Results tagged “United States”
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US officials said the State Department is expected to designate Ansar al Sharia branches in Tunisia and in Derna and Benghazi in Libya as foreign terrorist organizations; Derna branch leader Abu Sufian bin Qumu is expected to be designated as a global terrorist, along with militia leaders Ahmed Abu Khattala and Seif Allah bin Hassine. Qumu and associates are suspected in the attack on the US mission in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012. The US is also reportedly seeking extremist Faraj al Chalabi, who may have fled Libya. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates claimed that President Obama lacked faith in his own Afghan war strategy. The US is sending 800 soldiers and 40 tanks to South Korea next month. US officials said they are in talks with Iraq about training elite Iraqi forces in a third country.
The US is accelerating sales and delivery of military equipment, including Hellfire missiles and drones, to Iraq to help in the fight against al Qaeda. A US gunmaker turned down a deal to sell precision rifles to Pakistan, out of concern they could be used against US troops. Iran rejected Secretary of State Kerry's suggestion that it could be involved on the sidelines of Geneva II talks on Syria. The Commerce Department issued an order aimed at preventing the export of two Boeing aircraft engines to Iran. Colleen LaRose, a.k.a. Jihad Jane, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, less four years' time already served, for her role in an al Qaeda plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist.
Secretary of State Kerry said the US is not contemplating sending troops to Iraq to fight al Qaeda, and added that although the US could help Iraq, the fight was Iraq's. Kerry also suggested that Iran might play a role in the Geneva II peace talks on Syria.
The State Department ordered a further drawdown of US Embassy personnel in Juba, South Sudan due to deteriorating security. Three US Senators warned Kabul against releasing Bagram detainees and urged Afghanistan's president to sign the bilateral security agreement. A recent study raises questions about the Obama administration's claim that only the Assad regime could have fired the sarin rockets involved in the Aug. 21 attacks in Damascus.
Three Uighur men, Yusef Abbas, Saidullah Khalik, and Hajiakbar Abdul Ghuper, were transferred from Guantanamo to Slovakia; they are the last of the Uighur detainees. Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen, 24, of Garden Grove, Calif., pled guilty on Dec. 27 to attempting to provide weapons training to al Qaeda forces while he was in Syria.
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who retires in a few days, warned that the city "remains squarely in the crosshairs of terrorists." Another NYPD official warned that New Yorkers who have traveled to Syria to fight may return radicalized. A 300-member Army rocket battalion is deploying to the Middle East for nine months. A federal judge in Manhattan said the NSA's telephone metadata collection "represents the government's counter-punch" to al Qaeda's ability to remotely operate an international terrorist network, and ruled that the NSA program does not violate privacy rights. The latest National Intelligence Estimate predicts that most gains against the Taliban in Afghanistan will quickly erode once US forces leave the country.