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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, February 13, 2012 at 11:29 AM

There’s a lot of news to catch up on today.

Schiphol airport in Amsterdam has been partially evacuated because of a bomb threat. Deutsche Welle covers the breaking news.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent this letter late last week to the Chamber of Commerce giving an update on cybersecurity legislation, which outlines what he terms a “fair and open” amendment process. As Paul mentioned earlier, the Washington Post’s editorial today is on cybersecurity legislation.

The Department of Justice released a memo late last week ahead of the “underwear bomber” sentencing proceeding; the memo linked Anwar Al-Aulaqi to al Qaeda in Yemen. Peter Finn at the Washington Post has the story, and Ben wrote about it here.

Over the weekend, Dina Temple-Raston discussed the decisionmaking process in the U.S. for deciding which terrorist suspects should be tried in military commissions versus federal courts on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday. The story included interviews with Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco, Brigardier General Mark Martins, and NYU Law Professor Sam Rascoff (who is, by the way, scheduled to be the guest on Episode #2 of the Lawfare Podcast this week). Bobby wrote about the story over the weekend.

The leader of the Special Operations Command, Admiral William H. McRaven, is looking to increase the role of elite units like the Navy Seals  in U.S. military efforts. A trio of New York Times reporters has the story.

Reza Sayah at CNN writes on the Pakistani Supreme Court’s mandate for the Inter-Services Intelligence agency to produce seven detainees and explain the deaths of four others believed to be tortured. The ISI has until today.

David Kravets at Wired’s Threat Level Blog writes on recently-acquired DOJ documents indicating that the Justice Department has failed to fulfill its reporting requirements on internet and telephone surveillance  between 2004 and 2008 (at the least). Congress has also not been diligent in requesting the reports, as it turns out.

Al Qaeda has executed three Yemenis who are suspected of working with the United States, reports Reuters.

In Afghanistan, Mohammad Nasir, a provincial judge who led the appeals court in Kunar province, has been assassinated–along with his 8-year old daughter. Laura King from the Los Angeles Times covers the unfolding story.

Meanwhile, two Afghan boys were arrested over the weekend for attempting to carry out a suicide bombing. Taimoor Shah and Alissa Rubin at the Times tell us that one of the boys was pardoned last year by President Hamid Karzai for the same crime.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has written a letter to AG Eric Holder on the administration’s secrecy and lack of transparency on national security policy, especially with regard to the Anwar Al-Aulaqi memo. Ellen Nakashima at the Washington Post shares the letter.

Josh Gerstein noted over the weekend that Danny Coulson, who helped oversee the Oklahoma City bombing investigation, has joined the list of defense witnesses in the Khalid Aldawsari case. Aldawsari, a Saudi Arabian, was indicted last March for attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction. 

The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA, for short) has released a report on cyber security challenges in the Maritime Sector.

The AP informs us that Christopher Tappin, a retired British businessman, will be extradited to the United States to face charges in Texas that he offered to sell Hawk missile components to American agents disguised as Iranians. He failed in his appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

The trial of Umar Patek, who is charged with building the bombs used in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings, began today. Niniek Karmini of the AP reports.

The Detroit Free Press’ Tresa Baldas and David Ashenfelter report on the beginning of a trial in the U.S. District Court of Michigan of seven Americans believed to be in the Hutaree militia. They are charged with seditious conspiracy, attempting to use weapons of mass destruction, and possession of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

Ulugbek Kodirov, an Uzbek arrested in an Alabama motel last July, has admitted to plotting an assassination attempt on President Obama. The BBC covered the story last week.

Jill Lawless of the AP tells us that bail conditions have been set for Abu Qatada, the Jordanian cleric who has been held in the UK and is set to be released soon. British PM David Cameron is hopeful that the UK can get past the European Court of Human Rights’ block against his being deported to Jordan to face terror charges there.

Florindo Eleuterio Flores Hala, the current leader of the guerrila group Shining Path, has been captured in Peru. The Times’ William Neuman reports.

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Alan Levin discusses the implications of pending FAA regulations on drone use in civilian airspace.

The hacker group Anonymous claimed credit for taking down the CIA’s official website on Friday. Alicia Cohn over at The Hill reports that,

Anonymous took credit for the unresponsive website on a Twitter account affiliated with the group, tweeting: “CIA TANGO DOWN.” No immediate reason was given for the apparent denial of service attack, but a follow-up tweet reads, “Anonymous – We do it for the lulz.”

Over the weekend, T. Rees Shapiro wrote this Post piece noting the 50th anniversary of Gary Powers’ return to the U.S. in an intelligence swap with the Soviet Union.

For more interesting law and security-related articles, follow us on Twitter, visit the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law’s Security Law Brief, Fordham Law’s Center on National Security’s Morning Brief, and Fordham Law’s new Cyber Brief. Email us noteworthy articles we may have missed at  [email protected]  and  [email protected].

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