Saturday, August 1, 2015

Iran Worked with Al Qaeda

Iran Worked with Al Qaeda


From CIA to comics: Former agent makes career splash - Military Times

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Military Times

From CIA to comics: Former agent makes career splash
Military Times
Before being brought on as co-writer of the hit comic book “Grayson,” the latest interpretation of Batman's venerable junior sidekick, King spent seven years as a counterterrorism operations officer in the CIA. These days, his life can still get ...

Car Hacking Risk May Be Broader Than Fiat Chrysler, Says US Regulator - NDTV

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NDTV

Car Hacking Risk May Be Broader Than Fiat Chrysler, Says US Regulator
NDTV
The announcement by FCA US LLC, formerly Chrysler Group LLC, followed reports that cyber-security researchers had used a wireless connection to turn off a Jeep Cherokee's engine as it drove, increasing concerns about the safety of Internet-enabled ...
Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.4 million vehicles to block hackingPost-Bulletin
NHTSA: Vehicle hacking is more widespread than just FCALeftLane News
Other vehicles vulnerable to hacking too, US regulator warnsMalay Mail Online

all 33 news articles »

Chinese Hackers Blamed for University of Connecticut's Data Breach, U.S. to ... - Chinatopix

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Chinatopix

Chinese Hackers Blamed for University of Connecticut's Data Breach, U.S. to ...
Chinatopix
After the highly publicized breach, James RClapper Jr., director of national intelligence, blamed China for the cyberattack. He said "you have to kind of salute the Chinese for what they did." Despite numerous allegations, the Chinese government has ...

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Inside the FBI's Cyber Division headquarters - CBS News

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CBS News

Inside the FBI's Cyber Division headquarters
CBS News
The Internet is defining technology of the 21st century, and no one knows it better than cybercriminals. Hackers steal billions of dollars and millions of personal data files each year. The FBI is charged with fighting back, but it is understaffed. A ...

Turkey Disappointed by Negative Iraqi Stance on Airstrikes on PKK Positions

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Ankara is disappointed by Baghdad's reaction to the Turkish airstrikes against Kurds on the Iraqi territory.

Russia: Modernized version of S-300 to be delivered to Iran

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Vladimir Kozhin, Russian President Vladimir Putin's aide on military-technical cooperation said that Russia is assembling a more advanced version of its S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system to begin its shipment to Iran by 2016.
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Russian airborne troops to build up combat potential to address new threats and challenges

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New threats and challenges of Russia's security require a buildup of combat potential of the country's airborne troops, Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu said on Friday.

Russia's New S-300M Drone: The Ultimate Reconnaissance Tool

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Several new advanced drones will soon enter service with the Russian armed forces with the state-of-the-art S300M UAV slated for mass production already next month, Russian media reported.

Turkey to Continue Attacks Until PKK Surrenders, ISIL Threat is Eliminated

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Ankara will not stop its attacks until the threats from ISIL and the Kurdistan Workers' Party are eliminated.

Russia's Answer to NATO: Robotic Cannon and Smart Anti-Torpedo

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A state-of-the-art artillery system and anti-torpedo complex are being added to Russia's naval arsenal, media reports said Friday.

In ISIL-controlled territory, 8 million civilians living in 'state of fear' - UN expert

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The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has engaged in widespread and systematic human rights violations of the most serious kinds in Syria and Iraq, brutally forcing some 8 million people to "assimilate, flee or face death," according to a United Nations expert.

Pentagon seeks cyber-weapons strong enough to deter attacks - Los Angeles Times

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Los Angeles Times

Pentagon seeks cyber-weapons strong enough to deter attacks
Los Angeles Times
The folks who brought the world the mushroom cloud are hard at work at a new project – coming up with cyber-weapons so strong that their very existence would deter foreign governments from attacking U.S. databases and critical computer systems. The ...
How Hackers Might Make You RichBenzinga

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Once Again Moscow Tries to Intimidate Tokyo

