April 9th, 2014
05:01 PM ET

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Filed under: Security Brief
March 26th, 2014
07:02 PM ET

U.S. intel assessment: greater likelihood Russia will enter eastern Ukraine

By Barbara Starr

A new classified intelligence assessment concludes it is more likely than previously thought that Russian forces will enter eastern Ukraine, CNN has learned.

Two administration officials described the assessment but declined to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the information.

The officials emphasized that nothing is certain, but there have been several worrying signs in the past three to four days.

“This has shifted our thinking that the likelihood of a further Russian incursion is more probable than it was previously thought to be,” one official said.

FULL POST

March 18th, 2014
07:13 PM ET

U.S. Officials: No link seen between missing jet and 2001 Malaysian hijack plot

By Paul Cruickshank and Nic Robertson

It is very unlikely there is any link between the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 and an aborted hijack plot involving Malaysia militants in late 2001, current and former U.S. intelligence officials tell CNN.

A former British al Qaeda operative, Saajid Badat, outlined details of the Malaysian plot in federal court in New York last week, fueling media speculation about a possible link.

He testified that he spent time with a small group of Malaysians in Afghanistan and Pakistan in late 2001 tasked with hijacking aircraft in Southeast Asia.

In the weeks after 9/11, Badat was one of two British recruits directed by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to detonate shoe bombs simultaneously on separate passenger aircraft over the United States.
FULL POST

10 highlights from Jim Sciutto’s Reddit AMA on Iran & national security
February 24th, 2014
08:10 PM ET

10 highlights from Jim Sciutto’s Reddit AMA on Iran & national security

CNN’s Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto recently returned from Iran to cover U.S.-Iran relations. It was his 11th trip there. Sciutto also covers everything from U.S. foreign policy to defense, terrorism, and intelligence issues.

 

On Monday, he took 90 minutes to answer questions about national security during a Reddit “Ask me Anything” session.

FULL POST


Filed under: Security Brief
Ask Jim Sciutto anything about National Security
February 24th, 2014
12:56 PM ET

Ask Jim Sciutto anything about National Security

CNN's Chief National Security correspondent Jim Sciutto covers everything from U.S. foreign policy, including international hotspots such as Iran, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, to defense, terrorism and intelligence issues such as NSA mass surveillance.

On Monday at Noon ET, he'll be taking your questions on Reddit on anything relating to national security and his experiences covering the beat for CNN. Now is your chance to ask him anything!


Filed under: Security Brief
First on CNN: Ukrainian troops take up defensive positions
February 19th, 2014
06:40 PM ET

First on CNN: Ukrainian troops take up defensive positions

By Barbara Starr

Ukrainian military forces have moved into defensive positions around bases and weapons depots in the past few hours, according to a U.S. defense official familiar with the latest intelligence.

The move is seen by the United States as an effort to ensure the military's facilities remain secure.

So far, the move appears to mainly involve Ukraine military personnel, with no widespread movement of armored vehicles.

All of that is leading to the preliminary U.S. assessment that the move is defensive.
FULL POST

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Filed under: Security Brief
U.S. weighs possible sanctions, braces for further violence in Ukraine
February 19th, 2014
05:40 PM ET

U.S. weighs possible sanctions, braces for further violence in Ukraine

By Elise Labott

As the United States puts the finishing touches on possible sanctions against Ukraine, senior Obama administration officials tell CNN they are bracing for the government to intensify its crackdown against anti-government protestors under pressure from Russia.

The officials describe an escalating situation on the ground with both Ukraine and Russia branding the protestors as terrorists. That would suggest the Ukrainian government is planning to impose a state of emergency, giving the military extraordinary powers to further the crackdown.

"Things have gotten very bad," one official said. "The government is speaking in very nasty, aggressive and confrontational terms. It signals they are prepared to do something."

The officials said there was progress over the past week for a political solution, but things soured in recent days since President Viktor Yanukovych met with President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.
FULL POST

FBI conducting interviews in U.S. with people from Caucasus
January 20th, 2014
07:08 PM ET

FBI conducting interviews in U.S. with people from Caucasus

From CNN Justice Reporter Evan Perez

U-S law enforcement agents in recent weeks have been conducting interviews with people in the U.S. with ties in the Caucasus region, CNN has learned.

The interviews come amid security concerns and public threats by Islamic militants against the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
FULL POST

Newly declassified documents released on post-9/11 surveillance
December 21st, 2013
08:39 PM ET

Newly declassified documents released on post-9/11 surveillance

The Obama administration has released more once-secret national security documents, this time detailing the origins of increased electronic surveillance to collect foreign intelligence in the months after the 9/11 attacks.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Saturday in a statement that the material shows that President George W. Bush authorized spy agencies to collect contents of some overseas communications, as well as the bulk collection of domestic phone calls and e-mail metadata.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Security Brief
Reports: American who went missing in Iran worked for CIA
Daniel Levinson (L) shows a picture of his father, ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, holding his grandson Ryan during a press conference with his mother Christine at the Swiss embassy in Tehran, 22 December 2007.
December 13th, 2013
09:02 AM ET

Reports: American who went missing in Iran worked for CIA

By Susan Candiotti and Catherine E. Shoichet

A former FBI agent who went missing in Iran was working for the CIA there, not conducting private business as officials have previously claimed, The Associated Press and the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

Both the State Department and Bob Levinson's family have long denied he was working for the U.S. government when he disappeared on a trip to Iran in 2007.

But Thursday's reports from the Washington Post and the AP claim that Levinson had been on a CIA mission to dig up information.

A source who's involved in the matter told CNN that there's proof that Levinson worked for the CIA undercover and under contract while also working as a private investigator.

FULL STORY

Filed under: CIA • Iran • Security Brief
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