Morning Report: May 16, 2005

"Newsweek Apology Inflames Pentagon." Morning Report regrets that it cannot take credit for the foregoing headline; that honor goes to Fox News, which reports: 'Pentagon officials reacted angrily to an acknowledgement from Newsweek that it published a flimsy report, accusing the magazine of inflaming anti-American violence in Afghanistan. In an apology to readers, Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker said that its original source for a story accusing U.S. interrogators of flushing the Koran down the toilet to rattle a detainee later said he or she could not recall where information about the alleged incident came from. "We believed our story was newsworthy because a U.S. official said government investigators turned up this evidence," Whitaker wrote. "But we regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst."' No word yet on whether the Washington street will explode. (Fox)

Jewish extremists held in alleged terror conspiracy. Jerusalem Post: 'Three Jewish extremists have been questioned by police for allegedly planning to fire a missile at a mosque on Jerusalem's Temple Mount in an effort to torpedo this summer's planned unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, police announced Monday. The three men were part of a group of nine Israeli Jewish suspects arrested over the last month in two separate cases over alleged plans to attack the Temple Mount. But calling into question the strength of the police's case, however, all of the suspects have been released from custody, with the state attorney's office deciding not to press charges against any of the suspects due to lack of evidence and the fact that they had second thoughts about their plot even before they were detained.' Arutz Sheva: 'The police were forced to admit that no indictments would be handed down, and no weapons were found in their possession. In addition, none of the nine "suspects" were kept in jail - though they face various restrictions on their mobility for the coming weeks. Members of one "cell" discussed attacking the Dome of the Rock with missiles, but never acquired the weapons or the know-how to perpetrate the attack. Another man, Ilan Hirshfeld of Raanana - a 61-year-old retired air-conditioner retailer - was interrogated for several hours last month after he asked his employees if it was possible to install a camera aboard a drone flying over the Temple Mount.' Ha'Aretz: 'Two of the central suspects, Avtalion Kadosh, 21, from Jerusalem and 23-year-old Eyal Karamani from Rehovot, turned to the criminal underworld in a bid to obtain the weapons, Israel Radio said. According to the report, the five toured of the site, and decided that they would fire the missile at the Mount and then throw hand grenades at security forces who arrived at the scene, before committing suicide. Another man was also detained over a plan to fly a model aircraft into the Mount. Last summer, the defense establishment confirmed that it was becoming increasingly concerned that right-wing extremists might be plotting an attack on the Temple Mount to derail the planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. As a result, Israeli security sources said at the time, the Shin Bet and the police were preparing for a number of possible terror attack scenarios at the sacred Old City site.' Debka: 'Jerusalem judge dismissed case and ordered Shin Beit and police to set free without charge or restrictions 9 Israelis alleged to have contemplated a missile attack on Temple Mount, followed by grenade assault on Israeli security forces and collective suicide. Defending lawyer accused security service of trumping up charges with aid of agent provocateur. The episode released Monday is one month old. Internal security minister Ezra: The episode was not serious and Temple Mount was never in danger. Another man accused of planning a glider flight over shrine to ignite a Palestinian uprising was likewise freed without charge.' (various)