Results tagged “United States”
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US officials say al Qaeda's leader in Afghanistan, Farouq al-Qahtani al-Qatari, has several hundred fighters and could plan attacks on the US; officials are concerned that the "zero option" will remove US capability to launch strikes against al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan. The US Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, retired after three years in the post. Defense lawyers for Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, 48, a Kuwaiti son-in-law of Osama bin Laden and and suspected terrorist, asked for clarification that charges against him are not confused with those against Guantánamo detainee Abd al-Rahman Abdu Abu al-Ghayth Sulayman, a Yemeni in his 30s.
Defense Secretary Hagel urged Russia to respect Ukraine's sovereignty. Secretary of State Kerry said yesterday that the US has an obligation to pursue diplomatic and other options to force Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program. Following the Obama administration's announcement that it has ordered the Pentagon to begin planning for a full withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year in the absence of a bilateral security agreement, NATO said it is making similar plans. Former defense secretary Leon Panetta warned of the increasing danger of cyberattacks.
Secretary of State Kerry issued a statement yesterday denouncing Boko Haram's attacks in Nigeria and expressing US support for Nigerian authorities in their battle against the group; the US is providing counterterrorism assistance, he noted. Secretary of Defense Hagel is announcing proposed cuts to the Pentagon budget that will involve reducing the army to some 440,000 or 450,000 from a wartime high of 570,000, and scrapping Air Force A-10 attack jets, among other programs.
The Homeland Security Department has issued a warning, based on "very recent intelligence," about shoe bomb terror plots targeting US-bound passenger flights. Ahmed Muhammed Haza al Darbi, a Saudi detainee at Guantanamo, pled guilty to helping with an al Qaeda plot to attack oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz between 2000 and 2002. Jose Pimentel, a Muslim convert and US citizen accused of plotting pipe bomb attacks in New York City to avenge the killing of al Qaeda ideologue Anwar al Awlaki, pled guilty to a reduced charge, avoiding the possibility of life in prison.
The Obama administration is reconsidering military and diplomatic options on the Syrian conflict, including the creation of a Special Forces-led mission to train and equip rebel fighters and the establishment of a limited no-fly zone. A senior official said the administration is opposed to the provision of MANPADs to the Syrian rebels. US officials are seeking to swap five Taliban commanders currently held at Guantanamo for US soldier Bowe Bergdahl, who is thought to be a captive of the Haqqani Network in Pakistan.