From the UK, more fodder for the debate over the US drone assassination campaign and the acceptability of killing citizens: In early February, a leaked white paper from the Obama Justice Department caused a small stir, because it laid out an expansive set of circumstances under which the president could order a citizen killed abroad. In September 2011, the US killed Al Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, both US citizens, and a few weeks later a US drone strike in Yemen also killed Awlaki's 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman.Read more »
In autumn 2001, America’s initial purpose in Afghanistan—which made perfect sense—was to destroy or incapacitate al Qaeda and punish the Taliban government that hosted it. This was accomplished 11 years ago. Today, the purpose of the U.S. mission is ill-defined, but clearly involves nation building. What the coalition desperately needs is an achievable, realistic endgame, not an indefinite timeline that commits thousands of U.S. troops to Afghanistan until or beyond 2024.Read more »
Last week, RAND Corp. published a study looking at homegrown jihadi terrorism. Of the 32 "plots" uncovered in the U.S. since 9/11, "only 10 developed anything resembling an operational plan that identified a specific target, developed the means of attack, and offered a sequence of steps to carry [it] out." "Of these, six were Federal Bureau of Investigation stings" involving fake bombs—"on their own, only two individuals actually attempted to build devices. One was arrested while doing so, and the other's device failed."Read more »
WASHINGTON—In a 30-minute video released Thursday, al- Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri criticized the mass transportation infrastructure of the United States, claiming significant repairs and upgrades would need to be implemented before the militant group would consider destroying any roads, bridges, or railways with terrorist attacks.Read more »
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