British Authorities Summon Israeli Ambassador to Talk About Dubai Hit-Team Probe

Britain's Foreign Office announced that it has asked for a meeting tomorrow with Israel's ambassador to the U.K. to discuss a delicate subject: the growing international uproar over the mysterious team of assassins that used fraudulent British passports last month in a plot to murder a senior Hamas official.Dubai officials have released pictures, names, and passport numbers of 11 foreigners they say were members of a hit squad that killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in his Dubai hotel room on Jan. 19....

Taliban Promotion Scorecard: Who Will Replace Mullah Baradar?

The capture last week of Mullah Baradar Akhund, the Taliban's No. 2 leader, is expected to spark a leadership reshuffle within the organization's Afghan branch. One jihadist who could step up to take Baradar's place: Mullah Abdul Qayam Zakir, a ruthless former Guantánamo detainee released back to Afghanistan by the Bush administration.

Brits Probe How Alleged Hit Team Members Got Fake Passports

The British government is investigating how six members of an alleged hit squad obtained expertly forged U.K. passports used in a plot to murder a prominent Hamas leader. Authorities in Dubai say members of the squad used the fake documents to enter the country, where they killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a hotel room on January 20. Authorities in Dubai, the financial hub of the United Arab Emirates, have issued warrants for the arrests of 11 suspects they believe to be involved in Mabhouh's...

Homeland Security's Favorite Web Sites

Given that the Internet has become one of the world's most important sources of news and social discourse, it's probably appropriate, if not laudable, that the Department of Homeland Security should be closely monitoring the Web. In fact, according to official papers posted on Homeland Security's Web site, the department's National Operations Center has been making special efforts to enhance its "situational awareness" during major events, particularly the recent Haiti...

Superhero Captain America Apologizes to Tea Partiers

Comic-book superhero Captain America may have vanquished some of the world's worst villains, but he's been humbled by conservative tea-party crusaders. According to a story pulled together by Yahoo News, the creative chief at Marvel Comics apologized to the noisy populist movement for a recent Captain America storyline about antigovernment militia groups. The comic included a storyboard panel depicting white protesters carrying placards with slogans similar to those favored...

Pakistani Taliban May Have Lost Two Leaders to U.S. Missiles

U.S. officials say that a second major leader of the Pakistani Taliban may have been killed in January─possibly in the same U.S. missile strike that officials are increasingly confident killed Pakistan's Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud. After U.S. authorities launched several rounds of drone-fired missile strikes in mid-January at suspected Taliban encampments in Pakistan, reports began to circulate about the possible death of Hakimullah. The media-hungry Hakimullah, who costarred in a...

Senate Finally Confirms Key Intelligence Nominees

After a key Republican withdrew a sheaf of secret "holds" he had placed on Obama administration appointees, the Senate has confirmed nominees to two key intelligence posts. Philip Goldberg was confirmed as assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research while Caryn Wagner was confirmed as undersecretary for intelligence and analysis at the Department of Homeland Security. The intelligence nominees, along with a wide assortment of other nominations made by President Obama to key...

Former CIA Official Scolds Intel Chief Blair

A former senior CIA officer is criticizing the office of National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair for publicly denouncing a British court's decision to release long-censored information about alleged U.S. mistreatment of a suspected terrorist.Joseph Wippl, a 30-year veteran of the CIA's undercover operations division, says Blair's office had no business criticizing the Brits."It's inappropriate to comment on judicial proceedings in other countries," said Wippl, who now directs the...

U.S., Allies Less Than Knocked Out by Iran's 'Punch'

Officials of the Obama administration and key European allies say that, so far, they have been underwhelmed by the latest round of rhetoric and threats from Iranian leaders, who rallied a large crowd in Tehran on Thursday to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution. In the days before Thursday's celebration, prominent figures in the Islamic government had escalated rhetoric denouncing their enemies and touting Iran's controversial military and nuclear ambitions....

Obama Intelligence Czar Attacks U.K. Court Disclosures

The office of the Obama administration's Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, late on Wednesday denounced a British court decision that earlier in the day made public allegations that U.K. resident Binyamin Mohamed was mistreated while detained under U.S. control in Pakistan.In a two-paragraph written statement, the intelligence czar's office criticized Britain's Court of Appeals for releasing seven paragraphs of long-censored information in a formal ruling that...

British Court Orders Release of Information, Censored at U.S. Insistence, Regarding Alleged Mistreatment of U.K. Resident

U.S. intelligence officials interrogating a British terror suspect subjected him to "cruel, inhumane and degrading" treatment in violation of international legal standards, according to a British court ruling. Britain's Court of Appeal on Wednesday ordered the U.K. government to release seven paragraphs of long-censored information describing how a U.K. resident, initially held in Pakistan as a terrorism suspect, allegedly was mistreated while under American control. David Miliband,...

