Jordan announced over the weekend that it has foiled an Al Qaeda plot targeted at a number of civilian and military targets in Amman, including the American Embassy there. Jordanian authorities have arrested eleven people, say Joby Warrick & Taylor Luck of the Washington Post and Ranya Kadri of the New York Times.
Up in Canada, a judge found on Friday that evidence linking a Canadian citizen (born in Iraq) to at least two suicide bombings in Iraq is sufficient to extradite him to the United States. The lawyer for Sayfildin Tahir Sharif says he will appeal. Here’s the BBC on that news.
Reuters reported late on Friday that families of U.K. soldiers who were killed in the war in Iraq have succeeded in gaining the right to sue their government for negligence. The court said that the government had a duty of care toward the soldiers, and had to provide them with the appropriate gear; the first casualties in the war were inflicted upon soldiers traveling in “lightly armed” Land Rovers that proved ineffective against roadside bombs, the article notes.
Here’s Charlie Savage’s story on D.C. District Court Judge John Bates’ ruling that Afghan detainees in Afghanistan’s Parwan detention facility do not have the same habeas corpus rights as those held at Guantanamo—a subject Ben addressed here.
Despite how many reporters and pundits attempt to warn the candidates about their level of truthfulness in these presidential debates, let’s all agree it’s for naught. Nonetheless, here’s Greg Miller of the Washington Post and CNN on what exactly intelligence officials disclosed to the Obama administration on the Benghazi raid. Here’s the Times’s Eric Schmitt reporting on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s remarks that have caused so much outrage.
Congress isn’t just annoyed with the miscommunications from the White House on the sources of the Benghazi attack: it seems members are also displeased with the way in which administration officials are talking about the intelligence reports about the attacks. Senator Marco Rubio and his fellow GOPers on the Senate Intelligence Committee sent off a letter to the White House saying they are “troubled that administration officials appear to be publicly discussing classified matters, thereby potentially impeding the success of any action that may be taken against those responsible.”
Tom Malinowski, Washington director of Human Rights Watch, wrote in to the Washington Post in response to its editorial on the appropriate medium for trying the perpetrators of the Benghazi attacks. He writes:
The Post rightly argued that trials in U.S. courts would be the best option for bringing to justice the killers of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, in Benghazi [“Justice after Benghazi,” editorial, Oct. 15]. It’s hard to understand why the editorial then suggested detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a possible alternative.
Neither Libya nor, for that matter, any democratically elected government would hand a suspect to the United States if he were going to be sent to Guantanamo, so the only way to get Libyan suspects to the prison camp would be through abduction and rendition. Since the biggest obstacle to justice in this case is likely to be gaining custody of the perpetrators, even mentioning such a prospect will hurt chances of success by deterring Libyan cooperation. And if suspects are apprehended and extradited, detention or trial by military commissions in Guantanamo would offer no advantage over prosecution in federal court. So why even consider it?
Remember that U.S.-Israeli military exercise that has absolutely nothing to do with what’s going down in the Middle East and has long been planned (which nearly every report on the exercise has mentioned)? Al Jazeera says it’s begun and will last about three weeks.
Luke Mogelson wrote in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine about the border region between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, what he calls “The Scariest Little Corner of the World.”
Here’s more cheery news—Rajiv Chandrasekaran of the Washington Post—on the readiness of Afghan security forces to take the lead on protecting the country. He sums it up:
No Afghan army battalion is capable of operating without U.S. advisers. Many policemen spend more time shaking down people for bribes than patrolling. Front-line units often do not receive the fuel, food and spare parts they need to function. Intelligence, aviation and medical services remain embryonic. And perhaps most alarming, an increasing number of Afghan soldiers and policemen are turning their weapons on their U.S. and NATO partners.
Late last week, Dina Temple-Raston covered the case in Minnesota against Mahumad Said Omar. It took a jury eight hours to reach agreement on convicting him of all five counts.
Another drone strike in Yemen killed three men believed to be Al Qaeda militants, said Reuters over the weekend.
And don’t get too excited, say Brian Knowlton and Thomas Erdbrink of the Times: Iran and the U.S. are both denying that they’ve reached a final agreement to hold talks on the Iranian nuclear program.
Lots going on in Russia, including a missile test that is, according to President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, “under Putin’s personal control.” Also, an effort in Russia to establish a “shadow parliament” composed of opponents of the current administration was the victim of a cyber attack.
The Wall Street Journal reports on the recent cyber attacks on banks, and how the banks chose (or didn’t choose) to inform their customers of the problems.
Check it out: the AP says that the White House has added a provision to the cybersecurity executive order that would assign to DHS the task of establishing networks to share summaries of intelligence reports (redacted and sanitized, of course) about known cyber threats to businesses that operate critical infrastructure.
Wells has done a bang-up job of reporting on the 9/11 hearings, but in case you’re still not satiated, here’s Truth-Out’s coverage too.
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