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NEWS
June 7, 2013 | Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times
As part of the 2013 National Homeland Security Conference, a team of LAPD officers from the Counter Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau demonstrated a "response to a weapons of mass destruction device" in the streets of downtown Los Angeles. ALSO: Four small, early morning earthquakes shake South Bay Police find evidence linked to homicide in La Brea Tar Pits Why is San Onofre nuclear plant closing? How much will this cost?
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WORLD
April 21, 2014 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON - Prompted in part by a video in which Al Qaeda leaders taunted the United States, the CIA launched lethal drone strikes in Yemen that marked an escalation in the Obama administration's shadow war against the terrorist network's most powerful franchise. Yemeni officials, who said their counter-terrorism forces carried out ground raids in conjunction with the airstrikes, reported Monday that the assaults on alleged training camps and vehicles had killed 55 militants, including some foreigners, and at least three civilians.
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NEWS
February 12, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON -- President Obama doesn't refer to "drones" in his State of the Union speech, but he alluded to the targeted killing of suspected terrorists when he said, "where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans. " Obama said his administration was seeking to "forge a durable legal and policy framework to guide our counter-terrorism operations. " Four years into the effort, no such framework yet exists for what remains an officially secret process run by the White House and the CIA. LIVE STREAM: Watch the State of the Union   "I recognize that in our democracy, no one should just take my word that we're doing things the right way," Obama added.
WORLD
February 4, 2014 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON - More than 50 U.S. citizens have joined extremist groups that are fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, and some have returned to America and are under FBI surveillance, U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday. Counter-terrorism officials are increasingly concerned that Americans who have been trained by Al Qaeda-linked groups and gained battlefield experience in Syria ultimately will try to mount terrorist attacks back home. "It's probably one of the most significant threats we're dealing with," said a senior intelligence official who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
NATIONAL
May 16, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON -- The unauthorized disclosure of a counter-terrorism operation in Yemen last year compromised an exceedingly rare and valuable espionage achievement: an informant who had earned the trust of hardened terrorists, according to U.S. officials. His information was said to have led to the U.S. drone strike that killed a senior Al Qaeda leader, Fahd Mohammed Ahmed Quso, on May 6, 2012. U.S. officials say Quso had helped direct the terrorist attack on the Cole, a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer, in a Yemeni harbor in October 2000.
WORLD
April 30, 2012 | By Brian Bennett and David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - President Obama's top counter-terrorism advisor Monday defended using drones to launch missiles against militants in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, saying the growing use of armed unmanned aircraft had saved American lives and caused few civilian casualties. The comments by John Brennan, coming shortly before the first anniversary of the U.S. Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, marks the first time a senior White House official has spoken at length in public about widely reported but officially secret drone operations.
NEWS
June 29, 2011 | By Ken Dilanian
The Obama administration has concluded in a newly released counter-terrorism strategy that precision strikes and raids, rather than large land wars, are the most effective way to defeat Al Qaeda. “Al Qaeda seeks to bleed us financially by drawing us into long, costly wars that also inflame anti-American sentiment,” John Brennan, President Obama’s counter-terrorism advisor, said in a speech Wednesday unveiling the new strategy. “Going forward, we will be mindful that if our nation is threatened, our best offense won’t always be deploying large armies abroad but delivering targeted, surgical pressure to the groups that threaten us.” Brennan, a longtime former CIA officer, spoke at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, as the White House posted the new strategy on its website.
NATIONAL
July 18, 2009 | Greg Miller
The House Intelligence Committee launched an investigation Friday into a secret CIA effort to assemble paramilitary teams to kill Al Qaeda leaders -- a probe that will focus in part on whether agency officials were instructed by former Vice President Dick Cheney to hide the program from Congress. The program, launched after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was ended by new agency Director Leon E. Panetta last month, shortly after he learned about it and before it became operational.
NATIONAL
April 14, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Skilled in tracking foreign terrorists, Jarret Brachman once was a sought-after expert on Al Qaeda, advising several federal agencies and speaking regularly around the country. Now the former research director of the Combating Terrorism Center, a think tank at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, has turned his focus away from Islamic militants. He spends most of his time consulting with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies about threats from domestic extremists and antigovernment militias.
NATIONAL
January 28, 2012 | By Brian Bennett, Washington Bureau
When Jeffery H. Moran goes to work each day, he swipes his security badge, passes into an airtight chamber, opens a bombproof door and enters a lab full of deadly toxins. As chief of the counter-terrorism laboratory at the Arkansas Department of Health — one of 62 such federally funded labs in the country — he heads two dozen chemists who are on constant alert for the release of pestilence or poisons in the United States. Armed with $2 million worth of new equipment, Moran concocts gruesome tests to keep his team sharp.
