Signs North Korea expanding controls near notorious prison camp
This DigitalGlobe image shows an area of increased security near a notorius North Korean prison camp.
March 8th, 2013
06:44 PM ET

Signs North Korea expanding controls near notorious prison camp

By Jamie Crawford

North Korea may be expanding one of its notorious prison camps to incorporate control of civilians in adjacent villages.

Amnesty International says new satellite imagery of the area surrounding a prison known as Camp 14 shows signs of a security perimeter and guard towers around mining operations that are not typically seen in other villages.

"What's most worrisome about this development is that it seems to expand the scope of control beyond the formal boundaries of the prison camp," said Frank Jannuzi, deputy executive director of Amnesty International USA, in a briefing with reporters.

"You are seeing evidence of new levels of intrusion and control and security around civilian populations in a country already characterized by severe restrictions on basic freedom of movement and communication."
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Family pleads for release of former Marine imprisoned in Iran
Amir Hekmati
March 8th, 2013
06:34 PM ET

Family pleads for release of former Marine imprisoned in Iran

By Elise Labott

A year ago this week, an Iranian court threw out the death penalty conviction of a former U.S. Marine accused of spying and ordered a retrial.

After the death sentence was overturned, his family in Michigan held out hope Amir Hekmati would be released.

Instead, he has spent the past year in solitary confinement at Iran's notorious Evin Prison.

Hekmati was detained by Iranian authorities in August 2011 during a two-week visit to see his grandmother. Iranian authorities accused him spying on behalf of the CIA, a charge the family and the Obama administration deny.
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Iran: Haven or prison for al Qaeda?
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith
March 8th, 2013
05:30 PM ET

Iran: Haven or prison for al Qaeda?

By Pam Benson

The arrest of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, who had been living in Iran for the past decade, has once again raised questions about whether the Iranian government is providing a haven or barrier to the terror group.

Al Qaeda and its members held under "house arrest" in Iran over the past decade have had a complicated relationship with the Tehran regime, one which allowed the detainees to often times continue supporting the terror group's operations in the region.

Current and former U.S. officials say al Qaeda in Iran managed to be fairly active in facilitating the movement of money and people into Pakistan where the core leadership has safe haven in tribal areas.

"They helped move people in and out of FATA through Iran for operational reasons," one former senior counter-terrorism official told CNN.

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