By Evan Perez
The Senate voted 99-1 on Tuesday to confirm John Carlin as assistant attorney general for national security, a job that has been vacant for more than a year.
The time it took to fill the post illustrates how, with a slow-moving bureaucracy in the White House and partisan bickering that occupies the Senate, even noncontroversial nominees for national security jobs can take a while.
By Evan Pérez
Attorney General Eric Holder appointed a lawyer in his office to lead the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which provides advice to the President on constitutional issues and in recent years has been at the center of political fights over presidential power and national security.
Holder on Monday elevated Karl Thompson to acting assistant attorney general post. He also will serve as principal deputy assistant attorney general, which is a senior legal post in the Justice Department hierarchy.
By Evan Perez and Jim Sciutto
The U.S. government has warned airlines to pay particular attention to the possibility of terrorists attempting to hide explosives in shoes, a result of new intelligence, according to two people familiar with the situation.
The officials stressed there is no specific threat or known plot.
Intelligence collected by the United States and other countries has indicated terror groups have been working on new shoe-bomb designs, the sources said Wednesday.
That knowledge prompted the Department of Homeland Security to warn airlines to be on the lookout for possible explosives hidden in shoes on flights from overseas to the United States, they said.FULL STORY
By Evan Perez
A former State Department contractor has agreed to plead guilty to leaking classified information to a television reporter, bringing to an end a case that became the center of controversy over the Obama administration's aggressive leak investigations.
Stephen Kim was accused of the unauthorized disclosure of national defense information to James Rosen, a Fox News journalist.
The Justice Department subpoenaed Rosen's phone records as part of its probe, a revelation that became public last year, three years after it occurred.FULL STORY
By Evan Perez and Paul Cruickshank
U.S. authorities are working with Russia and other countries to try to disrupt possible threats related to the Sochi Olympics, in addition to the toothpaste tube terror concern, a U.S. intelligence source said.
The official said the threats varied in credibility.
The biggest source of those threats is the group Imarat Kavkaz in Russia, which has publicly said it will try to disrupt the Games, the official said Thursday.
By Evan Perez
More air marshals and behavioral detection officers, radiological detection teams and random baggage checks at transit hubs are among the security measures the federal Homeland Security Department will deploy in the next few days to help local police in New Jersey and New York secure the Super Bowl.
The game will be played at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey’s Meadowlands area just outside New York City. The stadium’s location near a major airport and busy commuter train lines presents security challenges. Unlike audiences for other championship games, spectators of Super Bowl XLVIII will rely heavily on mass transit.
By Evan Perez
The National Security Agency program that collects data on nearly every U.S. phone call isn't legal, a privacy review board said Thursday in a newly released report.
Moreover, the five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board said it's been largely useless in thwarting terrorism.
"We have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation," the board wrote in the report released Thursday.FULL STORY
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.
By Evan Perez
The National Security Agency notched a much-needed win in court, after a series of setbacks over the legality and even the usefulness of its massive data collection program.
A federal judge in New York ruled Friday that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of data on nearly every phone call made in the United States is legal.
The ruling contrasts with another ruling last week by a federal judge in Washington, who called the same program "almost Orwellian" and likely unconstitutional.
In his ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge William Pauley said that while the NSA's program under Section 215 of the Patriot Act has become the center of controversy since it was revealed by leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, it is legal.FULL STORY
CNN Justice Reporter Evan Perez
Israeli officials are protesting revelations of National Security Agency snooping on their leaders, while also taking the opportunity to press for the United States to release an Israeli spy.
Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who spied for Israel in the 1980s, is serving a life sentence for espionage; Israel has acknowledged he was an intelligence asset and has pushed for years to have him released.
The NSA allegations surfaced in the New York Times last week based on a leak from former agency contractor Edward Snowden.
After a few days of silence, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a political party gathering Monday that he had asked the United States to explain the reports, adding that spying among close allies is unacceptable.