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Sep 23, 2013

Security check of Navy Yard attacker did not mention 2004 shooting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy said on Monday it did not know Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis had once shot out the tires of a car in Seattle before it let him into the service in 2007 and granted him a security clearance, only that he “deflated the tires” on a car.

The disclosure raises new questions about screening investigations conducted by the Office of Personnel Management using the company USIS, which carried out the checks on both Alexis and former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who is accused of disclosing top secret documents.

Sep 18, 2013

DC gunman treated for insomnia before shooting: veterans’ agency

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Washington Navy Yard gunman was treated for insomnia in August at hospitals run by the Department of Veterans Affairs, but said he did not have violent thoughts and did not seek care from a VA mental health specialist, the VA said on Wednesday.

Aaron Alexis, 34, a veteran of the Navy Reserve who had a security clearance to enter bases as an information technology contractor, was shot dead by police on Monday after opening fire on people at the Navy Yard complex, killing 12 people.

Sep 18, 2013

Hagel says ‘red flags’ missed before Navy Yard shooting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday the suspected Washington Navy Yard gunman’s background presented some “red flags” easy to spot in hindsight and ordered a broad review of security worldwide, including clearances.

Aaron Alexis, the 34-year-old suspect who was killed by police during Monday’s shooting, received a security clearance more than five years ago when he was still in the Navy and kept it in his most recent job as a technology contractor at the Navy Yard.

Sep 18, 2013

U.S. Navy was warned that Washington shooter ‘heard voices’

WASHINGTON/BOSTON (Reuters) – Rhode Island police warned the U.S. Navy last month that Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis had reported “hearing voices,” raising further questions about how he gained security clearance at the complex where he went on a shooting rampage.

Officials say Alexis, a Navy contractor and former Navy reservist, opened fire at the Naval Sea Systems Command on Monday, killing 12 people before police shot him dead.

Sep 17, 2013

Security under scrutiny over vetting of U.S. Navy Yard gunman

WASHINGTON, Sept 17 (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy on Tuesday
ordered a review of security at all of its facilities as
questions arose about how a former serviceman with a history of
violence and mental illness received clearance to work at a base
where he killed 12 people before police shot him dead.

The suspect, Aaron Alexis, 34, a Navy contractor from Fort
Worth, Texas, entered Washington Navy Yard on Monday morning and
opened fire, spreading panic at the base just a mile and a half
(2.5 km) from the U.S. Capitol and three miles (5 km) from the
White House.

Sep 17, 2013

Gunman opens fire at Navy Yard in Washington D.C., 13 dead

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. military veteran opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday in a burst of violence that killed 13 people, including the gunman, and set off waves of panic at the military installation just miles from the White House and U.S. Capitol.

The FBI identified the suspect as Aaron Alexis, 34, of Fort Worth, Texas, a Navy contractor who had two gun-related brushes with the law. He was discharged from the Navy Reserve in 2011 after a series of misconduct issues, a Navy official said.

Sep 16, 2013

At least 12 dead in shooting at Navy Yard in Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – At least 12 people were killed in a shooting on Monday at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, where one suspected gunman was among the dead and authorities were searching for two other possible assailants wearing military-style clothing, officials said.

The exact number of dead and wounded fluctuated in the hours following the shooting, which took place about three miles from the White House, starting about 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT).

Sep 10, 2013

Syria vows to give up chemical weapons, no deal yet at U.N.

WASHINGTON/AMMAN (Reuters) – Syria accepted a Russian proposal on Tuesday to give up chemical weapons and win a reprieve from U.S. military strikes but serious differences emerged between Russia and the United States that could obstruct a U.N. resolution to seal a deal.

Even as the White House said it was determined to push ahead with a congressional resolution authorizing force, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the weapons plan would only succeed if Washington and its allies rule out military action.

Sep 10, 2013

Obama wants to keep pressure on Syria as diplomatic option pursued

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and top national security officials urged Congress on Tuesday to keep the pressure on Syria over its chemical weapons arsenal while the United States explores a diplomatic alternative to military strikes.

A potential diplomatic breakthrough put the brakes on a vote in Congress over authorizing military force as lawmakers and the administration sought more time to assess Russia’s proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control.

Sep 10, 2013

Dismantling Syria chemical weapons arsenal would be tough task

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Any deal with Syria to hand over its chemical weapons in the middle of a chaotic civil war would be difficult for inspectors to enforce and destroying them would likely take years, U.S. officials and experts caution.

Syria’s strongest backer, Russia, proposed on Monday that Damascus save itself from a U.S. military strike over its alleged use of chemical weapons by putting its stockpiles under international control.

    • About Phil

      "Phil Stewart has worked for Reuters since 1998 and reported from more than 30 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and Egypt. Before becoming a Washington D.C.-based military affairs and intelligence reporter, Phil covered terrorism, foreign affairs and the Vatican from Rome from 2004 until mid-2009. He has also previously been based in Colombia and Brazil as a foreign correspondent. Before joining Reuters, Phil covered U.S. politics out of Washington D.C. for States News Service. He earned his BS in international relations from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. ..."
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