The U.S. State Department issued an alert for Americans heading to Europe yesterday, as intelligence services indicate an increased risk of an attack by al Qaida in western Europe. The threats have been linked to a small cell of terrorists in Pakistan, and are reportedly in response to U.S. drone attacks.
Can the U.S. government or its agents kill an American citizen even if he is a non-combatant? Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim Cleric born in America and hiding in Yemen, has called for a Jihad against America and is clearly inciting violence against his native land. But as his own father will argue in front of a federal judge today, that may not mean he should be marked for death or capture by the C.I.A.. The law suit, filed in Washington by two human rights organizations on behalf of al-Awlaki's father, argues that the U.S. government shouldn't be allowed to kill an American citizen who isn't on the battlefield without a judicial review.
Alleged Russian spies were arrested in the NYC area.
The FBI announced yesterday the arrests of 11 people associated with an alleged Russian spy ring. The arrests were made on Sunday in Massachusetts, Virginia, New Jersey and New York. Details coming out of the FBI reports read like a Russian spy novel — if not stranger. Authorities worked for at least seven years to gather information about the suspects, who were all charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and failing to register as guests of a foreign government. The maximum sentences for these crimes are five to 20 years.
The Pentagon is searching for Julian Assange, founder of the website Wikileaks, amidst concerns that the site could publish thousands of international cables from the State Department. The cables are allegedly part of a larger package of material given to Wikileaks by 22-year-old Army Specialist Bradley Manning. In late May police arrested Manning, an intelligence analyst in Iraq, accusing him of downloading confidential material from computers on his base and posting it to WikiLeaks.
We speak with Scott Shane, the National Security reporter for The New York Times. He says that while President Obama's administration was elected on a campaign of government transparency, it is actually following a doctrine of extreme media secrecy. Shane says Obama has, in two years, prosecuted more information-leakers than any other president in history.
Scott Shane of our partner, The New York Times, says that there is a shift in the way the Obama administration is pursuing leaks to the press after reports that the website WikiLeaks has obtained 250,000 diplomatic cables; this morning's headlines.
The question everybody is asking this week has been, who is 30-year-old Faisal Shahzad, the man held and accused of placing a car bomb in New York's Times Square over the weekend? After two days of intense interrogation efforts, news continues to trickle in about the motives and connections behind the attempted attack.
Details are still trickling out on how the alleged Christmas Day 'bomber' managed to board a Detroit-bound plane despite several intelligence agencies having some information on him. To look at what happened and what procedures may change in the future, we talk with Scott Shane, New York Times national security reporter.
Over the weekend, federal authorities charged a 23-year-old Nigerian man with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day. That man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, claims that he received the explosive chemicals from a bomb expert with ties to al-Qaida. For an update on the case, we speak with reporter Scott Shane, who is covering the case for our partner, The New York Times, along with BBC reporter Ahmed Idris, who joins us from Nigeria.
At a memorial for victims of the Fort Hood shootings, President Obama said the killer will "be met with justice in this world and the next." We focus on the legal challenges for the alleged shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, in this world. Hasan will probably face a long and complex trial, but only after an equally complex assessment of his mental health. We speak with Eugene Fidell, who teaches military law at Yale Law School and is president of the National Institute of Military Justice. We also speak to New York Times national security reporter Scott Shane, who gives us the latest on the case.
New details are emerging in the case of the suspected Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who shot and killed 13 people and wounded 29 others during a shooting spree last week. Our partner The New York Times reports that Hasan had sent 10 to 20 messages since late last year to a radical Islamic cleric, once a leader at the Virginia mosque where Hasan worshipped and since relocated to Yemen. Scott Shane, New York Times national security reporter, joins us. And for a look at how the community in and around Fort Hood is reacting to the tragedy, we talk to Colonel Chaplain Frank Jackson. He is the garrison chaplain at Fort Hood.
The war in Afghanistan continues to drag on, and the Obama administration is waiting for the country's presidential election runoff before deciding whether to send additional troops to the region. Former Vice President Dick Cheney called this timetable "dithering" in a speech yesterday. For a military perspective on the matter, we speak to retired Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner. Some of the logistical challenges facing troops on the ground also complicate the ongoing strategy; part of the problem is as basic as knowing who to fight. New York Times reporter Scott Shane writes in today's paper about the two types of Taliban that U.S.-led troops are fighting.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney spoke out on Fox News yesterday against the decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the alleged abuse of prisoners by CIA interrogators. Cheney said he was concerned what effect the investigation would have on morale in the CIA and called it "clearly a political move." We’re here this morning with Scott Shane, who covers intelligence for our partners The New York Times, to go over the details.
Attorney General Eric Holder will appoint federal prosecutor John Durham to investigate alleged prisoner abuses at CIA prisons during the Bush administration. Durham has a long reputation as a no-nonsense, under-the-radar prosecutor who’s gone after career criminals and corrupt government officials for decades.
For more on this elusive figure, we talk to Durham’s old boss Kevin O'Connor, former U.S. Attorney for the State of Connecticut. And for more on the ramifications of the decision to investigate the CIA's interrogation techniques, we turn to New York Times Reporter Scott Shane.