August 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Waad Ramadan Alwan was a talker. To an undercover FBI informant, he described planting improvised explosive devices to harm American soldiers in Iraq. He told about how he recruited a friend to help smuggle arms and cash overseas. He said he hoped to return to Iraq to fight again. Instead, in January he got 40 years in prison. Mohanad Shareef Hammadi did his talking in court, where he admitted helping in a dozen IED attacks in Iraq after the U.S. invasion. "After 2003," he said, "I saw people that were dying on the streets - numerous, numerous people being killed and for no reason.
August 9, 2013
Re "Have the terrorists won?," Opinion, Aug. 7 We elected Barack Obama as president to be the antidote to George W. Bush. And yet, under this administration: - Gitmo remains open, despite the president's campaign promise to close it. - The government has the "limited" power to target citizens for drone strikes. - Air travel has reached the tax-audit, root-canal level of dreadfulness. - The National Security Agency tracks our telephone calls and emails. - The U.S. Postal Service photographs and logs our mail.
August 7, 2013 |
Last year, in the heat of his campaign, President Obama boasted that he had put Al Qaeda "on the path to defeat. " This year, with 19 U.S. consulates and embassies closed and the State Department issuing vague warnings against travel anywhere in the world, Al Qaeda suddenly seems resurgent - and as frightening as ever. So which is it: defeated or resurgent? Neither, really. Al Qaeda hasn't gone away, but it has changed - in a way that makes it less dangerous for Americans at home, but more dangerous for Americans who live in the Middle East and Africa.
August 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. intelligence officials long have said that Al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen had eclipsed the global terrorism network's core leadership in Pakistan as the chief threat to American facilities and interests. Recent events, including the Obama administration's decision to temporarily shutter more than two dozen diplomatic missions around the globe, have brought that claim into stark relief. In the latest developments Wednesday, a suspected U.S. drone strike killed seven more alleged Al Qaeda militants traveling in two cars in southern Yemen, the fifth such attack in less than two weeks.
August 5, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration's decision to temporarily shut 28 diplomatic posts came after U.S. intelligence intercepted communications between the Al Qaeda leader who succeeded Osama bin Laden and the head of the terrorist network's affiliate in Yemen, U.S. and Yemeni officials said. Officials said Monday that Ayman Zawahiri, the Egyptian leader of Al Qaeda who is believed to be hiding in Pakistan, ordered Nasser Wuhayshi, who heads the affiliate known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, to orchestrate an attack or attacks as early as last Sunday.
August 2, 2013 |
Is the illusion of safety just as good as actually being safe? Or, put another way, does the State Department's worldwide travel alert issued Friday that warns of an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist threat make you feel not just more informed but more secure ? Didn't think so. On the other hand, what's a responsible government supposed to do? Here's the problem; as my colleague Carol Williams reported Friday : Intelligence-gatherers have picked up increasing “chatter” among suspected militants about attacks timed to the end of the Ramadan holy month observances and specific actions reportedly planned by the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula group that counter-terrorism officials consider the biggest threat to U.S. and Western citizens and interests….
August 2, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The State Department issued a worldwide travel alert Friday over the threat of a possible terrorist attack by Al Qaeda or its affiliates, which also prompted a decision to temporarily close 21 embassies and consulates in the Middle East and several predominantly Muslim countries elsewhere. The greatest risk of attack is in the Middle East and North Africa, the department said, and it warned that the attack could emanate from the Arabian Peninsula. The British government is closing its embassy in Yemen on Sunday and Monday but not missions in other Middle Eastern countries, suggesting that London believes the source could be Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2013 |
Authorities are investigating a possible hate crime after the word "terrorist" was spray-painted on the walls surrounding a Sikh temple in Riverside. The vandalism occurred sometime overnight Monday at the Riverside Gurdwara in the 7900 block of Mission Boulevard, said Riverside County sheriff's Deputy Albert Martinez. Investigators are treating it as a hate crime unless their inquiry reveals otherwise, he said. Martinez said the department has notified other agencies, including the FBI. High priest Anantvirr Singh told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that although graffiti had been written on the walls "many, many times," this latest incident was the first he considered hate speech.
July 28, 2013 |
"This is a great time to be a white-collar criminal. " An assistant U.S. attorney I know startled me with this remark in 2002. The bulk of her FBI investigators, she explained, had been pulled off to work on terrorism, which left traditional crime investigations sorely understaffed. Little has changed since then. For more than a decade, the U.S. government has been focused on one type of threat above all others: terrorism. This obsession has not only been used to justify an erosion of Americans' privacy, it has opened them to other dangers and, paradoxically, made it easier for terrorists to achieve success.
July 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A top Obama administration lawyer defended the government's once-secret policy of sweeping up phone records in the U.S., arguing Friday that this mass data collection violates no one's right to privacy and can help intelligence agents track suspected terrorists. "Although we collect large volumes of metadata under this program, we only look at a tiny fraction of it," Robert S. Litt, general counsel for the director of national intelligence, said in a speech at the Brookings Institution.