Michael Isikoff

Interpol, Round Three: Newt Fires Back at 'Openly Leftwing' NEWSWEEK

Never one to shrink from a fight, former House speaker Newt Gingrich has struck back at Declassified's reporting on his endorsement of the seemingly wacky conspiracy theories circulating about the International Criminal Police Organization based in Lyon, France, commonly referred to as Interpol.

No KSM in NYC?

Top administration officials are getting nervous that they may not be able to proceed with one of their most controversial national-security moves: trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other accused 9/11 conspirators in federal court in New York City.

Chuck Norris Hunts for Obama's 'Secret Vault' as Interpol Conspiracy Theories Get Wilder

  The conspiracy theories about President Obama's executive order on Interpol are getting wilder by the day. Invoking no less an authority than Glenn Beck, movie tough guy (and political activist) Chuck Norris has taken aim at Obama's Dec. 17 executive order extending certain "privileges, exemptions, and immunities" to Interpol, otherwise known as the International Police Organization, based in Lyon, France.

Interpol Chief on Beck and Gingrich:'Not Within the Realm of Reality'

The chief of Interpol—the international police organization based in Lyon, France—is denouncing as "false and irresponsible" a conspiracy theory spreading through the right-wing blogosphere suggesting that President Obama has given the agency new powers to investigate and arrest U.S. citizens.

'Gitmo Forever'?

President Obama's decision to suspend sending any detainees being held in the Guantánamo Bay detention facility back to Yemen was "politically, a no-brainer," a senior administration official tells NEWSWEEK.

Private Intel Service Warned of 'Catastrophic' Airline Attack Deploying Same Bombing Method Used Against Saudi Official

A private intelligence service warned last September that a novel bombing technique used by Al Qaeda in Yemen to try to assassinate Saudi Arabia's counterterrorism chief represented an important "tactical innovation" that could "have a catastrophic result if employed on an aircraft." The report by the Stratfor intelligence service, which was widely distributed and published on the service's Web site could raise questions about comments Sunday by John Brennan, President Obama's top...

Yemeni Journalist Says Awlaki Alive, Well, Defiant

The radical imam who was reported to have been killed in a U.S.-backed airstrike last week has resurfaced this week, very much alive and very much defiant, a Yemeni journalist tells Declassified.Anwar Awlaki, the Yemeni-based imam who had conducted a lengthy email correspondence with accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, "called me last night and told me a lot of information," the journalist, Abdul Elah Hider al-Shaya, said in a telephone interview from Yemen.Although friends and relatives of...

Despite Security Worries, NRA Seems Set to Prevail in Shoot-Out Over Guns on Trains

The gun lobby appears poised to crush its foes once again in the showdown over whether to allow firearms on Amtrak trains. In a development that has alarmed homeland security experts and gun control groups alike, a National Rifle Association (NRA)-backed amendment that would reverse post-9/11 security policies and permit railway passengers to pack guns and ammunition in their Amtrak luggage seems to be speeding rapidly to congressional passage.

Feds Reveal U.S. Role in Mumbai Terror Attacks

Last year's attack by an invading band of 10 seaborne terrorists in Mumbai was among the most horrifying terrorist strikes since 9/11, resulting in the deaths of 170 people, including six Americans.

Top Congressional Researcher on Afghanistan Fired

The top congressional official who oversees research on foreign policy and defense issues, including the war in Afghanistan, has been fired from his job after publishing a newspaper op-ed criticizing the Obama administration's recent decision about bringing Guantánamo detainees to trial.   Morris Davis, the assistant director of the Congressional Research Service's foreign policy and defense division and the former chief prosecutor of the U.S. military commissions, says that the American...

A Democratic Hawk Bolts With Obama on Afghanistan, Citing 'Eerie Echoes of Vietnam'

As a sign of just how tough a job President Obama has tonight selling his plans to send more troops to Afghanistan, consider Rep. Jane Harman. A veteran California Democrat (and longtime national-security hawk), Harman voted for President Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2002 and consistently backed the war in Afghanistan until this year.

White House Guest-List Chief Says She Quit Post

The White House staff member whose job was to supervise the guest list for state dinners and clear invitees into the events says she was stripped of most of her responsibilities earlier this year, prompting her to resign last June.

Nasty Legal Spat Among 9/11 Lawyers

A nasty spat has broken out among defense lawyers over an issue that is likely to be front and center in the upcoming 9/11 trial in New York: who actually speaks for the defendants?

