Michael Isikoff

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.

'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.

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.

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...

'Heads I Win, Tails You Lose': In 9/11 Case, KSM Won't Walk Free Even If Found Not Guilty

Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged on Wednesday a previously unspoken proviso to the controversial decision to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-conspirators in a federal court in New York: even if the defendants are somehow acquitted, they will still stay behind bars.

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.

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.

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.

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