By Barbara Starr
Looking to increase security in the Sinai Peninsula, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is offering Egypt a package of classified intelligence-sharing capabilities designed to help it identify military threats in the area and reassure Israel that Egypt can deal with rising militancy along Israel's border, according to a senior Pentagon official.
At the core, is an offer to supply Egypt's military in Sinai with truck-mounted sensors that provide an electronic signal identifying which nation is operating the vehicle. This technology, commonly known as "blue force tracker," has been widely used in Iraq and Afghanistan to identify vehicles at great distances. It is also possible a commercial version of the technology will be offered to the international peacekeeping force in Sinai that includes 700 U.S. troops.
The international force is not authorized to fight extremists, but is facing the potential of increased violence in the region. The official emphasized that nothing has been decided yet, and noted any change in the international peacekeeping force must be agreed to by all nations.
Federal officials said Monday that they had seized $150 million as part of a crackdown on a money laundering scheme linked to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
The seizure came following a complaint filed in December of last year alleging that the now-defunct Lebanese Canadian Bank laundered money for Hezbollah-controlled groups around the world. The U.S. State Department has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
U.S. officials say that between 2007 and 2011, Lebanese Canadian Bank and other financial institutions routed at least $329 million in proceeds from drug sales and other criminal activity to the U.S., where this money bought used cars that were later sold in West Africa. These proceeds were then funneled back to Lebanon via Hezbollah-controlled channels, the Drug Enforcement Administration said in a statement.
President Obama is "deeply concerned" about the growing number of deadly attacks on U.S. forces by Afghan security forces, and plans to contact the Afghan president to discuss taking tougher actions, he said Monday.
"I'll be reaching out to President (Hamid) Karzai," Obama told reporters at the White House, adding, "We've got to make sure that we're on top of this."
By the CNN Wire Staff
Another attacker in an Afghan police uniform killed a member of the NATO forces Sunday in Afghanistan, the latest in a slew of so-called "green-on-blue" attacks.
The incident took place in southern Afghanistan, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.FULL STORY