush's possible assassination. He was denied bail Tuesday.' Abu Ali, who spent several months in his father's native Saudi Arabia from 2002 to 2003, is also said to have associated with persons known to be connected with al-Qaeda. Rusty Shackleford at the Jawa Report has some questions. (CNN, The Jawa Report)

Bush has strong words on Iran. President Bush, meeting with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Mainz, Germany, declared that "Iran must not have a nuclear weapon for the sake of security and peace," CNN reported. Schroeder said: "We absolutely agree that Iran must say no to any kind of nuclear weapon -- full stop." Fox News adds that 'Bush and Schroeder remain far apart on the subject of how to make Tehran give up any plans it has to build such an arsenal, although both said they agreed that the end result must be a nuclear-arms free Iran. The Germans, like the French, want to offer Iran incentives to reach a nuclear agreement, and they say the United States should help sweeten the pot, by waving trade or airline restrictions. Bush feels the Europeans are too easy on Iran and he doesn't have much faith that Iran would abide by an agreement, anyway.' The visit is also the topic of a thread at Free Iran. (CNN, Fox, Free Iran)