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Despite the best efforts of both Moscow and Tokyo to sustain the momentum toward a full normalization of their relations and a genuine rapprochement (see EDM, February 24, 2014June 10, 2014), once again Russia has tried to intimidate Japan. In June 2015, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered a program of new military and civilian construction on the Kurile Islands, several of which are simultaneously claimed by Japan (see EDM, June 23). Now, new military drills are about to take place there. More recently, on July 23, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced his intention to once again visit the Kuriles, despite Japanese requests that he cancel this visit. Medvedev’s announcement emphasized the special role the military plays in enabling civilian infrastructure and a continuous population presence on this island chain (TASS, July 24). Sakhalin region governor Oleg Kozhemayko’s statement that Japan was welcome to take part in Russia’s upcoming drills around the Kuriles, under the circumstances, can only be seen as a deliberate insult to Tokyo (RIA Novosti, July 25).
It has long been the case that Russia’s armed forces have been among the strongest opponents of rapprochement with Japan and compromises on the Kuriles. Yet, Vladimir Putin’s decision to engage once again in policies that gratuitously provoke Tokyo remains something of a mystery, especially in the light of his previous support for bilateral reconciliation.
Several possibilities come to the fore—all of which may be true to one degree or another. One explanation is related to the apparent abiding Russian belief that to be taken seriously by other countries, Russia must first intimidate them. Thus, fear becomes the basis of respect. Many times in the past, Moscow has utilized this tactic or displayed this world view in its relations with Tokyo. Indeed, the hundreds of overflights made by Russia over Japan in the last 18 months (which admittedly have decreased in frequency more recently) would indicate that this motive remains quite prominent (The Japan Times, October 24, 2014July 16, 2015).
An alternative explanation for Putin’s willingness to undermine relations with Tokyo is, of course, the prevalence of Russian domestic actors that believe any concession to Japan would open the door to threats to Russia’s Far East. A nightmare scenario would particularly be a Japanese or US fleet sailing in through the Kurile Islands toward Russia’s Far East coast, from where it could strike at the Russian mainland. This view has long been touted by the Russian defense and security sector, particularly in the Navy. Yet, if such a threat from Japan truly existed, Russia’s new naval doctrine would have emphasized it (Kremlin.ru, July 26). Instead, judging by press reports, the new doctrine emphasizes the purported threat to Russia from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and concentrates on the country’s need to build up its Arctic, Baltic and Black Sea Fleets (RT, July 26).
Third, Russia’s willingness to spoil its relations with Japan is almost certainly driven, at least in part, by a desire to retaliate for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s recent visit to Kyiv (The Japan Times, June 6). Up to now, Moscow showed pragmatic restraint regarding Tokyo’s reluctant decision to eventually join Western sanctions related to Russia’s war against Ukraine (see EDM, October 3, 2014). But apparently the Japanese prime minister’s trip to Ukraine was a step too far.
Fourth, there is a distinct possibility that Beijing may have weighed in and pressed Moscow against pursuing further normalization with Tokyo. Japan’s new defense doctrine, which accuses the People’s Republic of China (PRC) of antagonism or even outright aggression in the South and East China Seas, obviously does not go over well in Beijing (Xinhua, July 21). Moreover, Beijing likely fully grasps that a key motive for the rapprochement between Tokyo and Moscow is a shared concern over China, and the PRC government may well have thrown its weight around to prevent any further progress along that line. And since Beijing would undoubtedly find allies inside Russia in support of this stance, China may have used such domestic Russian players to advance its own regional foreign policy.
If the PRC did, indeed, play such a role, it would be another example of how Moscow is increasingly forced to yield to Chinese dictates (see EDM, June 19). Thus, Moscow needs Tokyo far more than Tokyo needs it, especially given the rise of China and its apparent leverage over Russian politics and economics. While failure to bring about a genuine Russo-Japanese rapprochement injures Japan, in this case it does considerably more damage to Russia’s economic and political prospects in general and in Asia in particular. Ultimately, Japan does not need the Kurile Islands. But Moscow, under almost all circumstances, needs a non-Chinese partner in Asia, even if it cannot and will not admit that fact.
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Moscow Paves the Way to Replace Dagestani Leader