Where's Hakimullah?

Hakimullah Mehsud, reputed leader of Taliban forces in Pakistan, evidently enjoys attention. After he allegedly succeeded fellow tribesman Baitullah Mehsud (no relation) as Pakistani Taliban leader last year─Baitullah was reportedly killed by a missile fired from a U.S.-operated drone─Hakimullah featured in several video messages, now available on YouTube.

What Iran's 'Punch' to the West Might Be

If ever there were a time for Iranian chest-thumping, it would be now. The 31st anniversary of the regime's Islamic Revolution is less than a week away, but authorities anticipate that the celebrations will be marred by a new round of antigovernment protests led by opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Statistics GOP Criticized Were Originally Touted by Bush Administration

Maybe it's time to stop some of the name-calling over counterterrorism policy and start checking the facts. As the debate over Obama administration counterterrorism policies has heated up in the wake of the failed Christmas Day underpants airplane bombing, prominent Republicans, ranging from leading senators to a former press secretary for George W. Bush, have attacked the current administration for claiming that hundreds of terrorist suspects had been successfully prosecuted through the...

Terror Prosecution Statistics Criticized by GOP Were Originally Touted by Bush Administration

Maybe it's time to stop some of the name-calling over counterterrorism policy and start checking the facts. As the debate over Obama administration counterterrorism policies has heated up in the wake of the failed Christmas Day underpants airplane bombing, prominent Republicans, ranging from leading senators to a former press secretary for George W. Bush, have attacked the current administration for claiming that hundreds of terrorist suspects had been successfully prosecuted through the...

Much Talk–But Little Action–from Tehran on Possible 'Prisoner' Deal

While they have publicly floated suggestions that Tehran is interested in a possible swap of American hikers imprisoned in Iran for Iranian citizens held by the U.S. and its allies, Iranian leaders have done little to nothing through diplomatic channels to move the prisoner issue forward, according to the State Department.

Can Intel Agencies Kill Americans?

The director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, shocked Washington last week when he told a congressional committee that U.S. spy agencies have the authority to assassinate American citizens abroad who are believed to be involved in terrorism. But he suggested that intel officials would have to follow special rules to do so: "If … we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that," he told the House intelligence committee.

Obama Officials Annoyed Over Politicos Jumping Ship on 9/11 Terror Trial

With a nudge from the White House, the Justice Department is now scrambling to find a new site to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other alleged 9/11 co-conspirators. But their search may not be easy. "We're considering our options," said a Justice Department official, amid what has turned into a full-scale political rebellion against Attorney General Eric Holder's plans to try Mohammed and other 9/11 plot suspects in U.S. district court for the southern district of New York, whose two...

Leading Democrats Join Bandwagon Demanding That KSM Trial Be Moved From Manhattan

Political support appears be collapsing on every front for the Obama administration's plan to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other accused 9/11 co-conspirators in federal court in New York City. Among the latest prominent Democrats to join the growing political wave urging that the trial be moved to a different location is Senate intelligence committee chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, normally a fairly strong backer of the current administration's counterterrorism policies. In a letter sent today...

Louisiana Suspect's Academic Program Was Designed to Attract and Recruit Potential Female Spies

The Washington academic program that Louisiana telephone-tampering suspect Stanley Dai helped to manage was part of an "affirmative action" initiative by U.S. intelligence agencies to recruit more female and minority spies—an irony in light of the strong "movement conservative" views that Dai and his codefendants in the bizarre New Orleans criminal investigation have espoused. Ann Pauley, vice president of Trinity Washington University, acknowledged to NEWSWEEK that a key objective of the...

Accused Co-Conspirator Helped U.S. Intelligence

NEWSWEEK's Mark Hosenball reports on the Declassified blog: One of four men arrested Tuesday for attempting to interfere with the telephones at the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu previously helped run a U.S. intelligence-funded program to train would-be American spies, Declassified has learned. Between August 2007 and October 2008, Stanley Dai worked as assistant director of a program called the Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence at Trinity Washington University, a...

Accused Louisiana Co-Conspirator Helped Run Academic Program Funded by U.S. Intelligence

One of four men arrested on Tuesday for attempting to interfere with the telephones at the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu previously worked for a U.S. intelligence-funded program to train would-be American spies, Declassified has learned. Between August 2007 and October 2008, Stanley Dai served as assistant director of a program called the Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence at Trinity Washington University, a small Catholic college in Washington D.C., according to a...

Congress Awaits Administration Info on Fort Hood Shooter

Congressional investigators were expecting to learn on Wednesday how forthcoming the Obama administration is going to be in explaining why military, law-enforcement, and intelligence officials did not raise red flags that might have led to some kind of official intervention with Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan before he embarked on his deadly shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, last Nov. 5. Officials from the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI, and the office of the Undersecretary of...

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