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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Noah Shachtman of Wired magazine’s Danger Room describes the criminal history of Mark Basseley Youssef, the delightful individual behind the “Innocence of Muslims” film that sparked protests across the Arab world—and tells us that Youssef was sentenced to a year in prison for using a phony ID.

Scott Shane of the New York Times reports that Muhammad A. Salah, a Chicagoan upset about the Treasury Department’s keeping him on the “specially designated terrorists” list has had his name removed.

“From a suspected Israeli airstrike in Sudan to cyber warfare in the Gulf and a drone shot down over Israel,” the covert war between Iran and its enemies seems to be heating up, according to Peter Apps of Reuters.

David Goldman argues on CNN Money that the real threat Iran poses lies in its cyber powers.

The Hill says that the Congressionally-mandated U.S-China Economic and Security Review Commission has released a report which finds that China poses the biggest cyber threat to the U.S.

Meanwhile, the election will shift dynamics in Congress on defense matters—here is Kevin Baron of Foreign Policy on the big changes in both chambers and what they will mean for the Obama administration’s next term.

The estimable Ayman al Zawahiri, in a message to Al Shabab, called the Benghazi attacks “defeats” for the United States. Thomas Joscelyn, writing at the Long War Journal, has more.

Guess who isn’t happy that the President got reelected? Republicans, conservatives, and yes, drone victims in Pakistan. Randy Fabi and Aisha Chowdhry of Reuters give us some reaction from this latter group to Obama’s victory:

The 28-year-old Pakistani accuses the president of robbing him of his father, three brothers and a nephew, all killed in a U.S. drone aircraft attack a month after Obama first took office.

“The same person who attacked my home has gotten re-elected,” he told Reuters in the capital, Islamabad, where he fled after the attack on his village in South Waziristan, one of several ethnic Pashtun tribal areas on the Afghan border.

“Since yesterday, the pressure on my brain has increased. I remember all of the pain again.”

Nigel Duara of the Associated Press gives us an update on the trial of Mohamed Mohamud, the man accused of plotting to detonate a car bomb near a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland in 2010. Prosecutors want to use words such as “terrorist” and “jihad” at his trial, which his lawyers are balking at.

CNN’s Security Clearance blog outlines the many national security challenges Obama faces in his second term.

Read this Senate Intelligence Committee report entitled Terrorist Arrests and Plots Stopped in the United States 2009-2012 based on “publicly available information from the FBI, the Congressional Research Service, and media reports.”

Fresh on the heels of the Peshawar attack that killed a top Pakistani police officer, the Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for another suicide bomber in Karachi. Three security officers were killed and 21 were wounded, according to Al Jazeera.

Adam Ahmad of the Center for a New American Security discusses the many lousy alternatives to drones—and concludes that Predators are here to stay.

And, from Mark Thompson at Time come these excerpts from an interview with Major Edward Sleeper, an Army logistician who started a pizza shop in Iraq: Today’s Moment of Food Zen. Highlight:

I think the audacious part was to have them build a brick oven pizza stove. I don’t know why I thought that. . . . That one, to this day, I look back and think, “That was crazy. What were you thinking?” I didn’t know what I was doing. I hadn’t ever built a brick oven pizza stove before. I had a vision of what a brick oven for pizzas looked like. Man, they did a great job! I have no idea why I did that.

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