Mark's Feed
Mar 13, 2015

Human rights concerns limit U.S. intelligence, military aid to Nigeria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is limiting its intelligence and military aid to Nigeria during Boko Haram’s deadly insurgency due to concerns over the country’s human rights record, U.S. officials say.

Boko Haram has killed thousands of people in northeastern Nigeria in its six-year insurgency and has also pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, which has created a self-declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.

Mar 9, 2015

U.S. offers $5 million for missing American, appeals to Iran

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States offered $5 million on Monday for help in finding an American who disappeared in Iran eight years ago and appealed to Tehran to cooperate in the search for the former FBI agent, Robert Levinson.

“We ask the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to work cooperatively with us on the investigation into Robert Levinson’s disappearance so we can ensure his safe return,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.

Mar 6, 2015

Detainee traded for Bergdahl may have contacted Taliban: officials

By Mark Hosenball

(Reuters) – U.S. spy agencies are examining intelligence reports that one of five Taliban leaders released from Guantanamo prison and sent to Qatar as part of a deal to free U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl last year may have re-established contact with a militant group, U.S. officials said on Friday.

So far, only one of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies has formally concluded that the Taliban leader is suspected of re-engagement, two U.S. officials told Reuters. But other agencies will be closely monitoring him for further corroboration, said the officials, who asked not to be identified.

Mar 6, 2015

CIA to make sweeping changes, focus more on cyber ops: agency chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Central Intelligence Agency is launching one of the biggest reorganizations in its history, aimed in part at sharpening its focus on cyber operations and incorporating digital innovations into intelligence gathering, CIA director John Brennan said.

In a presentation to reporters this week, Brennan said he also is creating new units within the CIA, called “mission centers,” intended to concentrate the agency’s focus on specific challenges or geographic areas, such as weapons proliferation or Africa.

Mar 3, 2015

Ex-CIA chief Petraeus to plead guilty in affair-related case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former CIA Director David Petraeus has agreed to plead guilty to a single charge relating to mishandling classified information in a case arising from the ex-U.S. Army General’s extramarital affair with a female Army Reserve officer, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.

Documents disclosing Petraeus’s guilty plea were filed in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina. The retired four-star general agreed to plead guilty to a charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.

Feb 27, 2015

Islamic State must keep expanding to survive: financial report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – International investigators said on Friday that in order for the Islamic State to remain financially viable it would have to further expand territory it controls in Iraq and Syria and take over more resources.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said in a report that the Islamist group’s need for large amounts of money to govern areas it has conquered meant it was uncertain how long it could finance its current level of activity.

Feb 26, 2015

UK authorities linked ‘Jihadi John’ to militant killed by U.S. drone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – British authorities have linked Mohammed Emwazi, a Londoner identified by U.S. national security sources as Jihadi John, the knife-wielding militant who appeared in videos depicting the beheadings of western hostages, to another British militant killed in Somalia in a U.S. drone attack.

A British court ruling dated December 2011 reported that Emwazi was an associate of Bilal al Berjawi, a leader of the Somali-based militant group al Shabaab, a person in possession of the court ruling said. Media reports said he helped supervise the recruitment and training of new Shabaab members.

Feb 26, 2015

‘Jihadi John’ killer from Islamic State beheading videos unmasked as Londoner

LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The masked “Jihadi John” killer who fronted Islamic State beheading videos has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi, a British computer programming graduate from a well-to-do London family.

The black-clad militant brandishing a knife and speaking with an English accent was shown in videos released by Islamic State (IS) apparently decapitating hostages including Americans, Britons and Syrians.

Feb 26, 2015

‘Jihadi John’ from Islamic State beheading videos unmasked as Londoner

LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The masked “Jihadi John” killer who fronted Islamic State beheading videos has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi, a British computer programming graduate from a well-to-do London family.

The black-clad militant brandishing a knife and speaking with an English accent was shown in videos released by Islamic State (IS) apparently decapitating hostages including Americans, Britons and Syrians.

Feb 24, 2015

U.S. offers highest-ever reward for Russian hacker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department and FBI on Tuesday announced a $3 million reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Russian national Evgeniy Bogachev, the highest bounty U.S. authorities have ever offered in a cyber case.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation also issued a “Wanted” poster for Bogachev, who is charged in the United States with running a computer attack network called GameOver Zeus that allegedly stole more than $100 million from online bank accounts.