Mark's Feed
Jul 2, 2014

U.S. increases security at overseas airports amid bomb concerns

WASHINGTON, July 2 (Reuters) – The United States said on
Wednesday it would increase security at overseas airports with
direct flights into the country and U.S. officials cited
concerns al Qaeda operatives in Syria and Yemen were developing
bombs that could be smuggled onto planes.

European airports would be taking the extra precautions, the
U.S. officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Jul 2, 2014

U.S. pushes for tighter European airport security amid bomb concerns

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is pushing for increased security precautions at European airports because of concerns that al Qaeda operatives in Syria and Yemen have teamed up to develop bombs that can be smuggled onto planes, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

The U.S. government is in discussions with European authorities on measures that could include extra scrutiny of U.S.-bound passengers’ electronics and footwear, and installation of additional bomb-detection machines, according to law-enforcement and security officials. An announcement is expected within days.

Jul 1, 2014

Benghazi attack suspect has been talking to U.S. interrogators: officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Libyan militant accused of involvement in the 2012 attacks on U.S. government installations in Benghazi, Libya, has been talking to U.S. interrogators, U.S. officials familiar with the matter said.

Ahmed Abu Khatallah, captured in Libya on June 15 by a U.S. military and FBI team, has been interrogated both before and after he was advised of his right under U.S. law to remain silent, they said.

Jun 27, 2014

U.S. takes time to gather data before any attacks on ISIL in Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. intelligence about the Islamist insurgent offensive in Iraq is improving but it could take weeks to complete a detailed picture of the threat and any possible American air attacks do not appear imminent, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Last week’s announcement that up to 300 U.S. military advisers were being sent to Baghdad and the earlier movement of an aircraft carrier, a cruiser and a destroyer into the Gulf prompted speculation of impending military action against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.

Jun 26, 2014

Despite London acquittals, U.S. probe of News Corp continues

WASHINGTON, June 26 (Reuters) – More than a year after
asking for and receiving emails from News Corp’s U.S.
operation related to allegations of phone hacking and bribery,
the FBI is still investigating whether British-based
representatives of the media company may have broken U.S. law,
sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The FBI probe into Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has not ended
even though some former senior Murdoch aides were acquitted of
charges by a British criminal court jury, the sources said.

Jun 25, 2014

Militants positioned to hold captured Iraq territory, U.S. official says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sunni militants are “well positioned” to hold a broad swathe of territory captured in northern and western Iraq if the Baghdad government fails to produce a robust counter-offensive, a senior U.S. intelligence official said on Tuesday.

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which seized the main northern city Mosul on June 10 and has since marched virtually unopposed towards Baghdad, is at its strongest “in years,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing sensitive information.

Jun 23, 2014

Court releases memo of U.S. justifying drone attacks on citizens

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Monday released a redacted version of the U.S. Justice Department’s memorandum of justification for a 2011 drone attack that killed Anwar al Awlaki, an American-born Islamist preacher suspected of having ties to al Qaeda.

The memo says that because the U.S. government considered al Awlaki to be an “operational leader” of an “enemy force,” it was legal for the Central Intelligence Agency to attack him with a drone even though he was a U.S. citizen.

Jun 20, 2014

Benghazi suspect faces U.S. criminal, not military, court

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A suspected leader of the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, captured by U.S. forces and spirited out of the country, can expect to move quickly through the initial steps of the criminal justice system within hours of arriving on American soil.

Seized in a raid last Sunday, Libyan militant Ahmed Abu Khatallah is the suspected leader of a group implicated in the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound and CIA base in Benghazi.

Jun 20, 2014

U.S. spy agencies warned Maliki was ‘alienating’ Iraq’s Sunnis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. intelligence agencies have repeatedly warned top government officials that Iraq’s Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki and his policies were gravely antagonizing his country’s Sunni population, two U.S. security officials said on Friday.

The officials said the warnings were contained in secret intelligence reports and analyses presented in the last two years to policymaking officials, including President Barack Obama.

Jun 14, 2014

Insight – Obama faces limited options in Iraq crisis, doubts over air strikes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two and a half years after President Barack Obama disentangled America from a long, unpopular war in Iraq, his options for helping the Iraqi government stave off a militant onslaught are slim as doubts simmer over whether even punishing air strikes would be effective.

He will announce in coming days how far he is willing to go in responding to the crisis in Iraq, where militants are sweeping south towards the capital Baghdad in a campaign to recreate a large mediaeval Islamic caliphate spanning Iraq and Syria.