July 16th, 2013
07:09 PM ET

Prison for man who used Internet to encourage terrorism

By Carol Cratty

A Pennsylvania man was sentenced Tuesday 102 months–eight and a half years– in prison for using the Internet to encourage others to commit acts of terrorism and for using a gun during a scuffle with FBI agents, the Justice Department said.

During court proceedings in Pittsburgh, prosecutors said Emerson Begolly, 22, was an administrator of an Islamic extremist forum called Ansar al-Mujahideen English Forum.

According to the government, Begolly used the pseudonym Abu Nancy and "systematically solicited jihadists to use firearms, explosives and propane tanks against targets such as police stations, post offices, Jewish schools and daycare centers, military facilities, train lines, bridges, cell phone towers and water plants." FULL POST


Filed under: FBI • Terrorism
Jury selected in Fort Hood massacre trial
July 16th, 2013
01:50 PM ET

Jury selected in Fort Hood massacre trial

By CNN Staff

A military jury was finalized on Tuesday in the murder trial of Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people in a 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas.

Three jurors were added to the court-martial panel to complete the selection phase, according to a military statement.

The court-martial panel is comprised of 13 senior Army officers, including nine colonels, three lieutenant colonels and one major.

Two members of the panel are women and the highest ranking officer is a female colonel and therefore leads the group, the statement said.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Fort Hood
Analysis: Stability, U.S. interests trump democracy in Phase Two of Arab Spring
July 16th, 2013
01:04 PM ET

Analysis: Stability, U.S. interests trump democracy in Phase Two of Arab Spring

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the latest in a series of stories and opinion pieces previewing the upcoming Aspen Security Forum. Security Clearance is a media sponsor of the event, which is taking place from July 17-20 in Aspen, Colorado.  The forum will feature a session called "Unrest in the Arab World and its Implications for our Security"; Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and a fellow at the Brookings Institution, who is featured in this piece, will participate. Follow the event on Twitter under @aspeninstitute and @natlsecuritycnn #AspenSecurity.

By Elise Labott

A popular argument following the removal from power of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy posits that the non-U.S. response ends a long-held American position that it defends democracy.

The pretense, however, has already been on shaky ground during Phase Two of the Arab Spring.

Countries where the United States has supported regime change have morphed from relatively stable autocracies into hotbeds of instability, posing challenges for U.S. policy.

In Egypt, the United States has played the cards it was dealt, taking a pragmatic approach to the recent events..

No lover of Morsy or his Muslim Brotherhood ideology, the United States engaged his government because it was in power, having won the 2012 elections.

But after 22 million people signed a petition to remove him from power and took to the streets, Morsy was suddenly damaged goods.

FULL POST

From Benghazi to Boston: The state of the jihad
July 16th, 2013
12:58 PM ET

From Benghazi to Boston: The state of the jihad

By Peter Bergen

Editor's note: This is one in a series of stories and opinion pieces previewing the upcoming Aspen Security Forum. Security Clearance is a media sponsor of the event, which is taking place from July 17 to 20 in Aspen, Colorado. Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst and the author of "Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden, from 9/11 to Abbottabad."

Every July in the lush, green mountains of Aspen, Colorado, many of the top present and former U.S. national security officials and other experts gather to discuss how the war against al Qaeda and its allies is going.

Ahead of last year's Aspen conference, I wrote a piece for CNN provocatively titled "Time to declare victory: Al Qaeda is defeated." And I then spoke on a panel at Aspen where I tried to make the case for this position.

I'm not sure too many of the folks in Aspen were convinced. (If they had been, it would hardly seem necessary to travel back to Aspen again this year!)

Since last year's Aspen conference, a group of men only very loosely aligned with al Qaeda attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing four U.S. diplomats and CIA contractors.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Aspen Security Forum • Benghazi • Boston Bombing • Terrorism
Unlikely allies back effort to stop military sexual assaults
July 16th, 2013
09:21 AM ET

Unlikely allies back effort to stop military sexual assaults

By Kevin Liptak and Jonathan Helman

An effort to remove sexual assault cases from the military chain of command received a bipartisan boost Tuesday as conservative Republicans joined the bill's main backer, Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, to voice their support for the measure.

“Our carefully crafted common sense proposal was written in direct response to what the victims told us, the stories that came from them, what happened to them, the fact that they didn’t trust the chain of command, that they were retaliated against, that they didn’t think justice was possible,” Gillibrand said at a Capitol Hill event.

The proposed law comes after a spike in sexual assault cases in the armed forces, which has prompted President Barack Obama and top military brass to vow change. A report Monday from a government watchdog found that in many cases the military did not properly investigate sexual assault claims.

The bill is an extension of Gillibrand's efforts in the Senate Armed Services Committee to advance legislation requiring decisions about sexual assault cases to be made by independent military prosecutors. The measure faced opposition from senior military leaders, who argued it would harm commanders' ability to lead effectively.

FULL STORY
Panama finds weapons hidden in North Korean ship arriving from Cuba
July 16th, 2013
04:29 AM ET

Panama finds weapons hidden in North Korean ship arriving from Cuba

Panamanian authorities seized a North Korean-flagged vessel with an undeclared haul of weaponry in the Panamanian port of Manzanillo on Monday night, Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli said.

Panama's security minister, Jose Raul Mulino, told CNN the ship had arrived from Cuba.

Panamanian authorities had received intelligence the ship was carrying drugs, but a search Monday revealed military equipment hidden among a cargo of brown sugar.

It was not immediately clear what sort of military equipment was found.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Cuba • North Korea • weapons