Reporters on the Job

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Rebuilding in Iraq: A year ago, the Al Khafaji family lost three members and saw their Baghdad home destroyed by a pair of suicide bombs. Staff writer Scott Peterson, awakened in his hotel room a block away by the first explosion and flying glass, was among the first on the scene. "Rescue workers were just starting to dig through the rubble for survivors. Cars were on fire. The wounded and shell-shocked were staggering around," he recalls.

He saw a woman's body pulled from a building. As Scott drew closer to take photos, a family member dipped his hand in the water from a burst pipe, and angrily flung it at Scott and the other photographers gathering. "Ahmed [al- Khafaji] was angry at us and the entire tragedy," says Scott.

Later that day, Scott returned to talk to the family. "I apologized for taking a picture of something so sensitive to the family. He apologized, too. We've been friends ever since. I've been by to visit several times in the past year to see how they're doing, and note the progress they've made in rebuilding."

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9/11 Conviction: A German appeals court Thursday convicted Mounir El Motassadeq of being an accessory to murder in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the US.

As reported Thursday Nov. 16, "German 9/11 trial underscores need for better global cooperation," the US declined to allow testimony by Ramzi Binalshibh, who is suspected to have been a liaison between the Hamburg cell and Al Qaeda. Mr. Binalshibh is being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. German attorneys complained that the US provided only limited summaries of his interrogation, which the Hamburg court said had no value as evidence.

Mr. Motassadeq was a close friend of three hijackers when they lived and studied in Hamburg.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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