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Counter Terrorism

OPINION
December 7, 2012 | By Petra Bartosiewicz
When it comes to homeland security, we've been seduced for more than a decade by a "preemptive" mandate that directs us to catch terrorists before they strike next. Where law enforcement once investigated crimes to determine who was responsible and how they could be prosecuted, it now also gathers intelligence to prevent potential future crimes. This mandate, however, has been characterized by a distinct absence of actual terrorist plots. Instead, we've seen an increasingly familiar pattern - the most recent case in the last few weeks involved four young Southern Californians who were arrested in a case built largely by a well-paid informant.
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WORLD
October 2, 2012 | By David S. Cloud and Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon, CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies are assembling dossiers on suspects in the assault on the U.S. Consulate in eastern Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, a first step toward fulfilling President Obama's vow to bring the killers to justice, U.S. officials said. The Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command and intelligence agencies "are starting to look at people who might have been involved and starting to tee up options," a U.S. official said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 2012 | By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
In the face of privacy concerns, the Los Angeles Police Department has agreed to change the way it collects information on suspicious activity possibly related to terrorism. The department, after coming under fire from civil liberties and community groups, will no longer hold on to so-called suspicious activity reports that the LAPD's counter-terrorism unit determines are about harmless incidents. Until now, the department stored the innocuous reports in a database for a year.
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.
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.
NATIONAL
November 21, 2011 | By Geraldine Baum and Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times
Jose Pimentel appears to have spent much of his time hanging out on the stoop of an upper Manhattan apartment building, smoking cigarettes and being such a layabout that one old schoolmate assumed he was a drug addict or homeless. Police arrested the 27-year-old convert to Islam on Saturday and accused him of plotting to blow up U.S. targets — including American troops returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and launch a one-man holy war in New York City. On Monday, Pimentel's mother, Carmen Sosa, seemed stunned by her son's arrest and unable to understand how he could have turned into a radical Muslim.
OPINION
October 31, 2011 | By Robert D. Blackwill and Walter B. Slocombe
American leaders have traditionally explained the foundations of the U.S.-Israel relationship by citing shared democratic values and the moral responsibility America bears to protect the small nation-state of the Jewish people. Although accurate and essential, this characterization is incomplete because it fails to capture a third, crucial aspect: the many ways in which Israel advances U.S. national interests. Today, Israeli contributions to U.S. national interests cover a broad spectrum.
OPINION
October 17, 2011 | By Michael W. Lewis
Almost since the United States began using the unmanned aerial vehicles known as drones, their use has drawn criticism. The latest criticism, which has received considerable attention in the wake of the drone strike on Anwar Awlaki, is that America's use of drones has sparked a new international arms race. While it is true that some other nations have begun developing their own unmanned aerial vehicles, the extent of the alarm is unjustified. Much of it rests on myths that are easily dispelled.
NATIONAL
September 6, 2011 | By Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times
On a sunny afternoon this summer, dozens of Los Angeles police officers converged on the Iman Cultural Center and mosque in West Los Angeles. They brought bureaucratic swag - pens and mugs emblazoned with the LAPD insignia - and then, accompanied by a smiling Chief Charlie Beck, crowded into a banquet hall in a blue swarm of friendly handshakes and words of welcome and fellowship. When it was his turn at the microphone, Deputy Chief Michael Downing added another point: that the LAPD values its relationship with Muslim communities and wants people to continue to reach out if they suspect someone they know is becoming radicalized.
WORLD
July 23, 2011 | By Raja Abdulrahim, Los Angeles Times
In the immediate wake of the bombing and mass shooting in Norway that left at least 92 people dead Friday, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg declared that it was too early to say whether terrorism was involved. Some interpreted the statement to mean it was unclear whether Muslim extremists were behind the attack. Right-wing websites quickly pointed the finger at "jihadis," and Pamela Geller, publisher of the website Atlas Shrugs and executive director of Stop Islamization of America, wrote on her site: "You can ignore jihad, but you cannot avoid the consequences of ignoring jihad.
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