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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 3:43 PM

The latest on the Boston bombings is that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property in a dramatic bedside hearing yesterday. Wells linked to the New York Times story earlier, as well as the charges against Tsarnaev. Here is the transcript of the hearing. The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and Politico have more as does Bobby.

Timothy Noah argues that the WMD charge against Tsarnaev is ridiculous, Nicholas Clayton profiles Abu Hamza, a Chechen who went to Syria to fight, and J.M. Berger has a fascinating account about Boston’s previous connections to Chechen radicalism—all three pieces appear in Foreign Policy. And Robert Windrem of NBC News reports on how the Chechen conflict has radicalized Islamic militants of many shapes and sizes outside Russia.

Although the enemy combatant and Miranda questions were mooted yesterday by the Obama administration’s decision yesterday to try Tsarnaev in federal court, Washington, predictably, isn’t done talking about it; here is Wells on Senator Lindsey Graham’s press conference yesterday.

Kate Martin of the Center for National Security Studies argues in the Huffington Post that President Obama’s decision reflects the lessons America learned after 9/11—“lessons about not over-reacting, about defeating terrorism through resilience and respect for civil liberties like the right to a trial.” The Washington Post editorial board says—citing Lawfare, no less—that the debate over where to try Tsarnaev “wasn’t a very intelligent discussion,” and that “it would not have been necessary to transfer him to military custody to question him. . .without advising him of his Miranda rights and providing him with legal representation.”

Speaking of things people are not done talking about, the FBI is getting thrown under the bus for its handling of Tamerlan Tsarnaev when it was tipped off by Russian authorities two years ago. CNN.com and the Times have the latest on the alleged intelligence failure. Make sure to check out Alan’s excellent article in the Huffington Post on this very subject.

The Associated Press says, for now, it does not appear that the brothers were tied to Islamic terrorist groups, but were motivated by their religious ideology. The Times reports that the surviving Mr. Tsarnaev has told authorities that the brothers’ motive for the bombings was their Islamist beliefs.

In things non-Boston—but sadly still bomb-related—the Times tells us that Royal Canadian Mounted Police have arrested two gentlemen linked to Al Qaeda who are accused of plotting to blow up a passenger train in Canada. Canadian authorities hinted at an Iran link, which Peter Bergen of the New America Foundation discusses in CNN.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that a car bomb exploded outside the French embassy in Tripoli, Libya, wounding two French guards.

Jeremy Scahill has this piece in the Nation about the operation that led to Anwar al-Awlaki’s death.

Secretary of State John Kerry will host a meeting tomorrow with top Afghan and Pakistani officials to discuss the comatose Taliban reconciliation talks. Reuters and the Times have the story.

Lastly, Ben Weiser of the Times informs us that Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, has asked Judge Lewis A. Kaplan for three phone calls a month to his family instead of one. Judge Kaplan told him to file a motion.

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.

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