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Dagestan has not seen potentially destabilizing arrests of top officials since the arrest of the mayor of Makhachkala on June 1, 2013 (RIA Novosti, June 1, 2013). That is why the news about a police search of the home of one of the most influential leaders of the new Avar political elite, Sagid Murtazaliev, made top headlines in the republic.
The story began to unfold in the city of Kizlyar at 3 a.m., on July 27. Without first imposing a counterterrorism operation regime, police special forces along with the Federal Security Service (FSB) surrounded the home of the head of Dagestan’s Kizlyar district, Andrei Vinogradov (Onkavkaz.com, July 27). Vinogradov is interesting because he was Sagid Murtazaliev’s personal driver prior to becoming head of the district. The authorities suspected Vinogradov of involvement in the murder of four people (Rrnews.ru, July 27), but Murtazaliev helped secure his release. Clearly, Murtazaliev needed such a person to keep the district under his control. Kizlyar district has attracted the interest of powerful groups in Dagestan because it hosts a large railway hub and multiple brickyards, while the poaching of black caviar and sturgeon is also quite developed in the area.
The authorities flew Vinogradov to the Russian military base in the city of Mozdok, North Ossetia, by helicopter, just as they did with the mayor of Makhachkala in 2013. As the authorities tried to arrest Vinogradov, he and his guards tried to resist, hoping that Murtazaliev would arrive to rescue them. Vinogradov could not have known that Sagid Murtazaliev’s property in the town of Krivaya Balka in Makhachkala’s suburbs was also under siege at that moment. Russian special forces from the Mozdok military base were dispatched to arrest the head of Kizlyar district and Murtazaliev. The Russian forces traveled from Mozdok to Dagestan via Chechnya that night, which alarmed local authorities, who did not know where the Russian forces were headed. Only after the Russian special forces crossed Chechnya from west to east and continued on to Dagestan did the Chechens breathe a sigh of relief.
At the time that Sagid Murtazaliev’s home in the suburbs of Makhachkala was sealed off by FSB and Ministry of Interior forces, he was the head of the Dagestani branch of the Russian Pension Fund. At the start of 2015, some observers regarded him as one of the primary contenders for the position of Makhachkala mayor (Onkavkaz.com, July 27).
Murtazaliev’s ambitions to become mayor of Dagestan’s capital, whose population is steadily approaching one million, may have prompted the authorities’ action against him. Murtazaliev was an Olympic, world and European wrestling champion, but was better known as one of the most influential political figures in contemporary Dagestan. While head of the Kizlyar district, he essentially refused to subordinate himself to Magomedsalam Magomedov, Dagestan’s president from 2010 to 2013. Moreover, since Kizlyar district borders Chechnya’s Shelkovskoi district, Murtazaliev developed friendly relations with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. This friendship prompted some analysts to suggest that Murtazaliev’s arrest was aimed at Kadyrov, but this appears to be an overly exaggerated and complicated explanation (Eadaily.com, July 27).
Given the fact that Murtazaliev, an Avar, counterbalanced the powerful Dargin clan in the capital of Dagestan, it is unlikely that Ramazan Abdulatipov, the governor of Dagestan who is also an Avar, was behind the moves against him. The removal of Murtazaliev from the political scene only weakens in relation to the non-Avar clans in the republic.
It is unclear how the authorities, when planning this large-scale special operation by the FSB and the Investigative Committee, could have missed the fact that Murtazaliev was outside Russia. Murtazaliev was mostly likely in the United Arab Emirates at the time of the operation. It appears that the authorities deliberately carried out the special operation against Murtazaliev’s interests while he was out of the country in order to avoid an open clash with him and his supporters in Dagestan. Kizlyar district head Vinogradov was arrested soon after he returned to Dagestan from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Apparently, Vinogradov returned to assess the situation for the possible return of Murtazaliev himself (Kavpolit.com, July 27). The police in Makhachkala were on high alert because Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev was in the Dagestani capital for meetings with the Interior Ministry’s Directorate in the North Caucasian Federal District.
It is interesting that Murtazaliev is practically the main witness for the prosecution in the case against former Makhachkala mayor Said Amirov (Bigcaucasus.com July 28). Since Murtazaliev is abroad, the Russian court will view his testimony against Amirov in a different light, and this may even result in Amirov’s acquittal, which will be a most unpleasant surprise for Dagestani Governor Abdulatipov.
The same day the authorities arrested Kizlyar district chief Vinogradov and searched Murtazaliev’s properties, both were charged with homicide and financing terrorism (Lifenews.ru, July 28). Even if the case against them does not end up in court, Murtazaliev will be out of politics for a long time. That must have been the objective of those who were behind the attack on the Dagestani politician.
Someone in Moscow appears to be paving the way to replace Abdulatipov as Dagestan’s governor. His replacement will probably not be from a known clan, and the ethnic balance that existed in the republic during and after the Soviet period will likely be disregarded. While people in Moscow make decisions for the Dagestanis, this may have devastating repercussions for Dagestan’s stability.
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Hacker discovers major vulnerability in GM cars, hijacks vehicle functions - Mashable