NEWS
January 7, 2014 | By Salam Al-Marayati
As someone who has been involved in counter-terrorism for more than 20 years, I was intrigued with former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman's Op-Ed article Monday on effective strategies to combat radicalization.   I appreciate Harman's suggestion that we build bridges with Muslim communities, but prominent counter-terrorism thinkers like Harman come across as out of touch with those communities when they suggest that we in the U.S. need to be more effective in arguing how Muslims need to convert to the right side.
WORLD
September 25, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON -- The deadly mall attack in Kenya is unlikely to change the Obama administration's restrained approach to Shabab, the Somali-based terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the violence and that has been the target of occasional U.S. military action, American officials and counter-terrorism analysts say. Pushed out of territory in Somalia it once controlled and riven by internal dissent, Shabab is seen as a dangerous regional threat....
NEWS
June 7, 2013 | Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times
As part of the 2013 National Homeland Security Conference, a team of LAPD officers from the Counter Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau demonstrated a "response to a weapons of mass destruction device" in the streets of downtown Los Angeles. ALSO: Four small, early morning earthquakes shake South Bay Police find evidence linked to homicide in La Brea Tar Pits Why is San Onofre nuclear plant closing? How much will this cost?
WORLD
May 23, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian and Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Reining back the aggressive counter-terrorism strategy he has embraced for five years, President Obama declared clear, public restrictions for the first time on using unmanned aircraft to kill terrorists, a shift likely to significantly reduce U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere. Obama also lifted a ban on sending scores of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, back to their home countries and renewed his call to move the remaining detainees onto U.S. soil for imprisonment and possible trial in civilian or military courts.
OPINION
May 23, 2013 | By Peter W. Singer
Over the last four years, there has been a strange irony. One of the greatest speakers of our era has largely kept silent about one of the signature aspects of his presidency. Under President Obama's leadership, U.S. civilian intelligence agencies have carried out a series of not-so-covert operations in so-called secret wars that have reached a huge scale. There have been nearly 400 drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen since 2008, in periods of activity that have ebbed and flowed dependent on everything from the availability of intelligence to local political tides.
NATIONAL
May 16, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON -- The unauthorized disclosure of a counter-terrorism operation in Yemen last year compromised an exceedingly rare and valuable espionage achievement: an informant who had earned the trust of hardened terrorists, according to U.S. officials. His information was said to have led to the U.S. drone strike that killed a senior Al Qaeda leader, Fahd Mohammed Ahmed Quso, on May 6, 2012. U.S. officials say Quso had helped direct the terrorist attack on the Cole, a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer, in a Yemeni harbor in October 2000.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2010 | By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Police Department officials acknowledged Wednesday that they disbanded a counter-terrorism unit earlier this year as part of Chief Charlie Beck's efforts to put more patrol officers on the streets amid budget cuts. The Protective Security Task Force team consisted of about two dozen plainclothes cops who were dispatched to provide a "cloak" of high-level security at buildings or events that had been threatened or were otherwise believed to be at risk, said Deputy Chief Michael Downing, head of the LAPD's Counter Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau.
NATIONAL
October 5, 2010 | By Ken Dilanian, Tribune Washington Bureau
Counter-terrorism analysts still lack the data-search tools that might have kept a bomb-wearing Al Qaeda operative from boarding a Detroit-bound airliner nine months ago, and probably won't have them any time soon, U.S. officials acknowledge. At the same time, officials say the terrorist threat against the U.S. is becoming more complex, with a greater risk from home-grown militants whose low profiles make sophisticated intelligence analysis more important than ever. "It frustrates me," said former Republican New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean, who co-chaired the Sept.
NATIONAL
May 2, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian and Matt Pearce, Los Angeles Times
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of two brothers accused of bombing the Boston Marathon, told investigators that the pair had originally planned to mount an attack on the Fourth of July, a U.S. counter-terrorism official said Thursday. Meanwhile, another counter-terrorism official said that Russian intelligence officials believe Tsarnaev's older brother, Tamerlan, may have met with militants while visiting Russia in 2012. Authorities have scoured the background of the 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev for potential sources of radicalization in the years leading up to the bombings that left three people dead and more than 260 others wounded.
NATIONAL
May 2, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian and Matt Pearce
Russian intelligence officials believe Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have met with militants while living in a Russian province in 2012, a U.S. counter-terrorism official told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday. Tsarnaev, 26, one of the two brothers accused of bombing the Boston Marathon, was living in Cambridge, Mass., at the time of the bombings. Officials have scoured his background for potential sources of radicalization in the years leading up to the attacks. They have focused on the six months he spent in Dagestan, a region in southern Russia.
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