By Suzanne Kelly
Hezbollah is in the United States, and according to current and former intelligence officials testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, the Iranian-linked terror group is in a prime position to launch a terrorist attack against a U.S. interest if it desires to do so.
Hezbollah cells have been operating on U.S. soil for years, but experts say their efforts have mainly been in criminal activities aimed at generating revenue for their broader efforts. But escalating tensions with Iran over its nuclear program have cast a new eye on the dozens of Hezbollah support cells that have been raising money and drawing scrutiny from law enforcement officials for more than a decade through sometimes legitimate business operations.
By Adam Levine
The United States military has suspended its effort to recover Korean War remains in North Korea because of that nation's announcement of an upcoming rocket launch, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday.
"We have suspended that effort for the moment. Remains recovery is, obviously, a top priority for this department. We have thousands of service members who are unaccounted for, to include service members from the Korean War," Pentagon spokesman George Little said. "We have suspended that effort because we believe the, you know, North Korea has not acted appropriately in recent days and weeks and that it's important for them to return to the standards of behavior that the international community has called for." FULL POST
By CNN's Carol Cratty
A former NASA scientist was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years in prison for trying to sell Israel classified U.S. defense information about military satellites.
Stewart David Nozette, 54, pleaded guilty to espionage in 2011, and in a separate 2009 case he admitted to fraud and tax charges involving more than $265,000 in false claims he submitted to the government in his position as head of a non-profit organization.
According to the government, Nozette received a phone call in September of 2009 from a person claiming to be an Israeli intelligence officer from the Mossad, but who was actually an FBI undercover operative. Nozette told the person he had top secret clearances and said that anything "the U.S. has done in space I've seen."
By Jill Dougherty
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday to accept the six-point U.N.-Arab League plan offered by envoy Kofi Annan as a way to halt the violence in Syria.
"Take this path. Commit to it. Or face increasing pressure and isolation," Clinton said addressing al-Assad and "his regime."
The plan won support from the U.N. Security Council earlier in the day, an action Clinton called a "positive step."
"The council has now spoken with one voice," she said. "It has commanded a U.N.-supervised cessation of violence in all its forms, beginning with a pullback from population centers by the Syrian government and its forces, humanitarian access to all areas in need, and the beginning of a Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations of all the Syrian people that will lead to a democratic transition."
Mohammed Merah, a 23-year-old man described by French authorities as a self-styled al Qaeda jihadist, has been named as the chief suspect in a series of shootings that have left seven people dead.
A picture is emerging of a man who was already known to the police and had apparently sought out Islamist jihadists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. FULL POST
By Elise Labott
With the brutal crackdown in Syria having reached a full year, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is drawing comparisons to some of recent history's most brutal dictators, several of whom have been indicted as war criminals.
The words "war criminal" and "crimes against humanity" are increasingly being used to describe al-Assad and the violence against the Syrian people, most recently at the United Nations.
Francis Deng, the secretary-general's special adviser on the prevention of genocide, and Edward Luck, special adviser on the responsibility to protect, found "strong and growing evidence that crimes against humanity are being committed in Syria," an assessment backed up by last month's commission of inquiry by the U.N. Human Rights Council.
Yet the Obama administration has been reluctant to label the crisis in Syria as such.