Skip to content

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By
Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 5:00 PM

The latest news on the Boston bombings: investigators have focused on two individuals who, according to video captured by a nearby security camera, appeared to carry black backpacks near the Marathon’s finish line.  So reports the New York Times. The Boston Globe and the Washington Post tell us that the video showed the pair at each of the race’s bombing sites, and that the mens’ images will be released to the public today, in an attempt to identify them. Contrary to the false reporting that overwhelmed news airwaves yesterday, no arrest has yet been made in the investigation. People are taking the case into their own hands on Redditt, where hundreds of online sleuths crowd-sourced pictures and videos, and discussed potential clues.

Amy Davidson at the New Yorker has this story about how the public and the news media treated a Saudi Arabian man thought to be a suspect on the day of the bombings:

The bombing could, for all we know, be the work of a Saudi man—or an American or an Icelandic or a person from any nation you can think of. It still won’t mean that this Saudi man can be treated the way he was, or that people who love him might have had to find out that a bomb had hit him when his name popped up on the Web as a suspect in custody. It is at these moments that we need to be most careful, not least.

Will Saletan at Slate gives us the depressing down-low on the many past bomb plots that didn’t succeed.  Given their high numbers, he says, we shouldn’t be surprised  if we get hit in the future.  And Elspeth Reeve of the Atlantic Wire writes about what the Boston bombs looked like to Iraq veterans.

Meanwhile, one Paul Kevin Curtis of Tupelo, Mississippi was arrested as the prime suspect in the ricin letters case.  The lethal substance was found in letters mailed to Senator Roger Wicker and President Obama. The Times has the story.

Almost a third of Guantanamo Bay detainees—the official number is now at 52—are on a hunger strike, reports the Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg.

As Paul posted earlier, the Cybersecurity Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or “CISPA,” passed the House. The Hill has more. Now stay tuned for the bill’s slow, painful death in the Senate.

As I posted on Tuesday, the Constitution Project released its lengthy report on the treatment of detainees. David Cole of the Nation discusses the significance of the report and how it can help shape the path forward.

The Associated Press reports that four British men were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for plotting a terrorist attack on British reserve troops.

Seven Emiratis have been arrested for plotting attacks in the United Arab Emirates, reports the BBC. The men allegedly are members of an Al Qaeda cell.

Secretary of State John Kerry told lawmakers to move past their accusations about Benghazi, in his first appearance on Capitol Hill since taking office. He also said he would appoint a special State Department liaison, who could answer any lingering questions from legislators, says CNN’s Security Clearance blog. I feel bad for that poor soul.

Additionally, Secretary Kerry warned Congress against pushing too quickly on Iran sanctions, according to the Hill.

The Army will deploy a small contingent of troops to the Jordan-Syria border to work with Jordanian forces and “prepare for a number of scenarios,”announces the Wall Street Journal.

And Senator John McCain told Ambassador Robert Ford that he may be better “suited for a job as an economist over at the State Department, not as the lead on Syria.” The persnickety remarks came during a discussion of whether a no-fly zone in Syria is a viable option to end the civil war, reports the Hill.

From the Department of This May be a Circus: The Times informs us that ex-Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf literally fled from the Islamabad High Court today, after a judge refused his bail and ordered his arrest. The court then ruled that bodyguards who helped Musharraf to escape, along with court police who didn’t arrest the absconding former leader, would face criminal charges. Pakistani newspapers Dawn and the Express Tribune have more on the humiliating situation in which Musharraf finds himself.

For more interesting law and security-related articles, follow us on Twitter and check out the Lawfare News Feed, visit the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law’s Security Law Brief,  Syracuse’s Institute for National Security & Counterterrorism’s newsroll, and Fordham Law’s Center on National Security’s Morning Brief and Cyber Brief. Email Raffaela Wakeman and Ritika Singh noteworthy articles to include, visit the Lawfare Events Calendar for upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings at the Lawfare Job Board.