Mark's Feed
Jan 30, 2015

Exclusive: U.S. armed drone program in Yemen facing intelligence gaps

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is facing increasing difficulty acquiring intelligence needed to run its stealth drone program in Yemen, undermining a campaign against the most lethal branch of al Qaeda after Houthi rebels seized control of parts of the country’s security apparatus, U.S. officials say.

Gaps in on-the-ground intelligence could slow America’s fight against a resurgent al Qaeda in Yemen and heighten the risk of errant strikes that kill the wrong people and stoke anti-U.S. sentiment, potentially making the militants even stronger in areas where al Qaeda is already growing.

Jan 29, 2015

US armed drone program in Yemen facing intelligence gaps

WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (Reuters) – The United States is facing
increasing difficulty acquiring intelligence needed to run its
stealth drone program in Yemen, undermining a campaign against
the most lethal branch of al Qaeda after Houthi rebels seized
control of parts of the country’s security apparatus, U.S.
officials say.

Gaps in on-the-ground intelligence could slow America’s
fight against a resurgent al Qaeda in Yemen and heighten the
risk of errant strikes that kill the wrong people and stoke
anti-U.S. sentiment, potentially making the militants even
stronger in areas where al Qaeda is already growing.

Jan 24, 2015

Exclusive: Some counter-terrorism efforts in Yemen frozen for now – U.S. officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has halted some counter-terrorism operations against al Qaeda militants in Yemen following a takeover of the country by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, U.S. officials said on Friday.

The collapse of the U.S.-backed government of Yemen on Thursday has left America’s counter-terrorism campaign “paralyzed”, two U.S. security officials said, dealing a major setback to Washington’s fight against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a potent wing of the militant network.

Jan 24, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Some counter-terrorism efforts in Yemen frozen for now – U.S. officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has halted some counter-terrorism operations against al Qaeda militants in Yemen following a takeover of the country by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, U.S. officials said on Friday.

The collapse of the U.S.-backed government of Yemen on Thursday has left America’s counter-terrorism campaign “paralyzed”, two U.S. security officials said, dealing a major setback to Washington’s fight against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a potent wing of the militant network.

Jan 23, 2015

Security high as Phoenix prepares for Super Bowl

WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Elaborate security measures
are being prepared for next month’s Super Bowl, the biggest
annual U.S. sports event, and for two other upcoming major
events in the Phoenix area, federal officials said on Friday.

But they said the designated threat level for the Feb. 1
Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots
was the same as in previous years, except for the year after the
Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, when a higher level was declared.

Jan 23, 2015

U.S. pulls more staff from Yemen embassy amid deepening crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has pulled more staff out of its embassy in Yemen, U.S. officials said on Thursday as Washington scrambled to cope with the collapse of a government that had been a key ally in the fight against al Qaeda.

The scaling down of its presence in Yemen is the first sign that the latest turmoil there will affect U.S operations in a country that President Barack Obama hailed just four months ago as a model for “successful” counter-terrorism partnerships.

Jan 22, 2015

Obama abandons telephone data spying reform proposal -U.S. officials

WASHINGTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s
administration has quietly abandoned a proposal it had been
considering to put raw U.S. telephone call data collected by the
National Security Agency under non-governmental control, several
U.S. security officials said.

Obama promised changes in the government’s handling of such
data in a speech a year ago after revelations by former NSA
contractor Edward Snowden about the extent of the agency’s
electronic surveillance of Americans’ communications.

Jan 15, 2015

U.S. report finds no substitute to gathering bulk intel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – No existing technology can fully replace collecting data in bulk to obtain electronic intelligence, but some methods could be developed to improve how information is gathered and used, the U.S. National Research Council said in a report on Thursday.

The report, sponsored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, was in response to President Barack Obama’s call last year for a review of potential software-based alternatives to the controversial program.

Jan 14, 2015

British hacker linked to attack on Pentagon Twitter feed -sources

WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – The “CyberCaliphate” hacking
group that attacked a Twitter account belonging to the Pentagon
on Monday was founded by a Briton who was once jailed for
hacking the personal address book of former British Prime
Minister Tony Blair, according to government sources and private
sector security experts.

U.S. and European government sources said investigators
strongly believe that Junaid Hussain, 20, was the leader of
CyberCaliphate, though they do not know if he was personally
involved in hacking the Twitter and YouTube
accounts of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees military
operations in the Middle East.

Jan 10, 2015

Paris shooting cases demonstrate spy agencies’ limits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – This week’s deadly attacks in France by Islamist gunmen showed the limits of spy and anti-terrorist agencies, which often have information about perpetrators in advance but are only able to assemble all the clues after the bloodletting has taken place.

From the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States in 2001 through a series of outrages in Europe and other parts of the world, U.S. and European security and intelligence officials say a key problem has been making connections from a mass of data.