July 3rd, 2012
11:59 AM ET

Kenyans accuse Iranian suspects of planning terror attacks

By David McKenzie, reporting from Nairobi, Kenya

Two Iranian nationals, accused of plotting to plant explosives in Kenya, were in the advanced stages of planning of a terror attack in Kenya, according to a senior Kenyan government official familiar with intelligence updates.

"We do not want to speculate exactly on the seriousness of their plan," the official said, adding the suspects may have wanted to use Kenya as a transit point to hit targets in neighboring countries. "We are still working to uncover it. We don't allow organizations or countries to commit terror in our country, and we will prosecute such acts accordingly."

The suspects were arrested June 19 in Nairobi and led security officials to 15 kilograms (more than 30 pounds) of RDX explosives hidden at a Mombasa golf club, on Kenya's coast, according to court documents. FULL POST

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Filed under: Africa • Iran • Israel • Nigeria • Terrorism
June 10th, 2012
04:47 PM ET

First senior U.S. official in 19 years visits Mogadishu

By David McKenzie

For the first time in nearly 20 years, a senior U.S. official visited the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Sunday, a sign of improving security in a country long considered a failed state.

Johnnie Carson, assistant secretary for African affairs, met with Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, president of Somalia's transitional government, along with several high-ranking government and diplomatic officials.

"I think that we probably are in the best position that we have been in more than two decades, and my very presence in Mogadishu was an acknowledgment of the progress made," Carson told CNN Sunday in an interview in Nairobi after leaving Somalia.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Al-Shabaab • Security Brief • Somalia • Yemen
Yadlin: Keep Iran military options on table
File footage of an Israeli F-15
January 24th, 2012
11:03 AM ET

Yadlin: Keep Iran military options on table

By David McKenzie and Kevin Flower reporting from Jerusalem

Amos Yadlin, the recently retired chief of of Israeli military intelligence, told CNN’s David McKenzie today that while newly announced sanctions against Iran were certainly welcome, the option of using force against the country’s nuclear program should not be taken off the table.

Yadlin sat down with CNN for a rare television interview today in Tel Aviv, the first with a foreign reporter since stepping down from his post as head of army intelligence.

"All strategies all options should be on the table simultaneously," Yadlin said.

"Including a strike against Iran?" asked McKenzie.

"If the Iranians will not see a credible action against their nuclear sites and their facilities, if they will not assess at the end of the day what President Obama has said that he will not let Iran be nuclear by all means, that all the options are on the table. This is very important," explained Yadlin. FULL POST

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Filed under: Iran • Israel • Nuclear
Message in a bottle+cardboard=pirates foiled
October 11th, 2011
12:13 PM ET

Message in a bottle+cardboard=pirates foiled

CNN's Richard Allen Greene, Chris Lawrence, Claudia Rebaza, Gisella Deputato, Laura Perez Maestro and David McKenzie contributed to this report

The crew of an Italian ship seized by pirates on Monday was freed Tuesday thanks to an operation by U.S. and British troops working with the Italian military, the Italian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Eleven pirates who hijacked the Montecristo surrendered to the troops operating under NATO's Operation Ocean Shield, the ministry said in a statement.

All crew members are safe, the ministry said.

They barricaded themselves in the engine room after throwing a message overboard in a bottle and putting up a cardboard sign to let rescuers know where they were.

They were able to retain control of the ship's steering, even though the pirates destroyed the ship's communications equipment, a NATO officer said. FULL POST