Results tagged “United States”
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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.
US officials said that Thirwat Shehata, 53, an Egyptian who is a senior al Qaeda figure and former deputy to Ayman al Zawahiri, has left Iran and was in Libya in 2013. A number of top al Qaeda operatives have left Iran in recent years, and the US has placed Iran-based operatives on its terrorist sanctions list. Guantanamo prosecutors added a charge of conspiracy against detainee Abd al Hadi al Iraqi, who served Osama bin Laden as a senior deputy in Iraq.
In Congressional testimony yesterday, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieut. Gen. Michael Flynn denied that al Qaeda is on the run and on a path to defeat. He also said there is a "very real" risk that al Qaeda-linked groups in Syria could gain control of Syria's chemical or biological weapons. President Obama has acknowledged that Syria is one of the US' highest security priorities, and that rising extremism in Syria could threaten the US. A State Department report warned of the difficulty of planning for a US civilian diplomatic presence in Afghanistan in the absence of a security agreement.