By Tom Cohen and Jason Hanna
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a previously unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Monday to repair strained relations with President Hamid Karzai as the American-led international force continues to prepare to end its combat mission next year.
Kerry's stop came on the same day that U.S. forces turned over control of a prison that has caused tension between the two nations, with Americans retaining a say on the handling of certain Taliban inmates.
The talks on Monday followed controversial comments by Karzai in recent weeks that seemed to accuse U.S. forces of working with the Taliban to kill Afghan civilians, a charge denied by U.S. officials.
Karzai's reported remarks caused outrage in Washington with some in Congress questioning why the United States should continue the war effort.
At a joint news conference after meeting Kerry, Karzai said he had been misinterpreted when quoted as alleging collusion between the Americans and the Taliban.
By Carol Cratty
A former top leader of a Somali terror group, who also had ties to al Qaeda, secretly pleaded guilty in 2011 to federal charges and has provided the U.S. government with valuable intelligence information, the Justice Department said on Monday.
Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame was a leader of al-Shabaab in Somalia and arranged a weapons deal at one time with Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, according to court documents.
The U.S. military captured him at sea in April 2011 while he was traveling from Yemen to Somalia. He pleaded guilty in New York the following December to nine terrorism charges.
Among other things, Warsame admitted to conspiring to provide material support to al-Shabaab and al Qaeda's operation in the Arabian Peninsula, conspiracy to teach others how to make bombs, and receiving miltary-type training from a terrorist organization.