U.S. resumes arms sales to Bahrain
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Crown Prince of Bahrain Sheikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, speak to reporters at the State Department May 9, 2012
May 11th, 2012
04:32 PM ET

U.S. resumes arms sales to Bahrain

By Elise Labott

The United States will resume some arms sales to Bahrain after suspending them amid the country's crackdown on protesters, the State Department announced Friday.

The administration informed Congress that "for national security interests we have decided to release additional items and services for the Bahrain Defense Force, the Coast Guard, and the National Guard for the purpose of helping Bahrain maintain its external defense capabilities," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a written statement.

"Bahrain is an important security partner and ally in a region facing enormous challenges. Maintaining our and our partners' ability to respond to these challenges is a critical component of our commitment to Gulf security."

The United States and Bahrain signed a defense pact in 1991. Bahrain is home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet and is viewed as an important bulwark against Iran's influence in the Persian Gulf.
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Yemen plot exposes new world of U.S. spying
Yemeni militants, suspected of being members of al Qaeda, patrol on their pick ups in the restive southern city of Zinjibar
May 11th, 2012
04:11 PM ET

Yemen plot exposes new world of U.S. spying

By Pam Benson

As details of the foiled al Qaeda plot to blow up a U.S.-bound airline became public, the world learned not only about a daring operation to stop terrorists, but also about the new reality of how U.S. intelligence works.

American and foreign intelligence partners working hand in hand to rid the world of the scourge of terror. You didn't see much of that 10 years ago, but it's exactly what happened recently.

The Saudis infiltrate an al Qaeda terrorist group in Yemen with their own mole, and the CIA and others are brought into the mix to help run an operation that eventually foils a possible bomb attack against an airliner destined for America.

"I'm not at all surprised that the press accounts of this have liaison services, particularly the Saudis, playing such a prominent role," said former CIA Director Michael Hayden. "That's the way I would have expected it to go."

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Filed under: 9/11 • Afghanistan • Al Qaeda • AQAP • Arab Spring • CIA • Egypt • Intelligence • Military • Navy SEALs • NCTC • ODNI • Pakistan • Terrorism • Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab • Yemen
May 11th, 2012
04:11 PM ET

NSA does not have to release Google communications

By Bill Mears

U.S. authorities are not required to release any internal National Security Agency communications it had with Internet giant Google Inc. after a 2010 cyber attack in China, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

At issue was a Freedom of Information Act request from a private group over the suspected collaborative relationship between the public and private entities.  The NSA said disclosure of any communications - even with outside companies - would threaten government information systems.

The agency had given the Electronic Privacy Information Center a so-called "Glomar" response, in which the government refuses to confirm or deny the existence of any requested records. EPIC, a privacy and civil liberties group, made the FOIA submission weeks after the January 2010 cyberattack on Gmail accounts, primarily targeting Chinese human rights activists.

Google quickly changed its server encryption protocols following the digital attacks, and a top company official publicly stated its engineers were "also working with the relevant U.S. authorities."

A federal judge eventually sided with the NSA and Google, and the three-judge federal panel has now affirmed.

Read the whole story here.

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Filed under: Intelligence
DISCOVERED:  Crashed WWII fighter plane intact in desert
May 11th, 2012
02:28 PM ET

DISCOVERED: Crashed WWII fighter plane intact in desert

By Alan Silverleib

As German Gen. Erwin Rommel chased British forces across the North African desert, a stray Royal Air Force fighter crashed in the blistering sands of the Egyptian Sahara on June 28, 1942.  The pilot was never heard from again. The damaged Kittyhawk P-40 - a couple of hundred miles from civilization - was presumed lost forever.

Until now.

In what experts consider nothing short of a miracle, a Polish oil company worker recently discovered the plane believed to have been flown by missing Flight Sgt. Dennis Copping. And almost 70 years after the accident, it's extraordinarily well-preserved.

You can read more of Alan Silverleib's story here

Here are the extraordinary photos: FULL POST


Filed under: Security Brief
A constant reminder of America's POW
May 11th, 2012
01:11 PM ET

A constant reminder of America's POW

A poster of the American soldier being held captive by the Taliban since June 2009 is on display in the Defense Department's CENTCOM command center.   Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, mentioned the display of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, during a briefing with reporters Thursday, to highlight how the soldier's fate is always on the military's mind.

"I can assure you that we are doing everything in our power, using our intelligence resources across the government, to try to find, locate him," General Martin Dempsey said at a Pentagon press conference.

Bergdahl's parents said this week that the U.S. had been negotiating with the Taliban to exchange their son for five detainees at Guantanamo.  It was the first public admission of the fact their son was part of the negotiation.  The POW's parents gave the interview in part because of frustration about the lack of progress in freeing their son. FULL POST


Filed under: Afghanistan • Dempsey • Military • Security Brief • Taliban • US Central Command