Terrorism and counterterrorism

  • Court: Justice Dept. does not have to disclose legal memo justifying targeted killing of U.S. citizens

    Judge Colleen McMahon on Wednesday refused to order the Justice Department to disclose a memorandum which provided the legal justification for the targeted killing on September 2011 of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen; al-Awlaki, a fervent jihadi cleric, was killed in Yemen by a CIA drone

  • Explosives found in NYC apartment of upscale couple

    An apartment on Wet Ninth Street in New York, where Morgan Gliedman, 27, the daughter of a New York City physician, and her boyfriend, Aaron Greene, 31, son of the president of an acclaimed artwork-restoration business, live, was searched by police on Monday after a tip from a visitor to the apartment; the police discovered explosive ingredients, weapons, and bomb-making manuals; some described Greene as an “Occupy Wall Street activist,” but the police said they did not believe that Greene was active in any political movement, describing the couple as “admitted heroin addicts”

  • Egypt launches investigation of opposition leaders

    Three days after President Mohammed Morsi signed a decree to make the new Egyptian constitution the law of the land, the public prosecutor of Egypt has ordered an inquiry of three prominent opposition leaders; the inquiry will look into charges that the three leaders — Mohamed ElBaradei, Amr Mousa, and Hamdeen Sabahi —“incited the overthrow” of President Morsi

  • Commander of Syria’s military police defects

    The disintegration of Presdient Bashar al-Assad’s regime continues, as another high-ranking loyalist — Lt. Gen. Abulaziz al-Shalal, commander of Syria’s military police — has defected; al-Shalal, who is now in Turkey, is one of the highest-ranking officials to join the ranks of the anti-regime rebels

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  • U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilian could face death penalt

    A U.S. soldier accused of a mass murder could face the death penalty if he is found guilty; Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is accused of killing sixteen Afghan villagers and injuring another six in a shooting spree near a U.S. base in the Kandahar province last March

  • Florida man prevented from attacking NYC landmarks for lack of funds

    A Florida man who wanted to attack a landmark in New York City, but lacked the funds to carry out his plan, was arrested on terror charges, according to federal prosecutors; Raees Alam Qazi, 20, told the officers who arrested him that he tried to contact al Qaeda, and that he was motivated by reading the online magazine Inspire which is produced by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

  • NBC crew freed after a firefight between the kidnappers and anti-regime rebels

    A NBC reporter and four men from his film crew were freed Monday from kidnappers in Syria which kept them tied up, blindfolded, and repeatedly threatened to kill them for five days

  • Aussies debate terrorism and freedom of speech

    Inspireis an English- language jihadist magazine created by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP); so far nine editions of the magazine have been produced; the magazine was produced and edited by two Americans, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Kahn — both were killed by an U.S. drone in Yemen in August 2011; last Monday, a resident of Melbourne, Australia was charged with possessing terrorism-related materials because he was found to have four issues of Inspire in his possession

  • High Russian official: Assad losing the ground war

    The Assad regime does not have many friends left, and yesterday one of them admitted that Assad was losing the war; Mikhail Bogdanov, the deputy foreign minister of Russia, said the regime faced possible defeat to the rebels, adding with unusual frankness for a diplomat: “One must look facts in the face”

  • Senate intelligence committee approves 6,000-page report on CIA interrogation of terrorists

    Senate panel completes a 6,000-page report into the techniques used by the CIA in interrogating terrorists; the report will now be submitted to the administration for review; GOP members of the committee object to the report being made public

  • British PM apologizes for British “collusion” in 1989 killing of Irish lawyer

    British Prime Minister David Cameron offered an apology to the family of Patrick Finucane, a lawyer who represented IRA activists, saying that there was “a shocking level of state collusion” when it came to his killing in 1989; Cameron offered the apology after a 500-page report on the killing was completed, implicating British Army intelligence unit, as well as MI5 and MI6, of facilitating the killing through both action and inaction; Finucane’s widow, demanding a public inquiry, said this report, like earlier ones, aims to protect senior officials close to then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

  • U.S. formally to recognize rebel coalition as Syria’s legitimate rulers

    The end of the Assad family rule over Syria, which begun in 1970, has been moved that much closer yesterday (Tuesday) when President Barack Obama said the United States would formally recognize a coalition of Syrian rebel groups as Syria’s legitimate rulers; other countries, notably France, the United Kingdom, and Turkey have already recognized the opposition as Syria’s legitimate government, but the U.S. move is a game changer; the big question is whether the armed groups inside Syria would feel compelled to accept what members of the coalition agree upon

  • Technique used to nab serial killers helps in controlling pests and disease and in counter-terrorism

    A technique designed to help criminologists catch serial killers is being used by scientists to locate sources of disease, control pests, and study animal behavior; locating a serial killer’s home is similar to finding the nests of animals or centers of disease outbreaks; ecological approaches have applications in counter-terrorism work, as terrorist cells tend to have more than one anchor point within the area in which they operate, exactly so they can avoid detection

  • Modeling terrorism risk to the air transportation system

    RAND recently evaluated a terrorism risk modeling tool developed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Boeing to help guide program planning for aviation security; the Risk Management Analysis Tool, or RMAT, simulates terrorist behavior and success in attacking vulnerabilities in the domestic commercial air transportation system, drawing on estimates of terrorist resources, capabilities, preferences, decision processes, intelligence collection, and operational planning

  • Terrorism on decline in U.S.

    From 2002 to 2011, the United States has experienced a noticeable decline in terrorism, and North America was the region least likely to suffer from terrorism: there were only twenty-three deaths as a result of terrorism in the United States from 2002 to 2011; the three most active perpetrators of terrorist acts in the United States have been the Earth Liberation Front, Animal Liberation Front, and various anti-abortion activists; al Qaeda and affiliates, the Taliban and affiliates, the KKK and affiliates – combined — accounted for less than 3 percent of terrorist attacks in the United States in the past decade