December 31st, 2012
11:51 AM ET

The top terror takedowns of 2012

By Wes Bruer, CNN

One of the most wanted terrorists in Yemen. A son of the Haqqani Network founder. A man whose capture was worth $5 million to the FBI: The United States and its allies took out some of these key terror leaders throughout 2012.

Take a look at those top leaders and more who were killed or indicted in the past year:

1. Abu Yahya al-Libi
Al-Libi was second in command of al Qaeda under Ayman al-Zawahiri and a senior leader of the terror group’s external operations against the West. Al-Libi was also an Islamic scholar who appeared in many recruitment videos. The U.S. State Department offered a $1 million reward for his capture. He was killed on June 4 in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Haqqani Network • Most Wanted • Terrorism
Report blames poor security, inadequate response in Benghazi attack
A protester reacts as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi burns.
December 31st, 2012
09:40 AM ET

Report blames poor security, inadequate response in Benghazi attack

By Jill Dougherty

Terrorists in Benghazi, Libya, "essentially walked right into the Benghazi compound unimpeded and set it ablaze," a special Senate report on the September 11 attack that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans says.

The bipartisan report, "Flashing Red: A Special Report on the Terrorist Attack at Benghazi," released Monday by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, cites "extremely poor security in a threat environment that was 'flashing red.' "

The State Department comes in for the major portion of blame for failing to respond to, even ignoring, repeated requests from U.S. staff in Benghazi for more security resources, especially more personnel.

The department, the report says, left it to Libyan security personnel to protect U.S. diplomats, even though those guards were unreliable and had "conflicting loyalties," a problem that it says was "deeply troubling, especially since this problem was recognized long before the attack."
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Hillary Clinton hospitalized with blood clot
December 31st, 2012
06:00 AM ET

Hillary Clinton hospitalized with blood clot

By Elise Labott

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was treated with blood thinners on Monday at a New York hospital to help dissolve a blood clot in her head and doctors were confident she would make a full recovery.

Clinton was admitted to New York Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday due to the clot that was discovered during a follow-up exam related to a concussion she suffered this month, her spokesman, Philippe Reines, said.

The clot was located in the vein between the brain and and the skull behind Clinton's right ear and did not result in any stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said in a statement.

Clinton was treated with blood thinners to help dissolve the clot and would be released once the medication dose had been established, they said.
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December 28th, 2012
08:11 PM ET

Mother tells of secrecy surrounding Ft. Myer child abuse allegations

Two former caregivers at an army day care center at Ft. Myer, Virginia are charged with assaulting children at the facility just next door to the Pentagon.

And at least 30 other childcare workers have been taken off the job after background checks found criminal records including sexual assault and drug use.

Military families are shocked and telling CNN’s Barbara Starr that the military kept them in the dark about many of the problems at Ft. Myer.


Filed under: Army • Barack Obama • Erin Burnett OutFront • Military • Panetta • Pentagon • Security Brief
U.S. officials: Syria using more accurate Iranian-made missiles
A military truck parades the surface-to-surface Fateh 110 during an annual military parade which marks Iran's eight-year war with Iraq, in the capital Tehran on September 22, 2010. At least nine people were killed in an attack on a provincial military parade, marking the same occasion.
December 28th, 2012
11:49 AM ET

U.S. officials: Syria using more accurate Iranian-made missiles

By Barbara Starr

The Syrian regime this week fired at least two Iranian-made, short-range ballistic missiles in what appears to be an effort to more precisely target Syrian rebels, two U.S. military officials tell CNN.

The Fateh A-110 missiles are more accurate than the older Scud variants that Syrian government forces have used in recent weeks.

The U.S. military officials declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information. The Iranian government has not commented on the issue.

The Fateh trades range for accuracy. It can travel about 125 miles, while the Scud can go about 185 miles. But the Fateh has a "circular error probable" or - CEP - of 330 feet, while the Scud's CEP is 1,480 feet. CEP is defined as the radius of a circle in which half of a missile's lethal payload falls and is the standard measure of a missile's accuracy.
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U.S. official: North Korea likely deceived U.S., allies before launching rocket
This picture received from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on December 12, 2012 shows the rocket Unha-3, carrying the satellite Kwangmyongsong-3, being monitored on a large screen at a satellite control center in North Korea.
December 27th, 2012
05:28 PM ET

U.S. official: North Korea likely deceived U.S., allies before launching rocket

By Barbara Starr

North Korea likely engaged in a deliberate campaign of deception before a December 12 long-range missile launch, catching the United States and its Asian allies "off guard," according to a U.S. official with direct knowledge of analysis of the incident conducted by U.S. military and intelligence agencies.

The official told CNN that American and Japanese military ships and missile defenses were fully operational and protecting land, sea and airspace on December 12, but that the launch was a surprise when it actually happened.

"We had our dukes up, operationally, but we were caught off guard," the official said.

"The clues point to a concerted effort to deceive us," the official said. The analysis was ordered in the wake of the launch to determine what exactly happened and how much the U.S. intelligence knew at the time.
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FBI considered Occupy movement potential threat, documents say
An officer warns people they will be arrested for blocking a sidewalk during the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York.
December 27th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

FBI considered Occupy movement potential threat, documents say

By Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley

The FBI extensively monitored the Occupy Wall Street movement around the United States, using counterterrorism agents and other resources, according to recently released FBI internal documents.

The heavily redacted documents indicate that FBI counterterrorism agents were in close communication with law enforcement agencies, businesses, universities and other organizations across the country about the Occupy Wall Street movement, even before Occupy Wall Street set up a camp in New York's Zuccotti Park in September 2011.

In August 2011 the FBI informed New York Stock Exchange officials of a "planned Anarchist protest titled Occupy Wall Street" scheduled for September 17, 2011. The FBI also notified several New York businesses of the impending protests, according to the document.

FULL STORY

Filed under: FBI • Terrorism
Top 10 Security Clearance stories of 2012
December 26th, 2012
12:02 PM ET

Top 10 Security Clearance stories of 2012

2012 has been a busy year at Security Clearance. From the U.S. diplomatic facility attack in Benghazi, Libya to the Petraeus sex scandal to the future of Afghanistan and the Pentagon preparing(or not) to fall off the fiscal cliff.

But there have been numerous other stories that have caught your eye this year.

Top 10 Security Clearance stories you, the readers, made the most popular in 2012:

10. Navy detects Russian sub off U.S. East Coast
The U.S. Navy detected and tracked a Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine less than 300 miles from the southern U.S. East Coast last November, U.S. Defense officials said.
While the submarine did not enter U.S. territorial waters or follow any U.S. Navy ships, its arrival came while a Navy carrier strike group was training off Florida, according to the defense officials.

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December 26th, 2012
05:58 AM ET

Car bomb hits near U.S. base in Afghanistan

By Masoud Popalzai

A car bomber hit outside a U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing three people and leaving civilians injured, authorities said.

The blast killed a security guard and two truck drivers delivering supplies, according to Abdul Qayoom Baqizoy, the provincial police chief.

Six civilians suffered injuries, he said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred after a minibus stopped at the gate for a security check.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Afghanistan • Taliban • Terrorism
December 24th, 2012
02:16 PM ET

Wounded troops give holiday shout-outs

Wounded troops in rehab at the holiday time, all Christmas miracles. Meet some of the troops Barbara Starr met with at the rehab center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington, DC. She asked them to send holiday wishes to their buddies.

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