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Mashable

Hacker discovers major vulnerability in GM cars, hijacks vehicle functions
Mashable
Samy Kamkar, a hacker who runs YouTube channel Applied Hacking, recently demonstrated a device which allows him to take control of a 2013 Chevrolet Volt equipped with General Motor's OnStar concierge service. The vulnerability, which theoretically ...
White hat hacker: GM's OnStar app is still vulnerableFortune
This Gadget Hacks GM Cars to Locate, Unlock, and Start Them (UPDATED)Wired
Hacker Claims to Open GM's OnStar App, Start Engine RemotelyInsurance Journal
UPI.com -ConsumerAffairs
all 149 news articles »

How the CIA Came Out of the Closet - Daily Beast

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Daily Beast

How the CIA Came Out of the Closet
Daily Beast
During interviews in recent weeks, current and former CIA officers have given Brennan credit for his commitment to recruiting and retaining more LGBT employees. “It's not lip service,” said an openly gay analyst named Charles, who, owing to the ...

US Decides to Retaliate Against China's Hacking - New York Times

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Engadget

US Decides to Retaliate Against China's Hacking
New York Times
The decision came after the administration concluded that the hacking attack was so vast in scope and ambition that the usual practices for dealing with traditional espionage cases did not apply. But in a series of classified meetings, officials ...
US exploring ways to strike back against China hacking, says New York TimesThe Verge

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U.S. Decides to Retaliate Against China’s Hacking

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The Obama administration decided a response was needed after the Chinese stole data on 20 million Americans from the Office of Personnel Management.
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What happened to Capitol Hill 'conspirators' in the FBI's 2010 Russian spy case - CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

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CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

What happened to Capitol Hill 'conspirators' in the FBI's 2010 Russian spy case
CHS Capitol Hill Seattle
In 2010, after the couple had moved to Virginia, they were arrested as part of a major FBIsurveillance investigation into the Russian spy ring. It wasn't until then that the true identities of Mikhail Kutsik and Natalia Pereverzeva were revealed. FBI ...

