July 15th, 2011
03:51 PM ET

Iranian opposition supporters accuse State Department of dragging feet

Supporters of an Iranian opposition group labeled a terrorist organization by the United States rallied outside the State Department Friday to demand the quick de-listing of their status, a decision they claim should have happened long ago.

More than one hundred supporters of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) said the State Department was dragging its feet in deciding whether to keep them on the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations following a ruling by a federal appeals court in Washington last July. A three judge panel said that MEK's due process protections had been violated because the State Department had not allowed the group to contest certain information used to justify their designation on the terror list.

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Filed under: Foreign Policy • Iran • Iraq • Terrorism
Documents in bin Laden compound discuss attacking Obama
Bin Laden compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan Photo by: AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images
July 15th, 2011
03:20 PM ET

Documents in bin Laden compound discuss attacking Obama

Documents recovered from Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan show that al Qaeda spoke of attacking President Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus, a source familiar with the materials recovered from the compound said Friday.

The documents refer to an attack that would destroy the aircraft carrying Obama and Petraeus in the region, the source said, referring to the Afghanistan, Pakistan area.

The documents also referred in a more general way to a desire by al Qaeda to attack the president and Petraeus, who was will be departing soon as the U.S. military commander in Afghanistan.

A U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak on the record, described the Bin Laden documents as "him in his brainstorming mode ... hey, I have an idea, what if we did this."

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Killer of Karzai's half-brother worked against Taliban, officials say
Afghan Pres. Hamid Karzai at service for slain brother Photo: STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images
July 15th, 2011
11:27 AM ET

Killer of Karzai's half-brother worked against Taliban, officials say

By David Ariosto

The guard who killed the half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, had for years worked with International Security Assistance Forces against Taliban militants, according to three local officials with direct knowledge of the dealings.

Sardar Mohammed, who authorities say shot and killed Kandahar's provincial council chief Ahmed Wali Karzai, received training from ISAF and participated in intelligence gathering against militants across the region, according to Besmellah Afghanmal, a provincial council member with close ties to the Karzai family.

He "was one of the trusted commanders for the Karzais," Afghanmal told CNN. "Sardar Mohammad was working with American Special Forces closely and he was participating in many operations with American Special forces against the Taliban in (the) south."

Others, like provincial parliament member Hashim Watanwal, say Mohammad had worked with both U.S. and Canadian forces in Kandahar - an ethnically Pashtun dominated region long-considered the Taliban heartland. FULL POST

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Karzai
U.S. recognizes main opposition group in Libya as legitimate governing authority
Secretary Clinton met with Mahmud Jibril, Chairman of the Libyan Interim National Transitional Council, in Istanbul on Friday. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
July 15th, 2011
09:48 AM ET

U.S. recognizes main opposition group in Libya as legitimate governing authority

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on Friday that the United States will recognize the opposition Transitional National Council "as the legitimate governing authority for Libya."

She made the announcement in Istanbul, Turkey, at meeting of the Libya Contact Group, the alliance of nations working to deal with the Libyan crisis.

Clinton said the council "continues to gain legitimacy as the representative of the Libyan people" and conducts "high-level diplomacy with governments worldwide."

An aide to Clinton told reporters traveling with her that the room broke into spontaneous applause when she made the announcement of U.S. recognition.
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Filed under: Clinton • Diplomacy • Libya • Secretary of State