U.S. lawmakers blast Libyan rebels on Lockerbie bomber issue
Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi with his mother in Tripoli, Libya
August 31st, 2011
06:23 PM ET

U.S. lawmakers blast Libyan rebels on Lockerbie bomber issue

CNN's Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty

Even as Libyan rebels struggle to gain control of the country, some U.S. lawmakers are demanding the United States punish the rebel leadership unless they turn over the Lockerbie bomber.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, on Wednesday called on the State Department to condition further assistance to the rebel National Transitional Council, including access to frozen Libyan assets, upon the return to prison of Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi.

Schumer made the demand in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as she prepared to leave for Paris to attend an international conference to discuss ways to help the Libyan opposition.

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9/11 Commission heads issue security-gap warning
ALEXANDRE FUCHS/AFP/Getty Images
August 31st, 2011
05:40 PM ET

9/11 Commission heads issue security-gap warning

By CNN National Security Producer Jennifer Rizzo

The heads of the 9/11 Commission issued a new report Wednesday warning of continued shortfalls in anti-terror measures adopted in the wake of the 2001 al Qaeda attacks against the United States.

Specifically, the report highlights nine commission recommendations that remain unfulfilled since they were proposed in 2004.

Among other things, former commission members harped on the need for greater unity of command among various emergency response agencies and their inability in many cases to communicate via radio with each other during a crisis.

"When firemen can't talk to policemen, can't talk to rescue workers and medical personnel, people die. They died because of that on 9-11. They died because of that in Katrina. And they will die in the future unless this particular problem is ... solved," said Thomas Kean, the chairman of the former commission, during a briefing on the report.
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Filed under: 9/11 • Airport • Homeland Security • Terrorism
U.S. says it’s “reviewing” Algeria’s explanation for admitting Gadhafi’s family
The U.S. State Department Photo By: CNNs Bethany Swain
August 30th, 2011
07:38 PM ET

U.S. says it’s “reviewing” Algeria’s explanation for admitting Gadhafi’s family

By CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty

Faced with the disturbing fact that Muammar Gadhafi’s wife and three children, including some grandchildren, were able to flee over the Libyan border to Algeria in spite of a U.N. travel ban, the U.S. State Department nevertheless is taking a low-key approach.

“There are concerns that this isn’t in keeping with the travel ban restrictions,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Tuesday but, defending the administration’s response, she said the U.S. is reviewing Algeria’s explanation for why it let the family into the country.

Gadhafi’s two sons who fled, Hannibal and Mohammed, along with his daughter, Aisha, are specifically named in the U.N. travel ban for “closeness of association with regime.”

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State Department says Syria YouTube video will 'backfire'
US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford Photo By: AFP/Getty Images
August 30th, 2011
07:05 PM ET

State Department says Syria YouTube video will 'backfire'

By CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty

The State Department is slamming an amateur video put on YouTube showing the American ambassador being harassed by a Syrian supporter of President Bashar al-Assad, calling it a "feeble attempt to divert the world's attention from what's really happening to the Syrian people."

The video, the authenticity of which CNN cannot verify, is part of a report on U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford carried by Al Donya TV. It claims that Ford and other Westerners were trying to infiltrate a crowd of pro-Assad supporters in Damascus. It also says that Ford was in Syria to try to subvert the Assad regime.

A man described as an eyewitness tells the reporter he chased Ford down and covered him in an Assad poster because he knew Ford was trying "to play with this country."

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August 30th, 2011
02:18 PM ET

Move over, James Bond

Move over, James Bond. These guys are the real deal.

CNN's Suzanne Kelly walks through time at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., with CIA legend Charlie Allen and the former head of KGB operations in the United States Oleg Kalugin.

August 30th, 2011
01:17 PM ET

The true story of 'The Triple Agent'

It was December 30, 2009, and it should have been the most highly anticipated break in the U.S. and Jordanian pursuit of then al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al Zawahiri. It didn’t work out that way.

