Results tagged “United States”
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The US military announced the repatriation of Ahmed Bin Saleh Bel Bacha, an Algerian detainee at Guantanamo who attended Abu Hamza's radical Finsbury Park mosque in the UK before fighting in Afghanistan for al Qaeda. A parole board review concluded that Yemeni detainee Abdel Malik al-Rahabi, a former bodyguard for Osama bin Laden and an associate of the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, should remain at Guantanamo indefinitely for security reasons. The Pentagon is calling for another round of base closures due to excess capacity in each of the three branches.
Maj. Gen. Joseph Dunford, the head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told the Senate that al Qaeda is "in survival mode" in Afghanistan and argued for a residual NATO force of 8,000 to 12,000 troops in the country after 2014. He also warned that under the "zero option," the Taliban would retake Afghanistan, as Afghan security forces would quickly begin to deteriorate starting in 2015.
CIA Director John Brennan said al Qaeda has "metastasized over the years" and is found throughout Africa and Southeast Asia. He also said that concerns over the growing presence of al Qaeda-linked fighters in Syria have been the focus of many of his efforts with his foreign counterparts over the past year. The Air Force plans to eliminate nearly 500 planes due to budget cuts.
A US defense official said a small contingent of US special forces was recently sent to Jordan to train their Iraqi and Jordanian counterparts. US officials confirmed that the Navy had been told to be prepared to act to prevent a shipment of Iranian weapons from being smuggled into Gaza; the shipment was monitored by both US and Israeli officials and was intercepted by Israeli forces near Sudan on March 5.
The State Department issued an order restricting the movements of Syria's UN representative, Bashar Ja'afari, to a 25-mile radius of New York City; similar restrictions are in place for Iranian and North Korean envoys. US officials pushed for vigilance over Syria's compliance on the eradication of its chemical weapons. The US military warned Americans of an increased danger of bomb attacks in Bahrain.