June 8, 2011 |
The message could hardly have been clearer, or more brutally delivered: the beheaded corpse of a respected provincial politician, dumped by the roadside. Jawad Zehak, whose decapitated remains were recovered Tuesday, was the leader of the provincial council in Bamian, perhaps the most peaceful of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. It is one of seven areas across the country where the Afghan police and army are supposed to begin taking over security responsibility next month. Afghanistan's main intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security, swiftly blamed insurgents for Zehak's abduction and killing, and declared it part of a deliberate pattern of intimidation in the areas slated for security transition.
March 27, 2011 |
When the highway shootouts and roadblocks by gunmen in her hometown finally became too much, Karla Garza found sanctuary in the unlikeliest of places: the big, bad capital, Mexico City. Garza, a 21-year-old marketing student, switched campuses in December after her parents decided that even with its rampant robberies and kidnappings, Mexico City was safer than their home in Monterrey, a once-quiet northern city that for months has served as a battlefield for warring drug gangs. "Ten years ago, my parents never would have imagined sending me to live in [Mexico City]
February 10, 2011 |
Omar Suleiman has always been at the vortex of power. As Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's most trusted loyalist, he headed his country's intelligence service and handled its most sensitive dealings with Israel and the Palestinians. His relentless pursuit of Islamic radicals in Egypt made him a natural ally of the Bush and Obama administrations. Now a man most comfortable in the shadows finds himself operating under the lights of state television, a vice president armed with the powers of the presidency casting for some formula of words and actions that might douse the rage in the streets.
January 13, 2011 |
A suicide bomber on a motorbike blew himself up Wednesday next to a minibus carrying members of Afghanistan's main intelligence service, killing at least two other people and injuring more than 30. It was the second bombing in the capital in eight days, a slight but worrying uptick in attacks in Kabul. At almost the same time, a remote-controlled bomb killed the deputy intelligence chief and his driver in the eastern province of Kunar. The dual attacks on intelligence officials coincided with a deadly day for Western troops in Afghanistan.
October 19, 2010 |
The stepped-up pace of CIA operations in Pakistan "is taking a serious toll" on Al Qaeda's operational abilities, CIA Director Leon E. Panetta said Tuesday. Panetta did not specifically mention missile strikes by unmanned drones in Pakistan because the U.S. government does not officially acknowledge the program. But it is well known that drones are the main tool the CIA uses to target militants in the country. "The basis for that increased pace is intelligence, weather and also just the threat streams we're getting on potential attacks in Europe," Panetta said.
January 21, 2010 |
In a tacit admission that the U.S. squandered a chance to gain valuable information after the failed Christmas Day airliner bombing, the nation's intelligence director testified Wednesday that authorities had been too quick to read the suspect his Miranda rights and grant him access to an attorney. Dennis C. Blair said that a newly created team of elite interrogators should have been called in to question Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and that top officials in Washington should have been consulted.
January 8, 2010 |
Declaring that "the buck stops with me," President Obama on Thursday released the results of an internal investigation into the Christmas Day airline bombing attempt and ordered a series of incremental measures meant to close gaps in the U.S. intelligence system that failed to detect it in advance. The president avoided blaming any particular agency or official for the breakdowns that allegedly allowed a Nigerian extremist to board a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit armed with explosives, leaving a series of warning signs along the way. "As president, I have a solemn responsibility to protect our nation and our people.
January 7, 2010 |
U.S. border security officials learned of the alleged extremist links of the suspect in the Christmas Day jetliner bombing attempt as he was airborne from Amsterdam to Detroit and had decided to question him when he landed, officials disclosed Wednesday. The new information shows that border enforcement officials discovered the suspected extremist ties involving the Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, in a database despite intelligence failures that have been criticized by President Obama.
January 6, 2010 |
An angry President Obama said Tuesday that there had been "unacceptable" failures in the American intelligence system that allowed an accused terrorist to board a U.S.-bound Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day, and vowed changes in security procedures and information gathering to avert future plots. The president held a lengthy afternoon session with top administration officials, during which agency heads acknowledged their shortcomings and laid plans for corrections. "This was a screw-up that could have been disastrous," Obama told the officials, White House officials said later.
January 1, 2010 |
The suicide bombing that killed seven CIA employees at a U.S. base will temporarily slow U.S. intelligence-gathering in eastern Afghanistan, but the agency will not retrench its ambitious buildup in the country while it conducts a security review, officials said Thursday. Military and intelligence officials were scrambling to determine how the bomber penetrated a forbidding network of barriers, barbed wire and watchtowers at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khowst province near the Pakistani border, and made his way deep inside to set off a thunderous blast.