By Kevin Liptak
Extensive fraud has been committed by investigators responsible for conducting background checks used in granting security clearances to national security employees, a government watchdog will tell lawmakers on Thursday.
Patrick McFarland, the inspector general for the Office of Personnel Management, will tell a joint hearing of Senate subcommittees on homeland security that his office doesn't have the resources it needs to ensure the checks – which were required of the millions of Americans with clearances – are not falsified.
So-called "fabrication cases" occur when background investigators "report interviews that never occurred, record answers to questions that were never asked, and document records checks that were never conducted," McFarland will say, according to prepared testimony.
By Peter Bergen and David Sterman
Editor's note: Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst and a director at the New America Foundation. David Sterman is a graduate student at Georgetown University's National Security Studies Program.
(CNN) - Sometime in late 2007, Basaaly Saeed Moalin, a cabdriver living in San Diego, began to have a series of phone conversations with Aden Hashi Ayrow, one of the leaders of Al-Shabaab, a notorious Somali terrorist group.
Moalin had no idea the National Security Agency was listening in.
In one of those phone calls Ayrow urged Moalin to send money to Al-Shabaab, telling him that he urgently needed several thousand dollars.
At one point Ayrow told Moalin that it was "time to finance the jihad" and at another, "You are running late with the stuff. Send some and something will happen."
By Carol Cratty
FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged the law enforcement agency uses drone aircraft in the United States for surveillance in certain difficult cases.
Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that drones are used by the FBI in a "very, very minimal way and very seldom."
He did not say how many unmanned surveillance vehicles (UAVs) the FBI has or how often they have been used.
But a law enforcement official told CNN the FBI has used them a little more than a dozen times but did not say when that started. The official said drones are useful in hostage and barricade situations because they operate more quietly and are less visible than traditional aircraft such as helicopters.
By Barbara Starr
Even as U.S. military officials privately maintain there are no immediate plans for action against the Syrian regime, the American presence next door in Jordan is quietly growing as is an increased U.S. military capability to defend that nation.
U.S. military assets either in place or due to arrive include:
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's approval to keep a Patriot missile battery and a detachment of F-16s there indefinitely adds about 400 troops to the U.S. presence.
North Korean and Chinese officials have called for the resumption of six-party talks on Pyongyang's nuclear program, Chinese authorities said Wednesday.
The announcement came as North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator, Kim Kye Gwan, was in Beijing for bilateral talks.
Kim and China's Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui issued statements Wednesday calling for the resumption of the talks to "peacefully solve nuclear issues through dialogue" with all relevant parties.
North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan, the United States and Russia met last decade to deal with North Korea's nuclear weapons program but those meetings had been discontinued.FULL STORY
By Holly Yan, CNN
President Barack Obama will ask Russia to join the United States in slashing its supply of strategic nuclear warheads by about one-third, a senior administration official said.
Obama will announce the goal during a speech Wednesday in Berlin - a city rife with Cold War history.
The president will also outline his goal to reduce U.S. and Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, the official said. The president hopes to work with NATO allies on proposals toward that goal.
It's all part of Obama's "vision of achieving the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons," the official said.
"We will seek to negotiate these reductions with Russia to continue to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures," the official added.
Obama's speech will take place almost exactly 50 years after President John F. Kennedy delivered his "Ich bin ein Berliner" - or "I am a Berliner" - speech in the city that was divided by Western and Soviet occupations during the Cold War.FULL STORY