Category Archives: Counterterrorism

Today’s Terrorism News

McChrystal Replaced by Petraeus

As generals change, Afghan debate narrows to 2 powerful voices: The New York Times.

From Pentagon, messages of dismay and support: The New York Times.

Will Holbrooke be next to exit?: The Los Angeles Times.

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Today’s Terrorism News

McChrystal Fired, Replaced With Petraeus

Swift decision to dismiss McChrystal: The Wall Street Journal.

Afghanistan regrets McChrystal’s departure: Reuters via ABC Australia.

Afghan leaders saddened by McChrystal departure, optimistic about Petraeus: The Washington Post.

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Today’s Terrorism News

As you know, the Center on Law and Security is closed this week for our move to beautiful new quarters. However, we are forwarding the articles for you to read and digest on your own. We’ll be back with the full news summary next week.

Faisal Shahzad Pleads Guilty:

Covered in ABC News; The Wall Street Journal; The Los Angeles Times; The New York Times.

Excerpts from the transcript available from AP.

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Today’s Terrorism News

U.S. Citizen Arrested in Paraguay for Conspiring to Support Hezbollah

An American-Lebanese man suspected of smuggling merchandise to foreign countries in order to provide material support to Hezbollah was arrested in Paraguay yesterday, confirming suspicions of some officials that the Tri-Border area of Paraguay is becoming a “haven” for Islamic groups. The suspect faces extradition to America for prosecution in a Philadelphia federal court. AP, Newsweek‘s Declassified blog, Philly.com.

Police in Kosovo have arrested a man believed to be connected to a terrorist plot with a North Carolina target.

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Today’s Terrorism News

Arrest at Fort Gordon, “Several Possible Grenades” Found

In two separate incidents, U.S. military officials have arrested individuals trying to carry weapons onto bases in the United States. At CENTCOM headquarters – MacDill Air Force Base outside of Tampa, Florida – a couple was discovered attempting to bring ammunition and weapons onto the base on Monday. Little information has been released on the pair of intruders. Spc. Christopher Paul Kilburn had been stationed with Alpha Company, 1-16th 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan. and was AWOL; his companion was Palm Beach resident Micah Noel Goodier. Reuters, AP, TBO.com. On Tuesday, “several possible grenades” were found in a vehicle at Fort Gordon, near Augusta, Georgia. The vehicle’s driver was impersonating a soldier and is now in FBI custody.  CNN, NBC Augusta.

Guantanamo

A Washington Post editorial highlights the case of Mohamed Mohamed Hassan Odaini, a Yemeni who has served eight years in Guantanamo, and urges the government to make an exception to the ban on returning detainees to Yemen for Mr. Odaini. The Post echoes the implications of the ruling made by Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr., who, in a decision publicly released last week, determined that Odaini should be freed. “The evidence before the Court shows that holding Odaini in custody at such great cost to him has done nothing to make the United States more secure,” wrote Kennedy. The editorial briefly describes the story of Odaini, who inadvertently spent the night at a friend’s house that was raided as an al Qaeda sanctuary – and who as a result was incarcerated at Gitmo from the ages of 18-16 for this “life-altering decision to spend the night.”

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Today’s Terrorism News

Two Arrested with Rifles at CENTCOM HQ Entrance

A man and a woman armed with rifles and other “military gear” were arrested at the gates of MacDill Air Force Base in Florida yesterday afternoon. MacDill is the headquarters of U.S. Central Command, which oversees the military’s efforts in both Iraq an Afghanistan. Washington Post, TBO.com.

General Petraeus “Slumped Over” During Senate Hearing

The House and Senate are holding  hearings over the next few days to address the slower than expected progress of military surges in the southern Afghani provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, delays that could interrupt President Obama’s planned timeline for troop withdrawal. General Petreaus was taken from a Senate hearing room after he “slumped over” but quickly revived. He returned to the room about twenty minutes later.

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Today’s Terrorism News

New Jersey al Shabaab Suspect Said to Be Engaged, Has “Anger Management Issues”

The two young men in last week’s terrorism arrest in North Bergen, New Jersey – one the son of Palestinian immigrants, the other from a Dominican family – showed signs of angry, disruptive behavior in their teens. According to the New York Times, “Their stories began like many others: troubled teenagers who scare and mystify their neighbors; run-ins with the police while still in high school; parents who cannot compete with the sense of belonging or purpose their boys find elsewhere.” Nadia Alessa, mother of defendant Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, said that her son is “stupid” but not a “terrorist” and had seen “16 or 17 psychiatrists for what she called ‘anger management issues,’” according to CNN. Meanwhile Siham Abedar, 19, has come forward to claim that Alessa was traveling to Egypt to marry her as part of an arranged marriage.  His desire to marry her and have children belies any believed terrorist intent, she claims. CNN, NJ.com.

Intelligence and Secrecy

Newsweek reports the newest draft of a bill that would authorize increased congressional oversight of intelligence agencies is likely to pass without a presidential veto and may lessen objections to the nomination of James Clapper as DNI. Foreign Policy notes that inherent to the debate over Clapper’s nomination is a concern with the effectiveness and supervisory competence of both the current nominee and the DNI itself.

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Today’s Terrorism News

Twelve Americans Detained in Yemen

The State Department said yesterday that 12 Americans are being detained in Yemen, although the reasons they are being detained aren’t known, according to the New York Times.

Other U.S. Citizens Held Abroad

A spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry says the country has no intention of trading the three American hikers detained there for an Iranian scientist the country believes to be held in the U.S., says the AP. The hikers have been charged with spying.

A judge in Rwanda has refused bail to Peter Erlinder, lead defense counsel for top genocide suspects at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Erlinder is charged with denying the 1994 genocide and publishing articles threatening Rwanda’s security. The U.S. has called on the Rwandan authorities to release Erlinder, a U.S. attorney, who has denied all charges.

The Center on Law and Security wonders how many American citizens are being held abroad on terrorism-related charges.

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Today’s Terrorism News

Texas Man Indicted for Funding AQAP, Ohio Couple Arrested for Supporting Hezbollah

Following e-mail correspondence with Anwar al-Awlaki, Barry Walter Bujol Jr. of Hempstead, Texas, was arrested Sunday on a ship to the Middle East with GPS equipment and other material allegedly intended for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He received the equipment from an undercover F.B.I. informant. He was indicted yesterday in Houston.

Hor and Amera Akl, a Lebanese-American couple, were arrested yesterday in Toledo. They allegedly conspired with an undercover F.B.I. informant “to conceal some 500,000 dollars in the hollow sections of a vehicle and to ship the vehicle to Lebanon,” according to AFP. The money was intended for Hezbollah, officials say.

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Today’s Terrorism News

Drone Policy Questioned

News

Philip Alston, U.N. special representative on extrajudicial executions, has filed a report criticizing U.S. drone policy. As reported by the New York Times, Mr. Alston is concerned that the existing policy “could quickly lead to a situation in which dozens of countries carry out ‘competing drone attacks’ outside their borders against people ‘labeled as terrorists by one group or another.’”

Commentary

Newsweek‘s The Gaggle blog, like Alston,  is concerned that the drone policy has no inherent geographic limitations. “Terrorists can be lurking in any country, including our own,” they say, “and striking them with missiles is not a feasible approach to eliminating them entirely.” While the drones may be useful in disrupting specific plots, the piece suggests they may also create hostility and are not a solution to underlying problems.

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