October 21st, 2013
07:31 PM ET

Report: U.S. intercepts French phone calls on a 'massive scale'

The U.S. ambassador to France met with French diplomats Monday over allegations that the National Security Agency intercepted more than 70 million phone calls in France over a 30-day period.

Ambassador Charles Rivkin was summoned to the French Foreign Ministry in Paris after the details of the alleged spying appeared in the French newspaper Le Monde.

"These kinds of practices between partners, that violate privacy, are totally unacceptable," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters at an EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday. "We must quickly assure that these practices aren't repeated."
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Filed under: Britain • Edward Snowden • EU • Europe • France • Germany • Intelligence • NSA • Spying
World leaders react to North Korea nuclear test
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe leaves his official residence after attending a security council meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday.
February 12th, 2013
05:26 AM ET

World leaders react to North Korea nuclear test

By Ed Payne, CNN

Reaction to North Korea's nuclear test - its third since 2006 - poured in Tuesday from around the world:

Barack Obama, U.S. president:

"This is a highly provocative act that ... undermines regional stability, violates North Korea's obligations under numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, contravenes its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and increases the risk of proliferation.

North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs constitute a threat to U.S. national security and to international peace and security. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and steadfast in our defense commitments to allies in the region."

"The danger posed by North Korea's threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community. The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies."

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Filed under: Australia • Britain • China • Germany • IAEA • Japan • NATO • North Korea • Nuclear • Obama • South Korea • United Nations
Prince Harry on Afghan mission: 'Take a life to save a life'
Harry inspects an Apache helicopter on October 30, 2012.
January 22nd, 2013
06:22 AM ET

Prince Harry on Afghan mission: 'Take a life to save a life'

By Max Foster and Peter Wilkinson

Britain's Prince Harry has acknowledged that he killed Taliban insurgents on his latest tour of duty in Afghanistan as a crew member of an Apache attack helicopter.

Harry has been serving for four months as a co-pilot gunner (CPG) in southern Helmand province - considered a Taliban heartland - and flew on scores of missions with the trigger to rockets, missiles and a 30mm cannon at his fingertips.

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Analysis: The lure of the jihad and the danger to Europe
October 18th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

Analysis: The lure of the jihad and the danger to Europe

By Raffaello Pantucci, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Raffaello Pantucci is an associate fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation at King's College and the author of the forthcoming "We Love Death As You Love Life: Britain's Suburban Mujahedeen" (Hurst).

A growing number of young Europeans drawn to protect their abandoned Muslim brethren have taken up arms in Syria. It's a dynamic that Europe has witnessed before.

In the 1990s, young Europeans were enticed by the idea of fighting jihad in Bosnia. Spurred on by radical preachers, young men and women were drawn to fight to protect their Muslim brethren merely a bus ride away.

Also: Syrian rebels said to cut deals for arms from extremists

Before the September 11 attack in 2001, the notion of fighting in a holy war was something far from most people's minds and reserved for history books about the Crusades. Occasional appearances by fearsome looking radical preachers at rallies where people would shout about holy war were shown every so often on television, but that was the extent of public knowledge of the issue.

But there was more going on, mostly unseen to the average citizen in Europe. In the mid-1990s as Yugoslavia started to fall apart, stories emerged of middle-class Europeans being killed fighting and of Western forces finding groups of fighters with British accents among the Bosnian ranks. FULL POST

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Filed under: Britain • Europe • France • Germany • Syria
British security vision needs to extend beyond the Games
July 27th, 2012
12:46 AM ET

British security vision needs to extend beyond the Games

Editor's note: Raffaello Pantucci is an Associate Fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at King's College, London, and the author of the forthcoming "We Love Death As You Love Life: Britain's Suburban Mujahedeen" (Hurst/Columbia University Press). His work can be found at http://www.raffaellopantucci.com.

By Raffaello Pantucci, Special to CNN

Just one day after the 2012 Olympics were awarded to London back in 2005, the British were given a graphic and deadly display of the domestic terrorist threat that British security services faced.

On July 7, 2005, four British-born suicide bombers sent by al Qaeda blew themselves up on the London transport system. Seven years on, the threat picture to the Olympics is one of uncertainty that will keep security services alert for the duration of the Games and beyond. A high-profile opportunity like the Olympic Games might seem too good for a terrorist to miss.

Since the bombing in Bulgaria of a busload of Israeli tourists, concerns have been ramped up about the possible threat to the Israeli Olympic team and, by extension, the Games.

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Filed under: Britain • Europe • Terrorism
July 25th, 2012
10:00 AM ET

US sets up round the clock Olympic threat monitoring

By Pam Benson

The U.S. intelligence community has set up a 24/7 center to analyze threat information during the London Olympics, a senior American counterterrorism official said.

Matthew Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday that the upcoming Olympics "present a potential target for terrorists and other disruptive groups."

In response, the counterterrorism center and its partners in the intelligence community set up the Threat Integration Center "to operate around the clock providing real-time situational awareness and threat analysis," Olsen said.

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Filed under: Britain • Europe • Terrorism
Iran's nuclear negotiations: Souk rules apply
June 15th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Iran's nuclear negotiations: Souk rules apply

By Elise Labott, reporting from Jerusalem

If you know anything about bargaining here in the Middle East, the final offer is not made until the last moment, and not a second before.
The same principle, say Israeli officials, could be applied to the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.

"We will only know at the last minute of the last round if Iran has an offer to make and wants to strike a deal," one Israeli official said.

Tehran and the so-called P5 Plus One - the United States, China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain - agreed to hold five rounds of talks aimed at persuading Iran to curb its nuclear program, because of suspicions that the program aims to produce weapons. FULL POST

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Filed under: Britain • China • Diplomacy • France • Germany • Iran • Israel • Middle East • Nuclear • Russia