Guilty plea for Gitmo detainee
February 29th, 2012
12:44 PM ET

Guilty plea for Gitmo detainee

By Paul Courson

Majid Shoukat Khan, a terror suspect who has been held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, pleaded guilty Wednesday to all charges against him as part of a plea deal that would require him to testify against other detainees.

Khan is expected to spend up to 15 years behind bars in exchange for the deal, according to Army Col. James Pohl, the presiding military commission judge. FULL POST

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Filed under: Gitmo • Living With Terror • Terrorism
North Korea agrees to halt nuclear activity for food
Workers remove fuel rods from the reactor at the Yongbyon Nuclear plant in North Korea in February 2008.
February 29th, 2012
11:11 AM ET

North Korea agrees to halt nuclear activity for food

By Jamie Crawford

North Korea has agreed to halt nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and enrichment activities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex in exchange for food aid from the United States, the State Department said Wednesday.

The state-run North Korean news agency (KCNA) announced the agreement separately.

"Today's announcement represents a modest first step in the right direction. We, of course, will be watching closely and judging North Korea's new leaders by their actions," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday before the House Appropriations Committee.

READ FULL STORY HERE


Filed under: Glyn Davies • IAEA • North Korea • Nuclear • Six-Party Talks
The man who wasn't al Qaeda's number 3
Mohamed Ibrahim Makkawi (right) is often confused for al Qaeda operative Saif al-Adel (left)
February 29th, 2012
10:47 AM ET

The man who wasn't al Qaeda's number 3

By Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister

What's in a name? If you are Mohamed Ibrahim Makkawi, years of trouble and the shadow of a senior al Qaeda figure lurking over your every move.

Makkawi's arrival at Cairo's airport Wednesday caused a brief flutter of excitement.  Could it be that one of the most senior figures in al Qaeda had been detained in dramatic (and highly unlikely) fashion after stepping off an Emirates flight from Islamabad in Pakistan? The confusion arose because Saif al-Adel - regarded as al Qaeda's third-most-senior figure - had long been associated with an alias identical to Makkawi's name. FULL POST


Filed under: Afghanistan • Al Qaeda • Egypt • Middle East • Osama bin Laden • Terrorism
Iran: What is it thinking?
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei listens to a speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
February 29th, 2012
07:00 AM ET

Iran: What is it thinking?

By Jamie Crawford, CNN

Throughout the course of the past year Iran has been, if anything, consistent in its delivery of provocative acts and bellicose rhetoric.

An alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States is uncovered. Threats to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz are followed by refusals to allow U.N. nuclear inspectors access to certain sites in the country.

Then there is the issue of alleged assassination attempts of Israeli diplomats at the hands of Iranian operatives in India, Georgia, Thailand and Azerbaijan. And let's also not forget the threats of pre-emptive military action against any country perceived as an imminent threat to the Iranian regime.

What is one to make of what of it all?

FULL POST

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Filed under: Ahmadinejad • Dempsey • Diplomacy • Hillary Clinton • IAEA • Iran • Israel • Khamenei • Nuclear • Secretary of State
Tiger Woods a Navy SEAL?
February 29th, 2012
06:51 AM ET

Tiger Woods a Navy SEAL?

An upcoming book by Tiger Woods' former coach Steve Haney claims Tiger considered giving up the clubs to become a Navy SEAL.

In "The Big Miss," Hank Haney writes that Tiger was "seriously considering" becoming a SEAL, according to an excerpt posted by Golf Digest.  The book is releasing March 27th.

"Wow, here is Tiger Woods, greatest athlete on the planet, maybe the greatest athlete ever, right in the middle of his prime, basically ready to leave it all behind for a military life," Haney writes. FULL POST

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Filed under: Navy SEALs • Pop Culture
In new policy, not all al Qaeda suspects to be handed over to military
February 29th, 2012
06:27 AM ET

In new policy, not all al Qaeda suspects to be handed over to military

By Terry Frieden, CNN Justice Producer

The Obama administration on Tuesday evening issued rules that allow the president to limit the instances in which foreign citizens suspected of links to al Qaeda must be handed over to the military for trial.

After an intense political struggle in December, Congress reached agreement with the White House to approve the National Defense Authorization Act by granting the president the power to waive the military custody requirement when "it serves U.S. national security interests."

The unsigned, 11-page policy directive issued by the White House and released by the Justice Department declares President Barack Obama and his national security team must have the flexibility to confront a "diverse and evolving threat"

"A rigid, inflexible requirement to place suspected terrorists into military custody would undermine the national security interests of the United States, compromising our ability to collect intelligence and to incapacitate dangerous criminals," the directive says.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Al Qaeda • Justice Department • Obama • Terrorism
One soldier, one year: $850,000 and rising
A US servicemember stands a post on a hill in Afghanistan. (CNN Photo)
February 28th, 2012
05:50 PM ET

One soldier, one year: $850,000 and rising

By Larry Shaughnessy

Keeping one American service member in Afghanistan costs between $850,000 and $1.4 million a year, depending on who you ask. But one matter is clear, that cost is going up.

During a budget hearing today on Capitol Hill, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, asked Department of Defense leaders, "What is the cost per soldier, to maintain a soldier for a year in Afghanistan?" Under Secretary Robert Hale, the Pentagon comptroller, responded "Right now about $850,000 per soldier."
FULL POST

Exposing Stratfor: WikiLeaks details inner workings of analysis firm
February 28th, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Exposing Stratfor: WikiLeaks details inner workings of analysis firm

By Suzanne Kelly

The first blow came in December, when private analysis firm Stratfor - which gathers open-source and paid-source information on global issues for subscription-based clients - had its company e-mail hacked. It was reportedly the work of the loose-knit, yet well-feared group of hackers known as Anonymous.

This week, the second blow was delivered as the website WikiLeaks began posting what it says is a body of internal Stratfor e-mails numbering in the millions and reportedly laying out just how the sausage is made at a modern-day private intelligence firm. FULL POST

February 28th, 2012
03:17 PM ET

Egyptian judges in NGO case recuse themselves

By Adam Levine, with reporting from Mohamed Fadel Fahmy in Cairo

The Egyptian judges in the case against American and other employees of non-governmental organizations has recused themselves from the case, the head of Egypt's appeals court tells CNN.

"The three judges handling the NGO case have submitted a memo indicating their decision to step down from the case. As the head of the Appeals Court, I will look at the judicial rotation tomorrow and appoint a new judge to head the case,' Nabdel Moez Ibrahim told CNN. FULL POST

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Filed under: Diplomacy • Egypt • Hillary Clinton • Middle East • Secretary of State
February 28th, 2012
02:34 PM ET

Clinton: Questions still on Iran ambitions

By Jamie Crawford

The United States does not believe Iran has a nuclear weapon, but its actions leave a great deal to question, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday, drawing an analogy to the mistaken belief that Iraq had chemical weapons before the U.S. invasion in 2003.

"I do think living as long as I have lived, people say and do things that are at variance with what one might expect," Clinton told Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-South Carolina, during testimony before a Senate appropriations subcommittee looking into the State Department's current budget request.

"It is still quite bewildering to me why Saddam Hussein wanted everyone to believe he had chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons when apparently he did not," Clinton said.

She said the administration is determined to prevent Iran from getting a weapon.
FULL POST

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iran • Military • Nuclear • Secretary of State
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