Mark's Feed
Nov 25, 2014

Two Minneapolis men charged with conspiring to support Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged two Minnesota men with supporting Islamic State, the militant group that has captured swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq and carried out gruesome executions of civilians and foreigners.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Minneapolis alleged in a criminal complaint that Abdi Nur, 20, and Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, had engaged in a conspiracy to provide material support to Islamic State, and that Nur had actually provided such support. Both men are U.S. citizens of Somali ancestry.

Nov 17, 2014

FIFA whistleblower says report violated confidentiality

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former employee of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid has accused FIFA investigators of violating confidentiality promises made when she agreed to provide evidence of alleged corruption related to the bid.

On Sunday, former Qatar bid employee Phaedra Almajid sent Michael Garcia, a New York lawyer hired by FIFA to investigate corruption, a two-page complaint.

Nov 17, 2014

Soccer-FIFA whistleblower says report violated confidentiality

WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (Reuters) – A former employee of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid has accused FIFA investigators of violating confidentiality promises made when she agreed to provide evidence of alleged corruption related to the bid.

On Sunday, former Qatar bid employee Phaedra Almajid sent Michael Garcia, a New York lawyer hired by FIFA to investigate corruption, a two-page complaint.

Nov 13, 2014

U.S. funds used to compensate drone victims – Yemen presidency source

SANAA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Yemeni authorities have paid out tens of thousands of dollars to victims of drone strikes using U.S.-supplied funds, a source close to Yemen’s presidency said, echoing accounts by legal sources and a family that lost two members in a 2012 raid.

In Washington, the White House National Security Council would not discuss individual cases, but a spokesperson said that when non-combatants were killed in U.S. strikes overseas, “condolence or other ex gratia payments … may be available for those injured and the families of those killed”.

Nov 9, 2014

Two Americans freed by North Korea on their way home

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea freed two Americans from prison and they were returning to the United States on Saturday after the surprise involvement of the top-ranking U.S. intelligence official in their release.

Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, who had been doing hard labor for months in the reclusive country, were being accompanied home by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, his office said. Their release comes less than three weeks after another American was freed by Pyongyang.

Nov 8, 2014

Two Americans freed by North Korea, returning home: U.S. officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea freed two American citizens from prison and they were returning to the United States on Saturday after the surprise involvement of the top-ranking U.S. intelligence official in their release.

Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, who had been detained for months by the secretive Asian state, were being accompanied home by the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, his office said. Their release comes less than three weeks after another American was freed by Pyongyang.

Nov 7, 2014

Exclusive: U.S. weighs sanctions on Libyan factions to try to halt proxy war

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is considering imposing sanctions on Libya’s combative factions to try to prevent a proxy conflict fueled by regional powers from erupting into full-blown civil war and force militant leaders to negotiate, U.S. officials said.

Three years after Muammar Gaddafi’s downfall, outside intervention has exacerbated the fighting, with Qatar and, to some degree, Turkey supporting Islamist-linked forces and Egypt and the United Arab Emirates backing more secular rivals.

Nov 6, 2014

Who shot bin Laden? Former U.S. Navy SEALS make rival claims

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Members of the U.S. Navy Seal commando team that killed Osama bin Laden at his Pakistan hideout in May, 2011 are making conflicting claims as to who actually shot the al Qaeda leader.

The Washington Post published a story on Thursday quoting Rob O’Neill, a former SEAL, as claiming to have fired the fatal shot that hit bin Laden in the forehead after O’Neill stormed into a room in bin Laden’s house in Abbottabad.

Nov 6, 2014

U.S. launches fresh strikes on Khorasan group in Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said it conducted air strikes on Wednesday night against the so-called Khorasan group, an al Qaeda-linked militant faction based in Syria, and said the group was plotting to attack Europe or the United States.

Separately, one U.S. official said a target of the strike was David Drugeon, a French-born militant and convert to Islam who some U.S. officials say is a bomb maker for the group. U.S. officials have not confirmed whether Drugeon was killed.

Oct 31, 2014

U.S. spy budget down by over 15 percent since 2010: official data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The combined budget for U.S. civilian and military intelligence operations has shrunk by more than 15 percent since 2010, official figures show.

The total U.S. intelligence budget was $67.9 billion in the fiscal year to Sept. 30, according to official figures. That was up only marginally from $67.6 billion the previous year, but followed a steady decline since a peak in 2010.