Demand the Documents | The Weekly Standard

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To paraphrase Lincoln, if we could first know where Iran is and whither Iran is tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it. To evaluate the Iran deal, we need, to the degree possible, to understand the Iranian regime, its nature and its history, its past and present behavior. 
NEWSCOM
Whither are they tending?
NEWSCOM
The bad news is that the Obama administration doesn’t want us to have all the information available to judge that regime and its behavior. The good news is that Congress can insist the information be provided.
Here’s an important instance. We have been told by six current or former intelligence officials that the collection of documents captured in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound includes explosive information on Iran’s relationship with al Qaeda over the past two decades, including details of Iran’s support for al Qaeda’s attacks on Americans. Some of these officials believe this information alone could derail the deal. We haven’t seen it. But the American people should see it all before Congress votes on the deal in September.
“There are letters about Iran’s role, influence, and acknowledgment of enabling al Qaeda operatives to pass through Iran as long as al Qaeda did their dirty work against the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, tells The Weekly Standard. “What Congress should demand is to see all the UBL [Osama bin Laden] documents related to Iran and all the documents related to intentions of AQ into the future—they are very telling.”
Derek Harvey, a former senior DIA official who has been described by several U.S. generals as the top intelligence analyst in government, helped run the exploitation team. He says,
The UBL treasure trove of information almost certainly contains extremely valuable, insightful information, and potentially explosive, that would illuminate the duplicitous Iran relationship with Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda writ large.
Michael Pregent, a member of the DIA team that examined the documents, confirmed some of the revelations about Iran. As he put it,
The documents indicate that Iran facilitated the safe passage of al Qaeda operatives, provided safe houses during travel, and had an agreement in place—a you-don’t-mess-with-us-and-we-won’t-mess-with-you clause. The guaranteed safe passage through Iran into Afghanistan and Pakistan could only have been carried out by Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps operatives. 
The bin Laden documents have long been the subject of a behind-the-scenes battle between the White House and elements of the intelligence community. After an initial scrub of the documents in the months after the May 2011 raid in Abbottabad, the Obama administration let them sit untouched for as long as a year. When officials at the DIA and Central Command requested access to the collection to extract intelligence and provide it to war fighters, they were initially denied. And soon after the team from DIA and CENTCOM was given limited access to the documents, they were ordered to stop their exploitation. What they did see was illuminating.
Among the most significant were documents that shed new light on the complicated relationship between Iran and al Qaeda. Even the Obama administration has acknowledged the relationship. In 2011, the administration designated six al Qaeda operatives who were responsible for what officials described as al Qaeda’s lifeline. The network was based in Iran. “This network serves as the core pipeline through which al Qaeda moves money, facilitators, and operatives,” according to the Treasury Department’s designation. In an interview with The Weekly Standard at the time, a senior Obama administration official involved in the designation said, “Without this network, al Qaeda’s ability to recruit and collect funds would be severely damaged.”
David Cohen, then undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence and currently the deputy director of the CIA, told The Weekly Standard the intelligence on Iran’s support for al Qaeda was incontrovertible. “There is an agreement between the Iranian government and al Qaeda to allow this network to operate,” Cohen said. “There’s no dispute in the intelligence community on this.” Those conclusions were based, at least in part, on the bin Laden documents. 
Contacted about the status of al Qaeda’s Iran network earlier this spring, two intelligence officials confirmed that it was still functioning and still critical to al Qaeda operations. That’s not all.
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Analysis of Puerto Rico's potential federal representation ...

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Voter participation, enrollment and political alliances with stateside parties depend heavily on political status and personal politics as opposed to traditional left and right ideologies. This explains howPuerto Ricans can ...

Exploiting Puerto Rico's Fuzzy Sovereignty - Pacific Standard

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With the homeland as neither nation nor statePuerto Ricans twist in the wind of political whimsy.

If Puerto Rico is going down, it could start this weekend ...

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Puerto Rico on Saturday could go into default on a chunk of its $72 billion debt. That's when the island owes hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of payments on bonds issued by a number of the island's government ...

De Blasio Demands Feds Let Puerto Rico Declare Bankruptcy

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Bill de Blasio blamed federal policy for Puerto Rico's debt crisis, and argued the federal governmenthas an "obligation" to help. ... Art World Praying for Safe Return of Son of Art Miami Head Nick Korniloff. NYO_072715_p01.
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Tourism to Puerto Rico is down in the wake of the debt crisis

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"As of today, the tourism industry is estimated at around 6 percent of GDP," said Mari Jo Laborde, chief marketing officer for the Puerto Rican Tourism Company, a government-run tourism promotion agency. "Our goal is to take ...

Obama Steps Up U.S. Training of Communist Chinese Military

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obama-steps-up-u-s-training-of-communist-chinese-military
Even as the Communist Chinese dictatorship ruthlessly oppresses the people of China while stepping up its aggressive rhetoric, espionage, and military activities aimed beyond its borders, the Obama administration has been training Beijing’s troops in U.S. military tactics, techniques, and procedures. Critics have long opposed the high-level “mil-mil cooperation” between the U.S. Armed Forces and one of the most brutal autocracies on the planet. At least one U.S. lawmaker has been expressing concerns. But the Obama administration, which boasts of its actions and has called for even deeper military ties with Beijing, shows no signs of backing down from the highly controversial and potentially dangerous programs.

What Voters See in Donald Trump

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His rise is not due to anger at government. It is a gesture of contempt for government.

Victor Davis Hanson: The folly of appeasement - Daily Democrat - Daily Democrat

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Victor Davis Hanson: The folly of appeasement - Daily Democrat
Daily Democrat
Expect an emboldened Iran to double down on its anti-Americanism, as it brags about how a weak and decadent Great Satan meekly caved to its demands, which will only grow greater. Fifth, allies are always the big losers in appeasement. Britain and ... 

