Results tagged “United States”
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The State Department said the US will allow the Syrian National Coalition to establish a formal diplomatic office in Washington DC, upgrading its status from that of an informal liaison office; and announced a $27 million increase in nonlethal aid to the rebels, bringing the total so far to $287 million. State also said it will increase shipments of nonlethal aid to moderate commanders in the Free Syrian Army. The US reached an agreement with Djibouti to allow the US to keep troops and equipment there for 10 more years.
Ryan Crocker, who has served as US ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon, warned the US against making the "grave mistake" of a military intervention in Syria and said that forcible regime change would probably result in a Syria dominated by "the worst of the worst" extremists. Defense Secretary Hagel called for renewed financial commitments from NATO members in the face of challenges posed by Russia. The former Comptroller for the city of Chicago was taken into custody in Pakistan, where he had fled to evade fraud charges. A retired US general was rebuked for testifying that the US should have done more to rescue Americans during the Ansar al Sharia attack on the US mission in Benghazi in September 2012.
The State Department's latest annual Country Reports on Terrorism said a growing number of terrorist groups are threatening the US, and noted a 43% increase in the number of terrorist attacks worldwide in 2013 from 2012. A Pentagon report said the number of high-profile insurgent attacks in Afghanistan rose by 43% between October 2013 and March 2014.
The US offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Li Fangwei a.k.a. Karl Lee, who is accused of providing missile parts to Iran, and sanctioned eight of his companies. He faces charges of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, money laundering, wire fraud, and conspiracy.
Department of Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson said "Syria has become a matter of homeland security"; US authorities worry that Syrian foreign fighters will travel through Europe and then conduct attacks in the US. He also warned that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is "very active." Youssef al Khattab a.k.a. Joseph Leonard Cohen, a Muslim convert and founder of the radical Islamist group Revolution Muslim in the US in 2007, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for using the group's website to encourage attacks on Jewish groups and individuals in the US. The Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to an antiterrorism law. The Pentagon plans to destroy $1.2 billion worth of ammunition; some of it is usable but cannot be identified due to Pentagon inventory problems.
The US and the Philippines agreed to sign a 10-year pact giving US forces temporary access to certain military camps, including perhaps Subic Bay, and also the ability to preposition ships and fighter jets. The Pentagon is reportedly devising three alternative budget plans for US forces in Afghanistan in 2015: for zero troops; for 5,000 troops; and for 10,000 troops.