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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, June 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Let’s begin with terrorist trial news.

The Washington Post reports that Amine Mohammed El Khalifi pleaded guilty late Friday for “attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against federal property.” Mr. El Khalifi, who attempted to blow up the Capitol building wearing a vest full of explosives, will be sentenced in September and faces 25-30 years in prison.

Politico tells us that Jesse Curtis Morton, the gentleman who threatened the creators of South Park, was sentenced to eleven-and-a-half years in prison.

And the Associated Press says that Ahmed Ferhani, a man who pleaded not guilty to plotting to blow up synagogues in New York City, will receive an answer about whether his case will be dismissed today.

Meanwhile, excellent news from the Indian subcontinent. Sayed Zabiuddin, a gentleman suspected of playing a key role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, was arrested last week. Details of his arrest are still murky but the Washington Post has the story.

Jonathan Hafetz of Seton Hall University School of Law blogs at Opinio Juris about the Supreme Court’s denial of cert to the Guantanamo Bay detainees, concluding that the decision “serves as a reminder that meaningful review requires developing more robust procedures to address not simply who may be held, but for how long.”

Lots of stories about the Syria-Turkey commotion over the weekend. Here are a few to whet your appetite: CNN reports on the situation, saying that NATO is scheduled to meet on Tuesday about the matter, the Hill informs us that CIA head David Petraeus held a hush-hush closed-door meeting with the Turkish prime minister, and McClatchy Newspapers has updates.

Misha Glenny, professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, argues in the The New York Times that Stuxnet–and cyberwarfare–will come back to haunt the United States if it doesn’t use great restraint.

The cover story of this month’s Foreign Affairs gets the award for this week’s most counterintuitive headline: “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb,” according to Kenneth N. Waltz.

Sun, sky, sand…and drones? The Los Angeles Times reports that DHS will expand its drone surveillance flights over the Bahamas and the Gulf of Mexico to keep an eye on those pesky drug smugglers. They might get some good pictures of sunbathers too.

David Ignatius of the Post mulls national-security leaks, offering “three cautionary comments — not to minimize the issue of national-security leaks, but to note some realities understood by every journalist working in this area, which may not be clear to the public.”

And, it turns out that Washingtonians are not the only ones who take a summer vacation to relax and unwind. These guys do too–although they are at the mercy of the monsoons. It’s time off in Somalia: today’s Moment of Pirate Zen.

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