Life Behind Enemy Lines—in Somalia

As Declassified noted last weekend, a recent FBI affidavit in a big Chicago terror case offered an unusually revealing glimpse of life behind "enemy lines" in Waziristan in northwest Pakistan.ON Monday, the FBI provided an equally eye-opening look at the scene inside another jihadi stronghold, this one in the war ravaged nation of Somalia (which U.S. officials increasingly fear is becoming a haven for Al Qaeda).

FBI Probes U.S. Link to Mumbai Attacks

The FBI is expanding its investigation in a Chicago terrorism case to determine whether a key suspect may have helped scout targets for last year's massive coordinated attack in Mumbai, India that killed 166 people, according to U.S. law enforcement officials.The Justice Department announced late last month that it had charged two Chicago-area men—David Coleman Headley, the son of a former Pakistani diplomat, and a childhood friend, Tahawwur Hussain Rana-- for plotting to attack a Danish...

Will Gun Measure Threaten Amtrak Terror Attacks?

Just how much clout does the gun lobby have on Capitol Hill? This week may prove to be a crucial test: A House-Senate conference committee is about to take up a massive transportation-funding bill that is pitting advocates of gun rights against security-minded members worried about the threat of terrorist attacks on Amtrak trains.

Did Imam's Posting Trigger Hasan's Gun Buy?

Just two weeks before Maj. Nidal Hasan purchased the weapon he allegedly used in the Fort Hood shooting, the radical imam with whom he had been communicating posted an incendiary message on the Internet vilifying Muslim soldiers who "follow orders" by fighting on behalf of the "enemies" of Islam.

A Taliban Ultimatum Over Fort Hood?

Is the Taliban trying to use the Fort Hood massacre to push the U.S. out of Afghanistan? On the very day the president is meeting with his national security advisers to decide about troop strength in Afghanistan comes this remarkable communiqué from the Taliban celebrating Nidal Hasan's bloody shooting rampage at Fort Hood.

Critics Point to 'Terror Gap' in Gun-Control Laws

New details about the case of accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan is refocusing attention on what critics call a glaring "terror gap" in federal firearms laws that has allowed hundreds of suspected terrorists to purchase weapons in recent years.

FBI Counter-Terror Officials Were Never Told About Hasan's Gun Purchase

Senior federal investigators confirmed Tuesday night that since last December, the FBI monitored from 10 to 20 "communications" between suspected Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan and an overseas terror suspect known for preaching violence and expressing sympathy for Al Qaeda.But although an FBI-led task force undertook an "assessment" of the Army psychiatrist as a result of those contacts, counter-terror officials concluded earlier this year that Hasan's communications with the terror...

Imam Anwar al Awlaki Calls Hasan 'Hero'

A radical imam who was investigated by the FBI for his ties to the 9/11 hijackers has posted an Internet message praising Nidal Hasan -- the suspect in the Fort Hood shootings -- as a "hero" who performed his "Islamic duty" by killing American soldiers. "Nidal Hasan is a hero," Anwar al Awlaki, the spiritual leader of a Falls Church, Va., mosque that Hasan once attended and who now lives in Yemen, wrote on his website, Anwar-Alwaki.com.

To Pay Abu Omar, CIA's Man in Milan Loses Villa

When an Italian judge earlier this week sentenced 23 Americans in absentia for the CIA-orchestrated abduction of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr--a symbolic condemnation of the Bush administration's extraordinary-rendition program--the CIA's top officer in Milan at the time, Robert Seldon Lady, got the harshest sentence (eight years).

Dick Cheney: An Irascible Witness

When the FBI questioned Vice President Dick Cheney about his knowledge of the CIA leak affair, the vice president proved to be an irascible and at times uncooperative witness: he repeatedly claimed memory loss on key questions, refused to answer others because they involved "privileged" conversations, and complained that he was "pressed for time." In the end, he rejected a standard bureau request that he not discuss his testimony with other witnesses in the case.These and other details of...

Obama Secrecy Watch: Don't Trench on My 'Executive Prerogatives'

As we previously noted, our colleague Weston Kosova gave the Obama administration some much-needed grief on Friday for refusing a federal judge's recent order to turn over documents showing how big telecommunications firms lobbied to get immunity for their participation in President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program.But that is actually only one of many examples of how Obama appointees are standing up for Bush-era secrecy.