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Oct 7, 2013

U.S. elite team questions seized al Qaeda leader on Navy ship

WASHINGTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) – An elite U.S. interrogation
team is questioning the senior al Qaeda figure who was captured
in Libya and then taken onto a Navy ship in the Mediterranean
Sea, U.S. officials said on Monday.

Nazih al-Ragye, better known by the cover name Abu Anas
al-Liby, is being held aboard the USS San Antonio, an amphibious
transport dock ship, the officials said.

Oct 6, 2013

U.S. says captures al Qaeda leader in Libya, also raids Somalia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. forces launched raids in Libya and Somalia on Saturday, two weeks after the deadly Islamist attack on a Nairobi shopping mall, capturing a top al Qaeda figure wanted for the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, U.S. officials said.

Senior al Qaeda figure Anas al Liby was seized in the raid in Libya, but no militant was captured in the raid on the Somali town of Barawe, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Oct 5, 2013

Pentagon to recall most furloughed workers, easing shutdown pain

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon said on Saturday it would recall most of the roughly 400,000 civilian Defense Department employees sent home during the government shutdown, in a move that could greatly lessen the impact of the shutdown on America’s armed forces.

The exact number to be recalled remained uncertain. Civilian Pentagon employees comprise about half the 800,000 federal employees currently furloughed.

Oct 5, 2013

Pentagon recalling most civilian defense employees idled by shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon said on Saturday it will recall most of the roughly 400,000 civilian Defense Department employees sent home during the government shutdown, in a move that could greatly lessen the impact of feuding in Washington on U.S. armed forces.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said a legal review of the “Pay Our Military Act,” signed by President Barack Obama on Monday on the eve of the shutdown, would allow him to bring a still-unspecified number of civilians back to work next week.

Oct 3, 2013

Gaps emerge in U.S. efforts to shield troops, vets from shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When President Barack Obama signed the “Pay Our Military Act” on Monday, the goal was to ensure that U.S. troops get their salaries on time during the federal government shutdown along with essential payments like housing allowances.

But what about enlistment bonuses, which some sailors say are being delayed? And Pentagon lawyers are also still trying to determine whether they can immediately pay benefits like death gratuities to families of any troops who might die on active duty during the shutdown.

Sep 30, 2013

Two U.S. generals ousted over failure to secure Afghan base

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the Marine Corps on Monday effectively fired two U.S. generals over their failure to defend a major base in Afghanistan from a deadly Taliban attack last year, in an extraordinary and rare public censure.

Two Marines were killed and eight personnel were wounded when Taliban insurgents breached what a military investigation determined was inadequate security at Camp Bastion, in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

Sep 27, 2013

Washington Navy Yard gunman’s employers point fingers over his record

WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Two defense contractors who
employed Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis are pointing
fingers at one another after keeping him on the job despite his
mental health problems.

The dispute this week led contractor Hewlett-Packard
to cancel its work with Florida-based subcontractor, The
Experts, which hired Alexis to do information technology work on
U.S. Navy bases.

Sep 26, 2013

U.S. concern grows about al Qaeda ties to Kenya mall attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Islamist militant attack on a Kenyan shopping mall increasingly appears to have been carried out by a dominant faction of al Shabaab, which has ideological and personal ties to al Qaeda, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Based on initial reporting from the scene, which is still preliminary and uncertain, U.S. officials believe al Shabaab likely spent a great deal of time planning and staging the siege in Nairobi that killed at least 72 people.

Sep 25, 2013

FBI releases video of ‘delusional’ Navy Yard shooter

WASHINGTON, Sept 25 (Reuters) – The FBI released
surveillance video and photos of Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis
on Wednesday and said he believed electromagnetic waves had been
controlling him for months before the rampage that killed 12
people.

There are no signs that Alexis, 34, was targeting anybody in
the Sept. 16 shooting at the Navy Yard in southeast Washington,
said Valerie Parlave, the FBI assistant director in charge of
the Washington field office.

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.

    • 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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