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The US transferred Guantanamo detainees Mohammed Zahir, Abdul Ghani, Khi Ali Gul, and Shawali Khanto to Afghanistan, at the request of Afghan president Ashraf Ghani. The Afghan government is not required to further detain the four men.




The good news in 'Afghanistan's Marshall Plan'




Over the past two days, US and partner nations have carried out 10 airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria and 16 against the group in Iraq. Officials claimed that US airstrikes have killed over 1,000 Islamic State fighters, as well as a number of senior and mid-level commanders, since mid-November in Iraq and Syria. About 1,000 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne will start deploying to Iraq in January to help Iraqi troops battle Islamic State forces. The Army has finished its investigation into the disappearance of Sgt. Bowe Berghdahl from his base in Afghanistan, but has not disclosed the results.




Killing top ISIS leaders won't cripple group: experts




US backed talks between jihadi clerics and ISIS in effort to save hostage's life




UN: More reports of children crucified, beheaded and stoned to death by Islamic State




Army Lt. Gen. James Terry, commander of US forces in the battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, said it is likely to take "a minimum of three years" to reach a turning point against the group. The Pentagon said that coalition airstrikes in Iraq since mid-November have killed "multiple senior and mid-level" Islamic State leaders. Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appeared in court and said he was satisfied with his defense counsel. One of his friends, Stephen Silva, may plead guilty to possessing a gun used in the attacks. The Treasury Department yesterday imposed sanctions on "11 individuals and entities, located in four countries" for helping the Assad regime procure fuel for "its military campaign against the Syrian people." Today the State Department added Ajnad Misr, an Egyptian jihadist group, and Ibrahim Rubaish, a senior al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula official, to the terrorist list.




Since Dec. 15, the US and partner nations have conducted 61 airstrikes in Iraq and six in Syria against the Islamic State; 45 of the airstrikes in Iraq were in support of Peshmerga and Iraqi forces in the region. President Obama announced the resumption of diplomatic ties with Cuba and Havana's release of US citizen Alan Gross and a prisoner exchange of a US intelligence "asset" for three Cuban spies. The FBI has indicated that North Korea is likely behind a major cyberattack at Sony Pictures; the company has pulled a film on North Korea that was slated for release. Uruguay's president has claimed that the six former Guantanamo prisoners recently transferred to his country were not terrorists.




ISIS broadens recruitment beyond fighters




US Seeks to Use Letters Found in Bin Laden Raid in Terrorism Trial




Since Dec. 10, the US has conducted 16 airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria, and the US and partners have carried out 29 airstrikes against the group in Iraq. President Obama told US troops: "The time of deploying large ground forces with big military footprints to engage in nation building overseas, that's coming to an end."




US asks Vatican for help with Guantanamo inmates




Syrian patriarch: To help Christians, stop flow of weapons




From Florida to al Qaeda: terror group's external operations chief spent last years at Iran-Pakistan-Afghan border




A Force to Fight ISIS Has Manpower, but Little Firepower




CENTCOM reported that since Dec. 8, the US has conducted seven airstrikes in Syria against the Islamic State and the US and partners carried out 13 airstrikes against the group in Iraq. The US also released video of recent airstrikes in Syria. ISAF formally ended its Afghan mission on Dec. 8, and began preparing for NATO's Resolute Support training mission, which starts on Jan. 1. The US released the last three detainees from US custody at Parwan prison in Afghanistan. The CIA reacted to fallout from the release of a Senate report harshly criticizing the agency for its interrogation tactics in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.




Kerry seeks authority to target Islamic State affiliates anywhere




Ex-CIA Directors: Interrogations Saved Lives




Senate Panel Faults CIA Over Brutality and Deceit in Interrogations




Guantanamo 6 'will enjoy complete freedom' in Uruguay