Results tagged “United States”
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The CIA has begun closing a number of clandestine bases in Afghanistan, pulling staff back to main bases in Kabul, Bagram, Kandahar, Mazar-e Sharif, Jalalabad, and Herat. The US asked Afghanistan to sign a bilateral security agreement by October. Intelligence chief James Clapper said he would be "very concerned" if proposed restrictions on the NSA's phone surveillance program were imposed.
The House Intelligence Committee warily endorsed the administration's plan to arm the Syrian rebels; the Senate Intelligence Committee gave its tentative approval last week. Pentagon chief Gen. Dempsey discussed options for a Syrian intervention, noting that a significant campaign against the Assad regime would cost "billions" and involve "thousands" of troops and "hundreds" of aircraft and ships. He warned that a US military intervention could "inadvertently empower extremists or unleash the very chemical weapons we seek to control."
The deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency predicted that the Syrian conflict could continue for years. He warned that al Qaeda in Iraq will emerge stronger as a result of the conflict, and said sooner or later the West will have to confront the growing radical Islamist elements in Syria. Gen. Dunford, head of Coalition operations in Afghanistan, criticized talk of a "zero option" in Afghanistan as "unhelpful." The US is shifting some of its drone aircraft to reconnaissance missions beyond traditional, declared combat zones. Terrorism charges were filed yesterday against Mokhtar Belmokhtar, head of the al Qaeda-linked Those Who Sign in Blood Brigade, for the attack at the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria.
The government is revising intelligence procedures in the wake of the Snowden affair to make sure all information is not accessible in one place, and to implement a "two-man rule." Shelton Thomas Bell, of Jacksonville, Fla., was indicted for conspiring and attempting to provide material support to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a.k.a. Ansar al Sharia. Bell had trained for jihad with others, made jihadist recruitment propaganda, solicited others to travel with him to join AQIM, and tried to travel to Yemen with a juvenile to join AQIM.