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The Iran Nuclear Deal and the Rut of History - The Atlantic - The Atlantic

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The Atlantic

The Iran Nuclear Deal and the Rut of History - The Atlantic
The Atlantic
On the Iranian side, the choice was based upon a worldview that was founded in large measure on a fiery, theological anti-Americanism, an officially sanctioned and officially disseminated view of Americanism as satanism. On the American side, the ...

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Obama's Unnecessary and Risky Foreign Policy Gamble - Defense One - Defense One

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Defense One

Obama's Unnecessary and Risky Foreign Policy Gamble - Defense One
Defense One
On the Iranian side, the choice was based upon a worldview that was founded in large measure on a fiery, theological anti-Americanism, an officially sanctioned and officially disseminated view of Americanism as satanism. On the American side, the ...
Young Iranians dream of brighter future - Star PhoenixSaskatoon StarPhoenix
Iran nuclear deal: new generation dares to dream of brighter future ...Telegraph.co.uk

all 232 news articles »
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Russians' attitude to US improved slightly, latest poll shows - RT

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RT

Russians' attitude to US improved slightly, latest poll shows
RT
According to the research held by the Levada Center in mid-July 70 percent of Russians currently have negative sentiments about the United States, which is 11 percent points less than in January this year when anti-Americanism in the Russian society ...

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FBI’s Key West Counterterrorism Sting Target “A Little Slow”

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The news spread quickly when federal prosecutors announced on Tuesday night that FBI agents had foiled an Islamic State-linked plotto bomb a beach in Key West, Florida.
The alleged attacker, 23-year-old Cuban-American Harlem Suarez, also known as Almlak Benitez, hardly looks the part of an Islamic State fighter.
In a selfie posted on Facebook, Suarez has closed-cropped brown hair and tattoos that cover his right arm, left shoulder and chest. He wears a Batman T-shirt and a sleeveless hoodie.
The U.S. government alleges that Suarez conspired with an FBI informant and undercover agents to bomb a stretch of beach in Key West. The FBI affidavit supporting the criminal complaint portrays Suarez as a bumbler who lived with his parents — not an uncommon description for targets of FBI counterterrorism stings.
Indeed, in Suarez’s case no sophisticated surveillance operation was necessary: Suarez came to the attention of a law enforcement agency simply because he announced his support for the Islamic State online.
On April 8, an unidentified individual went to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office because he had received a friend request from Suarez, who had written, among other things, on his Facebook page: “We are the islamic state We are isis Muslims” and “We are you behad cristians isis.”
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office referred the tip to the FBI. In May, an FBI informant friended Suarez on Facebook. Suarez, who had posted a number of ISIS videos and statements to his Facebook page, allegedly told the informant in an online chat that he had two guns, and was looking for a rifle and a bulletproof vest.
In a phone conversation, according to the affidavit, Suarez told the informant that he had “thought about traveling to the Middle East and that he had been trying to contact someone from Syria.” In the FBI document, there is no confirmation, or even suggestion, that Suarez had been in contact with a member of the Islamic State.
With Suarez, the FBI followed its sting playbook to a tee. The informant recorded Suarez making video, as occurred in the sting involving Sami Osmakac, a mentally ill Albanian-American from Florida who was also caught up in a counterterrorism sting.
In the video, Suarez wore a black tactical vest, black shirt, black face mask and a yellow and black scarf. “I call to other brothers worldwide to create a caliphate in the Middle East,” Suarez had written in his video script, according to the affidavit. “Destroy our enemies against us.”
A couple of weeks later, on June 3, the informant introduced Suarez to an undercover FBI agent, who was posing as an Islamic State operative who could supply explosive devices. Suarez allegedly talked of an attack on July 4 in Marathon, Florida, or in Miami Beach.
“They would know that, you know, it’s coming from Islamic State,” Suarez allegedly said.
The Independence Day plot didn’t happen, of course. It’s unclear why, from the FBI affidavit. There is some suggestion that Suarez had cold feet. The undercover agent had to ask Suarez in a phone conversation on July 13 if he was playing games, according to the affidavit.
“No, I don’t,” Suarez answered. “I’m not playing no games.”
The agent then asked if Suarez if he was “true to the Islamic State.”
A one-word answer followed: “Yeah.”
The first undercover agent introduced Suarez to a second agent, a supposed bomb maker for the Islamic State. On July 27, Suarez met with the second undercover agent in Key West and accepted from him what he believed was a backpack bomb. In truth, the device was inert. FBI agents then arrested Suarez, and he was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
One of Suarez’s former co-workers on a hotel cleaning staff told the local newspaper he was a “a little slow.”
Suarez is the latest man to be arrested as part of an increased push to nab Islamic State sympathizers in FBI counterterrorism stings. These stings, like the ones over the previous decade that targeted so-called lone wolf Qaeda sympathizers, are catching people of questionable capacity who may not even be in contact with the Islamic State. Some of these recent targets have been described as mentally ill.
In Suarez’s case, it’s questionable whether he could have moved a terrorism plot forward were it not for the FBI. When he tried on his own to purchase an AK-47 using his real name and address, according to the FBI affidavit, the seller turned him away.
The reason: Suarez was incompetent. He had filled out the paperwork incorrectly.
Photo: Facebook.
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Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an “Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery” 