An al Qaeda mole had instead infiltrated both agencies to devastating effect when he detonated his suicide vest on a CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan.

In his new book, "The Triple Agent," Washington Post reporter Joby Warrick tracks down the true story of the triple agent.

August 30th, 2011
08:47 AM ET

As Gadhafis flee, Libyan rebels fall out with Algeria

By CNN's Tim Lister

The arrival in Algeria of Moammar Gadhafi's wife and three of his children seems likely to become yet another thorny issue in an already prickly relationship between Libya's rebel leadership and the Algerian government.

The two sides have been at odds since officials of the National Transitional Council accused Algeria of supporting Gadhafi – a claim denied by the Algerians, who say they are neutral in the Libyan conflict. But Algeria is the only one of Libya's North African neighbors yet to recognize the NTC as Libya's legitimate authority and last week protested to the United Nations over damage done to the Algerian embassy in Tripoli.

Some rebel officials have already complained about Gadhafi family members being allowed to cross the border, which Algeria has described as a humanitarian gesture.

In a sharply worded statement reported by Reuters Tuesday, NTC spokesman Mahmoud Shamman said Libya's new rulers had "promised to provide a just trial to all those criminals and therefore we consider this an act of aggression."

"We are warning anybody not to shelter Gadhafi and his sons," Shammam said. "We are going after them in any place to find them and arrest them," he said. FULL POST

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Filed under: Gadhafi • Libya
Libyan rebels backing off on deciding whether to extradite Lockerbie bomber
Lockerbie bomber Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi
August 29th, 2011
11:36 AM ET

Libyan rebels backing off on deciding whether to extradite Lockerbie bomber

By CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty

Libya's National Transitional Council told CNN Monday that the decision on what to do with the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, will be left to the still-to-be elected government of Libya.

Backing away from a statement by NTC Justice Minister Mohammed al-Alagi that "We will not give any Libyan citizen to the West" Mahmoud Jibril, president of the executive bureau of the National Transitional Council, contacted CNN to clarify the NTC's position.

"What Mr. Alagi was talking about was about a legal point," Jibril told CNN. "He was not talking about a policy or a position taken by the TNC (also referred to as the NTC.) So there is a misperception, a misinterpretation of the statement by Mr. Alagi."

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August 29th, 2011
10:59 AM ET

Bin Laden's key deputy seen as very hard to replace for al Qaeda

By CNN Terrorism Analyst Paul Cruickshank

The death of al Qaeda's No. 2, Atiyah Abdul Rahman in Pakistan, is a hammer blow to the terrorist organization.

Al Qaeda's second-in-command, Atiya Abdul Rahman, has been killed in Pakistan, a U.S. official said Saturday.

According to a U.S. official, Abdul Rahman, a 43-year-old veteran Libyan operative, rose to the number two spot after the death of Osama bin Laden in May, which saw the Egyptian Ayman al Zawahiri take over the leadership of the terrorist group. In that capacity Rahman ran daily operations for the group, according to the official.

"There's no question this is a major blow to al Qaeda. Atiyah was at the top of al Qaeda's trusted core," the official said.

Intelligence garnered from bin Laden's compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan, showed that Rahman had emerged as bin Laden's key deputy in the years before his death.

It was mainly through Rahman that bin Laden continued to issue instructions to al Qaeda operatives around the world. These messages, U.S. intelligence agencies established, were passed on in the form of draft e–mails copied onto thumb drives that were smuggled out of the compound by a courier. Bin Laden's plans sent on to Rahman included the idea of attacking the United States on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, according to the Washington Post.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Al-Zawahiri • Central Intelligence Agency • CIA • drones • Intelligence • Pakistan • Terrorism
August 29th, 2011
10:56 AM ET

Lockerbie bomber found in coma

CNN's Nic Robertson tracks down the convicted Lockerbie bombing mastermind and finds him near death.


Filed under: Airport • Foreign Policy • Gadhafi • Intelligence • Libya • Terrorism
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