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Despite concerns about terrorism at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, heightened by the release of a threatening video by Islamist militants, the US is sending a relatively small security contingent to the games. The US wants the UN to disinvite Iran to the Geneva II peace talks unless Iran endorses the Syrian transition plan adopted at the Geneva I talks.




Afghan Senate Repeats Calls for BSA Signing




Afghan Taliban reject US call for peace talks

Zabihullah Mujahid rejected the US' call for the group to "put down their arms and begin peace talks," a request that was made just one day after a Taliban suicide assault team killed 21 people, including two Americans, at a restaurant in Kabul.


A federal judge ruled that Basit Sheikh, a North Carolina man arrested in November for trying to join the Al Nusrah Front in Syria, should face trial in July; prosecutors have asked for additional time to provide intelligence data to defense attorneys without compromising classified information. A Pentagon official said the US is planning to train Iraqi counterterrorism troops in a third country. Vice President Biden is pushing for a minimal to zero US troop presence in Afghanistan after 2014, a number lower than the 9,000 to 12,000 preferred by some US military officials. A recent expert analysis of a rocket used in the Aug. 21 sarin gas attack in Damascus concluded that it could well have been used by rebels, not the Assad government as claimed by the US.




Marine killed in Afghanistan is awarded Navy Cross




New analysis of rocket in Syria chemical attack undercuts US claims




With Afghan drawdown ongoing, US to set up center in Bahrain to continue anti-drug efforts




Newly declassified documents show that the US military has been prevented from hunting down those who attacked the US Mission in Benghazi in 2012 because the Authorization for Use of Military Force restricts targeting to those with proven links to "core al Qaeda." Secretary of State Kerry urged Syrian rebel groups to attend the Geneva II peace talks. The US is planning to establish an intelligence center in Bahrain to continue fighting the drug trade after US operations in Afghanistan wind down. Republican lawmakers expressed concerns about the Obama administration's decision to keep secret the text of the recent deal with Iran, after Tehran bragged that it allows Iran to preserve the structure of its nuclear program.




Pentagon's hands tied on hunting down Benghazi attackers, transcripts show




UK not 'full partner' with US, says former defense chief




Flow of Westerners to Syria Prompts Security Concerns




Lawmakers seek to stymie plan to shift control of drone campaign from CIA to Pentagon




Obama's Path From Critic to Defender of Spying




Rewards offered for Maghreb terrorists




West has discussed co-operation with Syria, Damascus claims




The Senate Intelligence Committee report on the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the US Mission in Benghazi faulted the State Department for failing to provide adequate security despite numerous warnings of the increasing likelihood of terrorist attacks; the report also linked several al Qaeda groups to the attack. The US pledged an additional $380 million in humanitarian aid to Syria. A federal judge ruled that the testimony of a former driver for Osama bin Laden would be admissible in the terrorism trial of Suleiman Abu Ghaith.




Mastermind Of The Sept. 11 Attacks Wants To Convert His Captors




As al Qaeda revives, Iraq struggles to secure Syria border




Former Army intelligence specialist Craig Baxam, of Laurel, Md., was sentenced to seven years in prison yesterday for deliberately destroying records in a terrorism investigation. He was arrested in Kenya in December 2011 while trying to join Shabaab. The Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee accused President Obama of ignoring the continuing US mission in Afghanistan. The White House condemned the visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif to the grave of former Hezbollah leader Imad Mugniyah in Lebanon.




Fighting Among Rebels Boosts Syrian Regime