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Former president Jimmy Carter said Tuesday on the nationally syndicated radio show the Thom Hartmann Programthat the United States is now an “oligarchy” in which “unlimited political bribery” has created “a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.” Both Democrats and Republicans, Carter said, “look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves.”
Carter was responding to a question from Hartmann about recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign financing like Citizens United.
Transcript:
HARTMANN: Our Supreme Court has now said, “unlimited money in politics.” It seems like a violation of principles of democracy. … Your thoughts on that?
CARTER: It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congress members. So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect and sometimes get favors for themselves after the election’s over. … The incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody’s who’s already in Congress has a lot more to sell to an avid contributor than somebody who’s just a challenger.
I’ve added Carter’s statement to this list of politicians acknowledging that money controls politics. Please let me knowif you have other good examples.
(Thanks to Sam Sacks for pointing this out.)
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2015-07-31These 5 Stats Explain Turkey’s War on ISIS—and the Kurds

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These 5 Stats Explain Turkey’s War on ISIS—and the KurdsThese 5 Stats Explain Turkey’s War on ISIS—and the Kurds by levyeg Friday July 31 st , 2015  at  12:39 PM TIME 1 Share On the heels of a major suicide bombing in the border town of Suruç a couple weeks ago, Turkey has officially joined the war against ISIS—...
These 5 Stats Explain Turkey’s War on ISIS—and the Kurdsby levyeg Friday July 31st, 2015 at 12:39 PM TIME 1 Share On the heels of a major suicide bombing in the border town of Suruç a couple weeks ag...
» Turkey needs to drop its dead-end foreign policy 31/07/15 10:36 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks | » Is PKK real target of Turkish strikes? 31/07/15 10:33 from Mike Nova's Shared NewslinksChina Expels General From Party Friday July 31 st , 2015  at  10:45 AM WSJ.Com: World News 1 Share The latest purge by President Xi Jinping in his campaign to stamp out alleged corruption ensnared senior military commander Gen. Guo Boxiong, who was accused ...
China Expels General From Party Friday July 31st, 2015 at 10:45 AM WSJ.Com: World News 1 Share The latest purge by President Xi Jinping in his campaign to stamp out alleged corruption ensnared senior ...

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2015-07-31CIA concludes US-led fight against IS a 'strategic stalemate' | U

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CIA concludes US-led fight against IS a 'strategic stalemate' | U.S. Defense Official: ‘No Meaningful Degradation’ In Islamic State Force From Obama Bomb CampaignNusra Front Attacks U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group by By ANNE BARNARD Friday July 31 st , 2015  at  4:15 PM U.S. National Security And Military News Review 1 Share The U.S. trained members of the group to take on the Islamic State, but on Friday they were f...

