Iraq: al-Qaida leader caught

BAGHDAD - The Iraqi government presented the first image of the alleged leader of an al-Qaida front group Tuesday in a bid to prove the right suspect was in custody despite skepticism that he even exists.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called Abu Omar al-Baghdadi "the head of evil' and accused him of trying to incite a sectarian civil war and working with other insurgents who remained loyal to Saddam Hussein.

Authorities described al-Baghdadi's capture, which was announced last week, as a major setback for Sunni insurgents trying to intensify attacks after a relative lull.

Pakistani jets pound militants close to capital

ISLAMABAD - Pakistani jets and attack helicopters struck Taliban positions in mountains close to the capital Tuesday as part of a widening offensive against militants spreading out from the lawless region along the border with Afghanistan, the military said.

With residents reporting ground troops also moving into the Buner area, the operation could allay worry in the U.S. and other Western nations that nuclear-armed Pakistan lacks the will to fight extremists in the northwest, where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is thought to be hiding.

The attack stands to further strain a shaky peace deal in the Malakand region, which Buner is a part of. The truce has been widely viewed in the West as a surrender to the militants and a sign Pakistan's shaky civilian government does not recognize the threat they pose.

3 men acquitted of helping '05 London bombing

LONDON - Three men charged in London's 2005 suicide bombings - Britain's deadliest attack since World War II - were acquitted of the most serious offenses against them Tuesday in the latest terrorism case to frustrate prosecutors.

A jury found Waheed Ali, Sadeer Saleem, and Mohammed Shakil not guilty of conspiring with four suicide bombers who blew themselves up on three subway cars and a bus on July 7, 2005, killing 52 people. Ali and Shakil were convicted of a lesser charge - conspiring to attend a terror training camp - and will be sentenced Wednesday.

The men were the only people ever charged in the attack. A different jury failed to reach a verdict in their case last year.

Andy Hayman, a retired senior police office who previously led the inquiry, said the trial had been the "last throw of the dice' for investigators. There are no new leads.