May 22nd, 2013
09:58 PM ET

Budget furloughs won't impact military sex assault prevention unit

By Larry Shaughnessy

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey face two crises - an increase in sex assault claims within the military and heavy budget cuts.

But they said on Wednesday that military staffing reductions due to forced budget cuts under sequestration would not impact an initiative aimed at combating sex assault.

Civilians central to the Pentagon's Sexual Assault Prevention Response Program will be exempt from furloughs that are a consequence of spending cuts.

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Holder: Drone strikes have killed four Americans since 2009
May 22nd, 2013
09:50 PM ET

Holder: Drone strikes have killed four Americans since 2009

By Carol Cratty and Joe Johns

Counterterrorism drone strikes have killed four Americans overseas since 2009, the U.S. government acknowledged for the first time on Wednesday, one day before President Barack Obama delivers a major speech on related policy.

In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, Attorney General Eric Holder said the United States specifically targeted and killed one American citizen, al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, in 2011 in Yemen, alleging he was plotting attacks against the United States.

The letter provided new details about al-Awlaki's alleged involvement in bomb plots targeting U.S. aviation.

Holder also said the Obama administration was aware of three other Americans who had been killed in counterterrorism operations overseas.

Holder said Samir Kahn, Abdul Rahman Anwar al-Awlaki and Jude Kenan Mohammed were not targeted by the United States but he did not add more details about their deaths.

The letter represents the first U.S. admission that the four were killed in counterterror strikes even though their deaths had been reported in the media.

Read the full story here.

 

May 22nd, 2013
07:02 PM ET

Satellite agency analyzes twister destruction for first responders

By Pam Benson

The people who usually analyze imagery from U.S. spy satellites are helping emergency workers respond to the devastation from this week's deadly twister in Oklahoma.

Shortly after the tornado struck, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) asked the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to provide expertise to assess video, pictures and satellite imagery of the destruction.

And for the first time, NGA analysts are using an unclassified website to share that information with first responders.

Their assessments aim to help rescue workers conduct search and rescue operations and begin recovery efforts.

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Filed under: Intelligence • NGA • Tornado
Fort Hood shooting suspect asks to fire his lawyer
May 22nd, 2013
06:21 PM ET

Fort Hood shooting suspect asks to fire his lawyer

By Larry Shaughnessy

Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood in 2009, has told the judge in his case that he wants to represent himself at his upcoming trial, the Army base said in a media release Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Kris Poppe has been Hasan's attorney.

Because of the request, Col. Tara Osborn, the judge in the case, has postponed the start of the trial, which had been scheduled for May 30, to June 5.

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Filed under: Nidal Hasan • Security Brief
May 22nd, 2013
04:10 PM ET

Army sergeant accused of videotaping female cadets at West Point

By Barbara Starr

A U.S. Army sergeant first class stationed at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point has been charged with allegedly secretly videotaping female cadets in their shower and latrine areas, according to Army officials.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael McClendon was charged May 14 with 13 "specifications" or allegations of "indecent conduct" in making videos between July 2009 and May 2012. Army criminal investigators are now contacting more than a dozen women who might have been videotaped, according to Army spokesman George Wright.

Wright said the investigation has been going on since May 2012, but charges were not made until last week because the Army was still trying to assemble computer evidence and identify the women involved.

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