Mark's Feed
Apr 24, 2015

Several U.S. probes likely of drone strikes that killed hostages

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Central Intelligence Agency’s Inspector General will conduct what could be the first of several investigations into the CIA drone strikes that killed American and Italian hostages and two U.S.-born al Qaeda militants, U.S. government sources said on Friday.

The Senate Intelligence Committee also is reviewing the attacks, a Congressional source said.

Apr 24, 2015

Hostage locations difficult to track – and may be getting harder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. drone strike that accidentally killed two hostages in Pakistan exposes intelligence shortfalls that former and current U.S. officials say appear to be growing more frequent as militants expand their safe havens and as Washington gathers less on-the-ground human intelligence.

Obtaining timely intelligence on hostages has always been difficult, especially in volatile regions where the United States has limited access and where militants have well-established operations.

Apr 23, 2015

Former U.S. General David Petraeus to be sentenced in leak case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. military commander and CIA director David Petraeus will appear in federal court in North Carolina on Thursday to face sentencing for allegedly leaking secrets to a mistress who was writing his biography.

Petraeus, a now-retired U.S. Army General, has already agreed to plead guilty to a criminal misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.

Apr 22, 2015

Democrats blast U.S. House Benghazi probe as out to get Clinton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congressional Democrats on Wednesday criticized a Republican-led probe of the 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, as a political assault on Hillary Clinton, citing a possible delay in its final report until 2016, while a related State Department letter seen by Reuters stoked further controversy.

The letter described the investigating committee’s “top priority” as collecting Clinton’s emails about Benghazi, a disclosure likely to fuel Democratic complaints that the focus reflects a desire to undermine her campaign for president.

Apr 22, 2015

U.S. Republicans move to extend spies’ power to collect phone data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In a move likely to re-ignite public debate in America over electronic spying, Republicans have introduced a bill in the Senate to extend a controversial law empowering the government’s bulk collection of U.S. telephone records.

President Barack Obama and many in Congress want to retain the mass data-collection program as a national security tool but want substantial changes in the program, which was secret until disclosed two years ago by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Apr 21, 2015

Congress to probe sex parties for possible leaks of U.S. drug agents’ secrets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Armed with once-confidential documents, a U.S. congressional committee will investigate whether agents of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration divulged secrets at sex parties that drug lords in Colombia may have staged to elicit sensitive information.

A spokeswoman for the Republican majority at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said the leaks inquiry would also examine the bureaucratic culture and leadership at the DEA and other Justice Department investigative agencies.

Apr 21, 2015

U.S. Somali recruiter not dead, still active in Syria: officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Somali-American who joined Islamic State as a fighter is alive and still trying to recruit young men from Minnesota to join him, law enforcement officials and a Somali community leader said, despite a report that he might have been killed in Syria.

Abdi Nur, 20, who left Minneapolis for Syria last year, is frequently in touch online with young Somalis in Minnesota to try to entice them to join IS, Twin Cities Somali community elder Omar Jamal said.

Apr 17, 2015

Ohio man pleads not guilty to terrorism charges

By Mary Wisniewski and Mark Hosenball

(Reuters) – An Ohio man who trained with Islamic militants
in Syria pleaded not guilty on Friday in a Columbus federal
court to charges of supporting terrorism and making false
statements, court documents said.

Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 23, a naturalized American, had
been instructed by a Muslim cleric to return to the United
States and carry out an act of terrorism, a federal indictment
said.

Apr 16, 2015

Ohio man who trained with Islamic militants charged with supporting terrorism

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Columbus, Ohio, man who trained with Islamic militants in Syria has been arrested and charged with supporting terrorism and making false statements, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday.

Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 23, a naturalized American, had been instructed by a Muslim cleric to return to the United States and carry out an act of terrorism, a federal indictment said.

Apr 10, 2015

Exclusive: U.S. expands intelligence sharing with Saudis in Yemen operation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is expanding its intelligence-sharing with Saudi Arabia to provide more information about potential targets in the kingdom’s air campaign against Houthi militias in Yemen, U.S. officials told Reuters.

The stepped-up assistance comes as two weeks of relentless air strikes by the Saudis and other Gulf Arab allies have largely failed to halt advances by the Iran-linked Houthi forces.