Results tagged “United States”
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A leaked confidential Justice Department memo sets forth the policy that the US can target and kill American citizens abroad who are senior al Qaeda leaders continually plotting violent attacks against the US or its citizens. The policy specifies that lethal force may be used only if the capture of the suspect is not feasible; and any such operation must comply with basic law-of-war principles. The Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking the release of additional legal analyses on the drone strikes.
Defense Secretary Panetta and top Pentagon officer General Dempsey said the US expects to keep some troops in Afghanistan after the NATO mission ends in December 2014. The US is developing new rules for its cyberwarfare program to address growing security concerns. Over the past year, a number of US banks and major news outlets have been plagued by cyberattacks.
Defense Secretary Panetta said that as the US is still in a war on terrorism, drone strikes must continue to be used against al Qaeda "where necessary." He also affirmed the need for covert US action in some cases.
The US said it would conduct its own investigation of the suicide bombing today at the US Embassy in Ankara that killed two people, and warned Americans to avoid US diplomatic facilities in the country. Turkish authorities blamed the attack on a left-wing group. The Pentagon has decided not to move its Africa Command base from Europe to the US.
Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a naturalized US citizen from Somalia, was found guilty of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Ore. He had been arrested by undercover agents posing as al Qaeda operatives. The US Ambassador to Pakistan said the Taliban can be part of Afghanistan's future if they end violence, break ties with al Qaeda, and accept the Afghan constitution.
The US signed a status of forces agreement with Niger, to allow for an increased US military presence in the country as well as the establishment of drone bases and other facilities to monitor the rising Islamist threat in north Africa. Senator John Kerry was confirmed as the new Secretary of State.
The US military plans to establish an additional drone base in Africa, most likely in Niger, for better surveillance of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and affiliated groups in Africa's northwest. The State Department closed the office that worked on shutting Guantanamo and repatriating detainees.