By Mike Mount and Jill Dougherty
The U.S. military could repay Pakistan up to $1.1 billion as part of a deal struck with that country that opened up NATO supply lines blockaded since last November, according to U.S. officials.
The money is part of a U.S. military program called “coalition support funds,” which reimburses the Pakistani military for counterterrorism efforts. The U.S. halted paying the bills from Pakistan as tension rose between the two countries.
The Pentagon will consult with Congress about paying the bills and review then receipts to decide whether to pay all or part of the $1.1 billion, according to a U.S. official who was not authorized to speak on the record but had knowledge of details of the agreement.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a written statement Tuesday that Pakistan will reopen ground supply lines into Afghanistan that had been closed since last November when a NATO airstrike mistakenly killed 24 Paksitani soldiers in an airstrike near the border of the two countries. Here is the statement from Secretary Clinton:
This morning, I spoke by telephone with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.
I once again reiterated our deepest regrets for the tragic incident in Salala last November. I offered our sincere condolences to the families of the Pakistani soldiers who lost their lives. Foreign Minister Khar and I acknowledged the mistakes that resulted in the loss of Pakistani military lives. We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military. We are committed to working closely with Pakistan and Afghanistan to prevent this from ever happening again.
By David McKenzie, reporting from Nairobi, Kenya
Two Iranian nationals, accused of plotting to plant explosives in Kenya, were in the advanced stages of planning of a terror attack in Kenya, according to a senior Kenyan government official familiar with intelligence updates.
"We do not want to speculate exactly on the seriousness of their plan," the official said, adding the suspects may have wanted to use Kenya as a transit point to hit targets in neighboring countries. "We are still working to uncover it. We don't allow organizations or countries to commit terror in our country, and we will prosecute such acts accordingly."
The suspects were arrested June 19 in Nairobi and led security officials to 15 kilograms (more than 30 pounds) of RDX explosives hidden at a Mombasa golf club, on Kenya's coast, according to court documents. FULL POST
By Jennifer Rizzo
The Marines plan to swell the arsenal of their newest small drone over the next five years by more than 12 times the current level - the largest proportional increase of any of the military's unmanned aircraft.
The RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) was delivered to the military earlier this year. The Marine Corps currently has eight of the unmanned aerial vehicles and plans on acquiring a total of 100 by fiscal year 2017, according to a Defense Department Congressional report.
The drone is based off of the smaller unmanned Scan Eagle. Still acting as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tool, the RQ-21A is bigger than its ancestor, the Scan Eagle, making it capable of carrying more equipment.
By Dan Rivers and Jonathan Wald reporting from London
News that European intelligence agencies are searching for a so-called "clean-skin" al Qaeda operative with a European passport should not be surprising.
It has long been the ultimate terrorist weapon: a convert with no previous convictions, who is not "on the radar" of intelligence agencies. Yemen is currently a go-to destination for young Jihadis and al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula seeks to host clean-skins as it continues to attempt to attack the West. But there is no suggestion that this alleged plot is connected to the Olympics and the perpetrators may already have put their plans on hold, worried they are about to be discovered amid widespread news coverage.
The only tangential connection to Olympics is simply it may have happened in the same year as the games. But with Britain currently experiencing a credible terrorist plot about once a year, according to a recent speech by Jonathan Evans, the director general of Britain's domestic security service MI5, it's likely the authorities will uncover a plot involving Britain at some point in 2012, according to some experts. FULL POST