Mark's Feed
Oct 17, 2014

Exclusive: NSA reviewing deal between official, ex-spy agency head

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. National Security Agency has launched an internal review of a senior official’s part-time work for a private venture started by former NSA director Keith Alexander that raises questions over the blurring of lines between government and business.

Under the arrangement, which was confirmed by Alexander and current intelligence officials, NSA’s Chief Technical Officer, Patrick Dowd, is allowed to work up to 20 hours a week at IronNet Cybersecurity Inc, the private firm led by Alexander, a retired Army general and his former boss.

Oct 14, 2014

U.S. investigates claims American died fighting in Kobani, Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. government agencies are investigating claims that an American fighting with the Islamic State militant group died recently in the besieged Syrian border town of Kobani.

U.S. officials said law enforcement and intelligence agencies were trying to confirm Internet postings by Islamic State militants which last weekend reported the “martyrdom” of a fighter known as Abu Muhammad al-Amriki.

Oct 10, 2014

Clinton Library documents illustrate testy relationship with press

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House staff under former President Bill Clinton pondered ways to manage public relations and fend off the national press as a series of scandals brewed in the 1990s, a new batch of previously withheld documents showed on Friday.

The seventh and final release of Clinton administration documents from the Clinton Presidential Library and the National Archives comes as former first lady Hillary Clinton considers a possible White House bid in 2016.

Oct 4, 2014

Islamic State video shows second British hostage beheaded

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria posted a video on Friday that appeared to show the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning, triggering condemnation by the British and U.S. governments.

The footage on YouTube, highlighted on pro-Islamic State Twitter feeds, showed a bearded man in an orange jumpsuit kneeling next to a black-clad man in arid scrubland, similar to past Islamic State beheading videos of two American journalists and a British aid worker.

Oct 3, 2014

Islamic State says beheads British hostage in new video

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria posted a video on Friday that appeared to show the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning, triggering condemnation by the British and U.S. governments.

The footage on YouTube, highlighted on pro-Islamic State Twitter feeds, showed a bearded man in an orange jumpsuit kneeling next to a black-clad man in arid scrubland, similar to past Islamic State beheading videos of two Americans and a Briton.

Oct 3, 2014

U.S. strikes on al Qaeda group in Syria did not inflict decisive blow: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. airstrikes in Syria in September that were aimed at a faction of al Qaeda militants said to be plotting attacks against the West failed to deliver a decisive blow against them, U.S. officials familiar with the operation said late this week.

While U.S. intelligence agencies are still assessing the results of the Tomahawk cruise missile strikes, three U.S. officials said indications are that many suspected leaders and members of the Khorasan Group escaped, along with high-tech explosive devices they were said to be preparing to attack civil aviation or similar targets.

Sep 27, 2014

Next U.S. attorney general faces daunting national security challenges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – At a time when heightened fears of government surveillance coincide with growing anxiety about global terrorism, the next top U.S. law-enforcement officer will face daunting challenges to balance protection of Americans’ security and the right to privacy.

President Barack Obama says he has not yet chosen a successor to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who announced his resignation on Thursday, but whoever takes on the job for the last two years of the tenure will have no easy task.

Sep 25, 2014

Militant in Syria beheading videos identified: FBI

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A masked Islamic State militant seen wielding a knife in videos at the beheading of two Americans has been identified, FBI Director James Comey said on Thursday, but he declined to give the person’s name or nationality.

The videos released in August and September of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff showed a masked Islamic State militant brandishing a knife and speaking English with a British accent.

Sep 24, 2014

U.S. says still assessing fate of Khorasan figure after air strike

WASHINGTON, Sept 24 (Reuters) – The United States is still
assessing whether or not Mohsin al-Fadhli, a senior figure of
the al Qaeda-linked Khorasan group, was killed in a U.S. air
strike in Syria, government officials said on Wednesday.

One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said
earlier on Wednesday: “We believe he is dead.” But other
officials said the extent of the damage caused to the Khorasan
group by Tuesday’s airstrike was uncertain and they could not
independently confirm the death of Fadhli or others.

Sep 3, 2014

Despite dangers, U.S. journalist Sotloff was determined to record Arab Spring’s human toll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Even for a freelance journalist covering the tumult in the Arab world, Steven Sotloff’s travels seemed nonstop.

In October 2012, the American reporter was in Benghazi, Libya, covering the aftermath of the deadly raid on the U.S. diplomatic compound there. In December, he was in northern Syria, writing about the lives of destitute, displaced Syrians and the war, according to his published reports and his communications with colleagues and editors.