FBI chief on Benghazi probe: 'We will never stop'
FBI Director James Comey
November 14th, 2013
04:55 PM ET

FBI chief on Benghazi probe: 'We will never stop'

By Evan Perez

FBI Director James Comey told a Senate hearing on Thursday the agency considers the investigation of the deadly Benghazi terror attack among its "highest priorities."

In response to questions from Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, Comey said the FBI still has "a lot of people working very, very hard on this. We are committed bringing to justice those responsible for the attack and the murder of our folks.

"These are often difficult cases to make, but as you've seen for our work, we never give up and we will never rest until we bring to justice the people responsible," he said.

Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the armed assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound in eastern Libya in September 2012.
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Filed under: Benghazi • FBI
First on CNN: U.S. to designate Boko Haram a terror group
A poster displayed along the road shows photograph of Imam Abubakar Shekau, leader of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, declared wanted by the Nigerian military with $320,471 reward for information that could lead to his capture in northeastern Nigeria town of Maiduguri May 1, 2013.
November 12th, 2013
06:42 PM ET

First on CNN: U.S. to designate Boko Haram a terror group

By Elise Labott

The State Department will designate Boko Haram, a Nigeria-based extremist group with ties to al Qaeda, and Ansaru, an offshoot, as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, U.S. officials told CNN.

The move enables the United States to freeze assets, impose travel bans on known members and affiliates, and prohibit Americans from offering material support.

The United States says Boko Haram has killed thousands since 2009. Human rights groups put the figure at more than 3,000.

Boko Haram, which means "Western education is sacrilege" in the Hausa-Fulani language, has launched a self-described "war on Christians" and seeks to impose a strict version of Sharia law across northeastern Nigeria, if not the entire country.
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November 8th, 2013
01:45 PM ET

'We were wrong': CBS's Lara Logan apologizes for Benghazi report

By David Simpson

CBS correspondent Lara Logan apologized Friday and said the network was "wrong" for a "60 Minutes" report that raised questions about the Obama administration's response to last year's attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The assault left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

"In this case, we were wrong. We made a mistake," she said on "CBS This Morning." "That's disappointing for any journalist. It's very disappointing for me."

A primary source for the "60 Minutes" report on October 27 was a security contractor using the pseudonym "Morgan Jones," later identified as Dylan Davies. Davies told CBS he was able to reach the Benghazi compound on the night of September 11, 2012, scale a wall and even fight off a militant.

That story cast doubt on whether the Obama administration sent all possible help to try to save Stevens and his three colleagues. The "60 Minutes" story was cited by congressional Republicans who have demanded to know why a military rescue was not attempted.

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Filed under: Benghazi
November 4th, 2013
01:18 PM ET

Former spy: Kenya mall attack 'could have been prevented'

By Paul Cruickshank, Tim Lister, and Nic Robertson

Editor's note: Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister are writing a book about Morten Storm and his life as a former informant on terrorist groups.

Western intelligence missed a chance to capture or kill the suspected terrorist thought to be behind the Nairobi mall massacre, according to a former informant for both the CIA and the Danish intelligence service.

Morten Storm, who worked as an informant for five years, had forged a close relationship with the man - a Kenyan called Ikrima - who has been responsible for planning attacks inside Kenya for Al-Shabaab.

Storm, a Danish national, told CNN that in March 2012 the Danish intelligence agency PET had offered him one million Danish krone ($200,000) on behalf of the CIA if he could lead them to Ikrima, the target of an unsuccessful operation by US Navy SEALs last month. The SEALs raided an Al-Shabaab compound at Barawe on the Somali coast, but Ikrima escaped.

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October 29th, 2013
05:40 PM ET

First on CNN: US commandos were poised for raid to capture Benghazi suspect

By Barbara Starr

When U.S. commandos grabbed a former al Qaeda operative in Tripoli this month, American forces were just hours away from potentially launching a more dangerous covert raid to capture a militia figure facing charges in the deadly Benghazi terror attack, U.S. officials tell CNN.

U.S. special operations forces were ready, if ordered, to enter Benghazi and capture Ahmed Abu Khattalah, a leading figure in the Ansar Al-Sharia militia. But the mission never materialized.

