By Jamie Crawford
The United States lifted a ban on exports of certain personal communications equipment and software to Iranians on Thursday and sanctioned Iranian government, military and judicial officials for their alleged roles in suppressing freedom of expression.
The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control issued a general license that allows for U.S. citizens to send more sophisticated communication gear not readily available to Iranian citizens within their country.
It also serves as an effort to work around Iranian government censorship of communications, and allow for greater communication with people outside Iran.
The license would not extend to any aspect of the Iranian government, or to any individual or entity already sanctioned by the United States government.
By Ashley Killough and Paul Cruickshank
In its upcoming issue, the al Qaeda-backed magazine Inspire praises the alleged Boston Marathon bombers as heroes and encourages readers in the United States to follow their example.
According to an English copy of the magazine obtained by Flashpoint Partners, an American group tracking jihadist websites, the issue also has a section heralding the killing of a British soldier in London last week.
The authors of the magazine, published by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula based in Yemen, argue April's deadly violence in Boston proves that lone-wolf attacks can be effective in the United States. The issue also warns Americans that they're not safe against such "unstoppable" operations.
CNN's Barbara Starr reports on a letter from employer to employee that offers remarkable insight into the inner workings of Al Qaeda's branch in North Africa. The letter was discovered by the Associated Press in North Africa.