March 6th, 2012
10:31 PM ET

Senator questions brass about Syria

CNN's Barbara Starr examines Sen. John McCain's proposal to bomb Syria to stop Assad's troops.

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Filed under: Assad • McCain • Middle East • Syria
If Zawahiri caught, military not sure where he would go
March 6th, 2012
05:24 PM ET

If Zawahiri caught, military not sure where he would go

By CNN National Security Producer Jennifer Rizzo

The U.S. military is still not clear where it would hold al Qaeda's most-wanted terrorist should he be caught, U.S. military officials said Tuesday.

Following up on a question asked of Adm. William McRaven, special operations commander, at his confirmation hearing last year, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, asked the admiral again: If al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri were caught tonight in Pakistan, where would he be placed for long-term detention?

"Last year, you said you weren't sure what we would do in that circumstance," Ayotte said. "Has anything changed since then?"

"Nothing has changed since then," McRaven responded.
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Filed under: Afghanistan • Al Qaeda • Al-Zawahiri • Detainees • Gitmo • Military • Terrorism • US Central Command • USSOCOM
U.S. awaits "signal" from Moscow
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
March 6th, 2012
02:16 PM ET

U.S. awaits "signal" from Moscow

By Jill Dougherty reporting from Moscow

On election night in Moscow, his victory assured, Vladimir Putin appeared on stage at an open-air rally with his supporters just off Red Square.

Jabbing the icy air with his finger, the wind causing tears to roll down his cheek, Putin shouted: "We showed that no one can impose anything on us - no one, nothing! We showed that our people can distinguish between the desire for renewal and political provocation that has but one goal: to destroy Russia's statehood and usurp power."

"Striking" is how Russia expert Dmitri Trenin describes the moment. "I was astonished to hear what he said, that the population is prone to be manipulated by a foreign power."

That strident tone, along with a strong current of anti-American vitriol, has marked Prime Minister Putin's presidential election campaign for months.
FULL POST

Senators: Israel undecided on striking Iran
March 6th, 2012
12:45 PM ET

Senators: Israel undecided on striking Iran

By Ted Barrett and Kate Bolduan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. senators he has not decided whether to strike nuclear sites in Iran, according to two Democratic senators who attended a meeting with him in the Capitol Tuesday.

Read also: Iran "most significant threat" in Middle East

“They say they haven’t made a decision and I take them at face value,” Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee said after the meeting.” “But I think they are making very clear their distinction between the U.S. perception of timing and theirs.” FULL POST

March 6th, 2012
12:24 PM ET

Syria will "get worse before it gets better"

By CNN National Security Producer Jennifer Rizzo

The violence in Syria will get worse despite increased international pressure, according to the U.S. military's top commander in the Middle East.

Desertions are on the rise in the Syrian military, but President Bashar al-Assad's forces remain viable, Gen. James Mattis, head of the U.S. Central Command, said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday

"He will continue to employ heavier and heavier weapons on his people," Mattis said. "I think it will get worse before it gets better."

Mattis said al-Assad will be in power "for some time" and is "clearly achieving what he wants to achieve." Though later he said he has no doubt al-Assad will eventually fall, saying the question is "not if, but when."
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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Assad • Free Syrian Army • Middle East • Syria • Syrian National Council • Terrorism
Boehner vs. McCain on Syria strikes
March 6th, 2012
11:46 AM ET

Boehner vs. McCain on Syria strikes

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told CNN Congressional Producer Rebecca Stewart Tuesday that he disagrees with Sen. McCain's call for U.S.-led airstrikes against Syria. It "would be premature," Boehner said.

CNN's STEWART: Yesterday your fellow Republican Sen. McCain called for airstrikes on Syria from the Senate floor. Do you agree with him?

REP. BOEHNER: The situation in Syria is pretty complicated. I think until there's clear direction on what's happening there, involving ourselves at this point in time would be premature.


Filed under: Security Brief
March 6th, 2012
11:18 AM ET

Hacker group members arrested

By Susan Candiotti

Authorities on Tuesday conducted a series of wide-ranging arrests of top members of LulzSec, a computer hacker group that has claimed responsibility for a string of high-profile cyber attacks on government agencies and large companies. FULL POST

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Filed under: Cybersecurity
March 6th, 2012
10:30 AM ET

Iran "most significant threat" in Middle East

By Jennifer Rizzo

The top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East singled out Iran as the only country actively trying to destabilize and spark violence in the region.

"Iran presents the most significant regional threat to stability and security," Gen. James Mattis, head of the U.S. Central Command, said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday. "Its reckless behavior and bellicose rhetoric have created a high potential for miscalculation."

Read also: U.S and others offer to restart nuclear talks with Iran

FULL POST

March 6th, 2012
10:24 AM ET

Exclusive: Sam LaHood discusses ordeal in Egypt

Just back on U.S. soil following months on Egypt’s no-fly list, Sam LaHood says “former elements of the Mubarak government that are pushing their own agenda” in Egypt right now are creating difficulties for the democratic transition currently underway.

LaHood, who works for the International Republican Institute, and son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, was prevented from leaving Egypt when his offices, and those of other NGO's operating in Egypt were raided by authorities last December.

What was it like to be prevented from flying home, and what is next? LaHood spoke with CNN first about the ordeal.


Filed under: Egypt • FIRST ON CNN/EXCLUSIVE
March 6th, 2012
09:45 AM ET

Taliban demoted for talking to Pakistan

By Shaan Kahn

The Pakistani Taliban has removed its second in command from his post and demoted him to the rank of regular fighter, a spokesman said late Monday, accusing him of holding unauthorized talks with the Pakistani government.

A meeting of nine senior Pakistani Taliban members on Friday approved the removal of the deputy commander, Maulvi Faqir Mohammed, said Ihsanullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the organization.

Read the whole story here

 


Filed under: Pakistan • Taliban
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