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Iran Worked with Al Qaeda

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Six highly-placed insiders discussed these documents with the Standard. Several of them said the evidence was so explosive that it could derail the nuclear deal with Iran.
The Weekly Standard’s account of these documents sheds new light on just how destructive President Obama’s mad dash for an Iranian nuclear legacy has been for American national security. This president is forcing our intelligence apparatus to ignore a great deal of Iranian criminal activity that is not directly connected to their nuclear program, effectively blinding the United States to serious military and terrorist threats.
“There are letters about Iran’s role, influence, and acknowledgment of enabling al Qaeda operatives to pass through Iran as long as al Qaeda did their dirty work against the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, tells the Weekly Standard. “What Congress should demand is to see all the UBL [Osama bin Laden] documents related to Iran and all the documents related to intentions of AQ into the future—they are very telling.”
Derek Harvey, a former senior DIA official who has been described by several U.S. generals as the top intelligence analyst in government, helped run the exploitation team. He says, “The UBL treasure trove of information almost certainly contains extremely valuable, insightful information, and potentially explosive, that would illuminate the duplicitous Iran relationship with Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda writ large.”
Michael Pregent, a member of the DIA team that examined the documents, confirmed some of the revelations about Iran. As he put it, “The documents indicate that Iran facilitated the safe passage of al Qaeda operatives, provided safe houses during travel, and had an agreement in place—a you-don’t-mess-with-us-and-we-won’t-mess-with-you clause. The guaranteed safe passage through Iran into Afghanistan and Pakistan could only have been carried out by Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps operatives.
As further evidence of how the enforced blindness of Obama’s Iran policy hinders our national security efforts, the Standard recalls how intelligence and military officials “requested access to the collection to extract intelligence and provide it to war fighters.” Their request was denied, then partially granted… and then rescinded, as soon as they started turning up politically inconvenient material about al-Qaeda’s ties to Iran.
To address the question every reader is no doubt asking: yes, this collusion might very well extend to the 9/11 attacks. At least one of bin Laden’s documents reportedly concerns many of the 9/11 hijackers traveling through Iran in 2000 and early 2001. It has long been suspected that Iran’s pets in Hezbollah were involved with the hijackers, too.
Hayes and Kristol write:
The Obama administration does not want the bin Laden documents released. To date, the Administration has made public fewer than 150 documents out of more than a million, despite a statutory requirement to expedite the release of the collection. Remarkably, members of Congress, including those on the intelligence committees, do not have access to the documents. Republicans in Congress share the blame for this. With the admirable exception of Representative
, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Republicans have shown little interest in the documents and what they tell us about al Qaeda and, in this case, Iran. That’s inexcusable, but it’s not too late.
The paltry handful of bin Laden documents that have been made available already provided damning confirmation of long-suspected and ongoing cooperation between Iran and al-Qaeda. That is not to say it is an entirely smooth relationship; Iran has arrested some al-Qaeda bigwigs, while the terrorists have kidnapped an Iranian here and there.
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Zimbabwe Seeks Extradition of U.S. Hunter Who Killed Cecil the Lion

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Zimbabwe’s government said it would ask U.S. authorities to extradite the American dentist who killed the country’s most famous lion, saying Walter James Palmer needs to stand trial for violations of national hunting laws.

A British Milestone in the Fight Against Slavery

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As a milestone in the fight against slavery passes, Amanda Foreman looks at the millennia-old battle to be free.

Taliban Leadership Transition Sows Discord

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The disclosure by the Taliban founder’s son that the group’s leader was dead appears to have widened rifts that threaten to fragment Afghanistan’s most formidable fighting force instead of rallying the group around a new leader.

U.S. Bolsters Syrian Rebels With Airstrikes

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Friday’s attack was the first in support of the Pentagon-trained force. The Pentagon has struggled to recruit and vet rebels for the program, with fewer than 60 fighters completing the training.

India, Bangladesh Swap Land Near Their Border

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India and Bangladesh swapped land along their border, ending a decadeslong dispute that had left more than 50,000 people virtually stateless.

Kremlin Says Lavrov To Meet With Kerry In Qatar

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The Kremlin says Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet with his U.S. and Saudi Arabian counterparts, John Kerry and Adel al-Jubeir, during a visit to Qatar on August 2 and August 3.

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Judge Approves Place for Mel Reynolds to Stay While on Bond

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Judge approves place for former US Rep. Mel Reynolds to stay while out on bond

RAF Typhoons intercept 10 Russian planes on single patrol

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This is the alarming moment British planes were scrambled after Nato radar picked up incoming Russian fighter jets over the Baltic









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Baghdad sees heatwave protests

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Hundreds take to the streets of Baghdad to protest as temperatures in Iraq hit over 50C.

Desert Storm, the Last Classic War