The United States believes Ansar Al-Sharia was behind the September 2012 armed assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
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U.S. weighs how to expand role in Kony hunt
October 29th, 2013
01:26 PM ET

U.S. weighs how to expand role in Kony hunt

By Barbara Starr

In a sign of a potentially expanded role for U.S. special forces in Africa, the Pentagon is considering sending V-22 Osprey aircraft to a base in Uganda for American and African forces to use in assaults on The Lord's Resistance Army, a messianic group led by Joseph Kony, a warlord African forces are trying to capture with the help of the United States.

The V-22, which takes off like a helicopter and flies like an airplane, would increase the distance ground forces can operate, and transport them to targets faster than conventional helicopters, said two U.S. military officials who confirmed details to CNN.

Special forces commanders are making the case the operation needs more mobility than a small number of conventional helicopters can provide currently.

At the same time, the role of U.S. special forces in the Kony hunt has been expanded under a new authorization approved by the White House, both officials said.
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October 22nd, 2013
02:02 PM ET

Rights groups challenge U.S. on drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen

By Jethro Mullen

The villagers had congregated at the tent, as they often did at the end of the workday, to sit and chat.

Among them were men who sold vegetables or wood. Others mined or traded minerals used to make alloys like stainless steel.

They were husbands and fathers, brothers and sons.

But unlike villagers who might gather like this in many other parts of the world, these men had strange company at their customary get-together.

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Filed under: drones • Pakistan • Yemen
U.S. issues alert for Uganda amid reports of potential 'Westgate-style' attack
Smoke rises from Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall during September's attack
October 17th, 2013
08:43 PM ET

U.S. issues alert for Uganda amid reports of potential 'Westgate-style' attack

The U.S. Embassy in Kampala, Uganda, issued an alert this week to Americans that it is looking into reports that an attack similar to the one at a Kenyan mall could soon occur in the the city.

The embassy's statement said there were no specific details about a possible date or location of a "Westgate-style attack." It didn't say where the reports were coming from.

A U.S. official with direct knowledge of the latest information told CNN the notice was sent "out of an abundance of caution." The U.S. is still vetting the information, the official said, to see if there is any truth behind it.

Washington doesn't think the Westgate attackers or al Qaeda is planning the potential attack, the U.S. official said.

At least 67 people were killed by multiple attackers during the four-day siege at the mall in Nairobi last month. The terrorists who attacked the mall claimed to be members of Somalia-based Al-Shabaab.

The embassy in Kampala - Uganda's capital - urged Americans traveling to the country or living there to register with the State Department's Smart Traveller Enrollment Program.

-CNN's Barbara Starr and Elise Labott contributed to this report.

 

 

Harman: Who’s out there trying to do us harm?
October 17th, 2013
12:03 PM ET

Harman: Who’s out there trying to do us harm?

Editors Note: Jane Harman is director, president and chief executive officer of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She was a nine-term congresswoman from California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee from 2002 to 2006, and a principal coauthor of the Intelligence Reform Law of 2004 and the FISA Amendments of 2008.

By Jane Harman, Special to CNN

The October 5 takedown of Nazih Abdul Hamed al Ruqai – an alleged perpetrator of the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, a long-standing occupant of the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list, and alleged one-time member of Osama bin Laden’s security team – surprised many.

It was a brilliantly successful operation conducted by our military under strict legal guidelines for capture, interrogations, arrest and now transfer to New York for trial. This process may be the new gold standard for CT operations going forward.

U.S. officials hope he will provide useful information about his al Qaeda colleagues and plots being planned against Western and American targets so we may be able to thwart future attacks.

But while this capture was picture-perfect, al Ruqai was only one of many terrorists currently on the loose.
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Filed under: Al Qaeda • AQAP • Boko Haram • Libya • Terrorism • Yemen
Alleged al Qaeda operative Abu Anas al Libi pleads not guilty
October 15th, 2013
02:32 PM ET

Alleged al Qaeda operative Abu Anas al Libi pleads not guilty

Alleged al Qaeda operative, Abu Anas al Libi, accused of playing a role in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, has entered a not guilty plea to terrorism charges brought against him in federal court in New York on Tuesday.

An alleged al Qaeda operative accused of playing a role in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania is to appear Tuesday in federal court in New York.

U.S. Army Delta Force soldiers seized Abu Anas al Libi, a 49-year-old Libyan, on October 5 from outside his house in Tripoli, Libya.

U.S. officials say he was taken initially to a Navy ship for questioning before he was taken to the United States over the weekend.

His arrival in the U.S. has reopened a debate over whether international terrorist suspects should be tried in U.S. courts.

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Filed under: Libya • Military • Special Operations Forces
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