Mark Hosenball

Talk About Iran Attack Seems Very Overheated

An article in The Atlantic reports that Iran may be nearing the "point of no return" in its pursuit of an atomic bomb. Therefore, there is a "better than 50 percent chance" Israel will launch an attack against Iranian nuclear sites by "next July." We are skeptical.

Less Than Meets The Eye to Latest WikiLeaks Threat

There may be less than meets the eye in the latest threat from WikiLeaks to reveal a new cache of secret Pentagon documents. On Thursday, Julian Assange, the whistleblower Web site's founder and principal front man, told a gathering in London he was preparing to release at least some of the 15,000 classified U.S. government reports related to the war in Afghanistan that were held back last month when he published roughly 76,000 similar documents.

Brit Cops Face Charges for Beating Terror Suspect Wanted by U.S.

British prosecutors announced on Thursday that they intend to charge four Scotland Yard officers for delivering a severe beating to a London-based Web- site operator who for years has been awaiting extradition to the U.S. on charges related to his alleged support for the Taliban and other Islamic militant groups.

Spy Agencies Check Background of Alleged Serial Knifeman

Both law-enforcement and intelligence agencies are urgently investigating the background of a purported Israeli citizen, using the name Elias Abuelazam, who is suspected of 20 stabbings across three states that left five people dead. The man was arrested Wednesday night at the Atlanta airport as he reportedly tried to board a Delta flight to Tel Aviv.

Did a Minneapolis Janitor Work for Al-Shabab in the Netherlands?

Mahamud Said Omar is a middle-aged former janitor who used to work at a mosque in Minneapolis frequented by Somali expatriates. But U.S. authorities describe Omar as a significant—if not key—figure in a major investigation into the activities of the violent Islamist group Al-Shabab.

NTSB Warned About Alaska Pilots' Risky Ways—and Ted Stevens Argued

The National Transportation Safety Board warned 15 years ago that Alaska suffers too many air accidents from flying under conditions like those in which a De Havilland floatplane crashed on Monday, killing former Alaska senator Ted Stevens and four other passengers.

Ted Stevens Was 'Protective' of Aviation in Alaska

Former GOP senator Ted Stevens was "very protective" of an "aviation culture" in Alaska, which sometimes involved risky flying practices that might not be tolerated elsewhere in the United States.

Where's Julian?

Almost as quickly as it scheduled a press conference in London to address Pentagon demands that it hand over any secret U.S. government documents in its possession, the whistle-blower Web site WikiLeaks postponed the event indefinitely.

Why Landis Went After Lance

What led disgraced cyclist Floyd Landis, who spent three and a half years after his 2006 Tour de France victory denying he doped, to not only backpedal on his story in May, but accuse onetime teammate Lance Armstrong of using performance-enhancing drugs?

WikiLeaks Takes a Breather

Apparently stung by complaints that publishing uncensored U.S. military reports could get people killed, the folks behind WikiLeaks are said to be postponing any further release of such documents.

Jihadists Boast of Yet Another Failed Attack

In what appears to be the latest effort by Islamic militants to lower the bar for what constitutes a "successful" terrorist attack, extremists have publicly boasted of an attempted chemical attack on the U.S. Embassy in Paris. In a message posted earlier this week on a jihadist Web site, the previously unknown Abu Dujanah al-Khorasani Brigade claimed responsibility for sending what it described as "chemical letters" to the embassy.

After Revealing Afghan War Secrets, Wikileaks Prepares Document Dumps on Iraq and Diplomacy

While the world has begun picking through the 90,000 classified reports on U.S. military activity in Afghanistan obtained and released by freedom of information website Wikileaks, Declassified has learned that tens of thousands of additional U.S. government documents—including military reports relating to the Iraq War and State Department diplomatic cables—may surface in forthcoming document dumps.

From Islamabad Station Chief to New CIA Spymaster

A fresh indication of the extreme importance the Obama administration attaches to U.S.-Pakistani relations: the CIA's new top spymaster, John D. Bennett, was the agency's chief of station in Islamabad in his most recent foreign posting.

No Place Like Iran

Until he flew home to Iran last week, claiming to have been kidnapped and tortured by American agents, Shahram Amiri was a client of the CIA's National Resettlement Operations Center (NROC). That experience may not have improved his attitude toward America. The NROC, an office in the agency's National Clandestine Service, is supposed to keep foreign defectors as happy and comfortable as possible—a frequently thankless task, since they tend to be a stressed-out lot.

Senator, White House Clash Over Transfer of Suspect From Gitmo to Yemen

Missouri Republican Kit Bond, vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, is aggressively questioning the wisdom of the Obama administration's decision to send detainee Mohammed Odaini—whose release from the U.S. detention camp had been ordered in May by a federal judge—to Yemen.

U.K. Government Denies Link Between BP and Release of Libyan Bomber

In the wake of renewed criticism of the decision by authorities in Scotland last year to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed Al-Megrahi—a Libyan intelligence officer who is the only person convicted in the December 1988 bombing of U.S.-bound Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland—from prison, Britain's new coalition government is distancing itself from the move.

U.S. Officials Deny Iranian 'Defector' Was Kidnapped or Abused

Four U.S. officials, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, told Declassified that Shahram Amiri, a purported Iranian nuclear scientist who has turned up at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington seeking to be sent back to Iran, was not held against his will by the U.S. government and was not subjected to any abuse.

Russian Spy Anna Chapman Not Ready to Sell Story—Yet

Anna Chapman, the flame-haired femme fatale who became the poster girl for the recent U.S.-Russia spy swap, will abide by a plea-bargain provision supposedly barring her from selling her story—for now, at least. But people familiar with the wildly competitive checkbook journalism of London's Fleet Street tabloids say Chapman could net a substantial fortune from her tale.

Spying a Real Payday

The terms of the U.S.-Russia spy swap that took place last week certainly seemed unbalanced. In exchange for the 10 Russian sleeper agents who were recently exposed living in American suburbia, the Obama administration got only four accused Western spies from Moscow.

Where To Next for Russian Agent Anna Chapman

Deported Russian sleeper agent Anna Chapman has arrived in Moscow, and the redheaded soubrette is planning to stay with her family in Russia "for a while," her lawyer, federal public defender Robert M. Baum, tells Declassified.

New Charges Link Qaeda Biggies to N.Y. Subway Plot

The latest charges filed in a plot to bomb the New York subway provide the strongest evidence yet that the subway-attack plot, to which Afghan immigrant Najibullah Zazi and one codefendant have already pleaded guilty, was an operation conceived and directed by elements of what remains of the so-called core, or central leadership, of Al Qaeda.

Is a Russia-U.S. Spy Swap in the Works?

Echoes of the Cold War continue to reverberate from last week's FBI roundup of 10 suspected Russian deep-cover spies. Now news reports from Moscow suggest that a Cold War–style spy swap could be in the works to send the alleged Russian agents home—and there's substance to those reports, some officials in Washington acknowledge.

U.K. Prime Minister Announces Torture Inquiry

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday announced a formal inquiry into allegations that British intelligence personnel were complicit in alleged "torture" and rendition of terrorism suspects in the years after the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.

Former Gore Aide Among Alleged Spy Ring's Targets

A onetime national-security aide to former vice president Al Gore was among the U.S. foreign-policy specialists targeted by the alleged Russian spies who were rounded up by the FBI last week, according to eyewitness accounts and published reports.

Why the Feds Moved Now on the Russian Spies

They stand accused of spooky tradecraft, stashing money under a broken bottle in a remote field, transmitting coded messages, and, yes, even writing in invisible ink and exchanging parcels by "brush pass" in train stations.