Fort Hood shooting victims want rampage labeled as terrorism
Aftermath of Ft. Hood, Texas shooting in November 2009
October 23rd, 2012
08:16 PM ET

Fort Hood shooting victims want rampage labeled as terrorism

By Mike Mount

Survivors and family members of the Fort Hood shootings released a video last week demanding the U.S. government designate the massacre as an act of terrorism rather than a case of a murderous rampage.

Such a designation would give the victims an enhanced series of benefits as if they were wounded in combat, according to the group.

The video includes victims and witnesses to the shootings on November 5, 2009. While much of the video uses victims to recount their experiences during the shooting, some complain that charging Maj. Nidal Hasan with murder does not reinforce what the actual incident turned out to be, an act of terrorism, they say.

One victim, who was shot in the chest, says, "They (Fort Hood victims) were killed and wounded by a domestic enemy, somebody who was there that day to kill soldiers, to prevent them from deploying," according to Army Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning in the video. "If that's not an act of war or an act of terrorism, I don't know what is."

Ex-CIA officer pleads guilty to one charge in leak case
Former CIA officer John Kiriakou (right) with attorney John Trout outside US District Court in Alexandria, VA
October 23rd, 2012
05:29 PM ET

Ex-CIA officer pleads guilty to one charge in leak case

From Carol Cratty

A former CIA officer accused of revealing classified information to reporters has pleaded guilty to one of the allegations - that he illegally revealed the identity of a covert intelligence officer.

John Kiriakou, 48, also admitted to other allegations, including that he illegally told reporters the name of a different CIA employee involved in a 2002 operation to capture alleged al Qaeda terrorist Abu Zubaydah, and that he lied to a review board about a book he was writing, the Justice Department said.

But in a deal with prosecutors, Kiriakou pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, only to the charge that he illegally revealed the first intelligence officer's name, the Justice Department said.

Kiriakou and prosecutors agreed to a prison sentence of 30 months. Judge Leonie Brinkema said she accepted the agreement, but sentencing will take place January 25. FULL POST

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • CIA • Gitmo • Petraeus
Unanswered questions from the debate
October 23rd, 2012
05:11 PM ET

Unanswered questions from the debate

By CNN's National Security Unit

The final debate of the presidential election was notable for all the areas of foreign policy on which the two candidates seemed to agree. But in their answers were plenty of unanswered questions about how they would handle key foreign policy issues going forward.

Where do things stand on Iran?

It was hard to see concrete differences between the candidates Monday on when it will be necessary to use military force against Iran's nuclear program - the so-called "red line."

Both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney sought to portray themselves as tough on Iran and as having Israel's back. Both suggested they would be willing to use military power if necessary to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. But neither was exactly clear about what point at which they would act to prevent that from happening.

Filed under: 2012 Election • Obama • Romney
Al Qaeda figure comes back to life in Yemen
October 23rd, 2012
10:25 AM ET

Al Qaeda figure comes back to life in Yemen

By Tim Lister and Hakim Almasmari

One of the Bond movies had the title "You Only Live Twice," but in the case of one of al Qaeda's most dangerous operatives even that may be a serious underestimate.

Abu Sufyan Said al-Shihri was - or is - the second most senior figure in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Last month, the Yemeni Defense Ministry announced al-Shihri had been killed "in an operation" in the Hadramawt Valley, a stronghold of AQAP in the south of the country.

But al-Shihri appears to have resurfaced with a defiant audio message.

In the message - called "Events and Lessons" and released by AQAP's media wing, Al-Malahem, on Monday - a speaker purported to be al-Shihri declares: "What has been reported in various media outlets regarding my death in the Arabian Peninsula is a rumor to cover the killing of innocent unarmed Muslims in Yemen."

Al-Shihri (if it was him) accused the Yemeni government of being an American puppet. FULL POST

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Filed under: AQAP • Terrorism • Yemen
October 23rd, 2012
06:40 AM ET

Review to look at unmanned aircraft safety

By Mike M. Ahlers

From the "Flying Fish" seaplane to something with a wingspan of a Boeing jetliner, an expected surge in unmanned aircraft could pose a challenge for those responsible for keeping U.S. skies safe.

That's why members of Congress influential on aviation matters have asked an independent government watchdog to review whether the Federal Aviation Administration is making progress on meeting a new law to develop a plan for managing that growth.

The agency estimates that unmanned aircraft could number 10,000 in five years.

"While the capabilities of unmanned aircraft have significantly improved, they have a limited ability to detect, sense, and avoid other air traffic," Jeffrey Guzzetti, who handles aviation audits for the Transportation Department's inspector general's office, said in a memo announcing that agency's examination of FAA preparedness.

More than 50 companies, universities and government organizations are developing and producing some 155 unmanned aircraft designs in the United States alone, according to the FAA.

Broadly defined, the category includes everything from the "Flying Fish," an 18-pound seaplane the FAA authorized a university to fly over a Michigan lake, to planes with wingspans of more than 100 feet, or similar to a Boeing 737.


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Filed under: Congress
October 23rd, 2012
05:24 AM ET

Checking Obama and Romney’s facts from Monday’s foreign policy debate

President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney exchanged fire on foreign policy and national security Monday in their last debate before Election Day. With tension in the air and undecided voters at stake, each candidate challenged the other's claims and positions. CNN conducted fact checks on each politician’s assertions. Click on the headlines for more.

CNN Fact Check: Comparing costs of Iraq, Libya missions

President Barack Obama asserted during Monday's presidential debate that it cost the United States less to help oust Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi than it did to run two weeks of the 2003-2011 war in Iraq.

We can attempt a comparison by examining the Defense Department's spending on the two operations.

CNN Fact Check: Romney, Obama and Iraq

Although it has been over for nearly a year now, the war in Iraq continued to be a flash point in Monday night's debate between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

"You say that you're not interested in duplicating what happened in Iraq," said Obama, a Democrat who opposed the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. "But just a few weeks ago, you said you think we should have more troops in Iraq right now. ... You said that we should still have troops in Iraq to this day."

But Romney, who supported the invasion, said Obama wanted to keep U.S. troops there longer - he just couldn't get the Iraqis to go along.


Filed under: 2012 Election • debate • Foreign Policy • Obama • Romney