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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Forty Navy medics arrived at GTMO on Monday as the GTMO hunger strike population exceeded 100 detainees. Carol Rosenberg reports at the Miami Herald.

The investigation into the Boston bombing continues: the FBI visited Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s in-laws, and collected DNA from Tsarnaev’s wife, but she’s not the only person investigators are looking into.  Dina Temple-Raston says over at NPR that officials wish to speak with about a dozen other individuals; and that they don’t necessary believe that Mikhail “Misha” Allakhverdov was involved, as some media reported over the weekend.

And as the Boston investigation’s focus shifts to the Tsarnaevs’ motives, particularly in connection with Tamerlan’s trip to Russia, pundits are also keeping a close eye on U.S.-Russia relations. Ellen Barry of the Times dissects the latest commentary from both sides.

Marc Thiessen wants Attorney General Eric Holder to explain why he stopped advocating for Miranda reform.  Had Holder only been successful three years ago in loosening the rules governing interrogating suspected terrorists, Thiessen argues, we wouldn’t be where we are now, with “another suspect [who] has stopped talking.”

The ATF is all about leveraging its responses to the Boston bombing and Texas fertilizer plant explosion, so as to entice the U.S. Senate to appoint its first permanent director in almost seven years. Carrie Johnson of NPR details ATF’s efforts.

Now for some data.  Americans are not keen on an intervention in Syria or North Korea, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. More than half (62%) say the U.S. has no responsibility, as the poll question put it, to  “do something about the fighting in Syria between government forces and anti-government groups.”  A slightly smaller margin of respondents say North Korea can be contained in the short-term without military action. And despite all the rhetoric around the use of drones in the targeted killing program, 70% of Americans favor using drones to kill suspected terrorists. (20% oppose such use, and the remaining 10% don’t know.)

Yes, it’s true—President Hamid Karzai admitted that the CIA has been bringing him bags of cash for the last decade. Matthew Rosenberg gets confirmation on his earlier New York Times story from the man himself.

Pervaiz Shallwani of the Wall Street Journal tells us that experts will begin searching for additional remains of 9/11 victims, in a narrow space where investigators recently found wreckage from one of the hijacked planes.

Over to Africa, and Mali specifically: the latter’s ministry of security says that a sleeper cell affiliated with the “Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa” has been dismantled.  Here’s the AP story.

More details emerge about the DEA’s arrest, earlier this month, of five Bissau-Guineans suspected of drug trafficking. General Antonio Indjai allegedly leads the operation.  But he happens also to lead Guinea Bissau’s military, and even, as NPR puts it, “effectively run[s] the country. ”  Indjai eluded law enforcement, unlike his five confederates who were taken into custody.  As for them, this April 4 Reuters story explains that the men were captured in international waters and by Cape Verdean “agents.”  The agents transferred the group to DEA custody. The U.S. government designated Indjai a “significant foreign narcotics trafficker” back in 2010.

Spencer Ackerman notes the public reappearance of Alabaman-turned-jihadist Omar Hammami—not in person, but on Twitter. Since 2006 he had been in Somalia, fighting alongside Al Shabab; that is, until he split from the group last year. In what might be his last Tweet, he said:

While we’re talking Twitter, the Times’s Amy Chozick and Nicole Perlroth write about the financial industry’s and regulators’ post-mortem analysis of the Tweet Heard ‘Round the Market. Here are some tidbits from their story:

The vulnerability, in part, stems from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision this month to let companies and executives use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to broadcast market-moving news.

High-frequency trading systems are designed to make trades based on keywords within milliseconds. The hoax message also went out on a new feature on Bloomberg’s financial data terminals that delivers select Twitter posts to hedge funds, investment banks and other users.

On Tuesday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission plans to hold a public meeting in Washington with a couple of dozen high-frequency traders to discuss whether there should be additional safeguards to protect against the effects of social media on markets.

Even as markets rebounded on Tuesday, some investors lost money on the quick decline while others made money if they bet on a sharp drop.

Jerry Markon of the Post delves into allegations of law enforcement overreach in catching and prosecuting cyber hackers.

Over at the Hague, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will be appointing a special investigator to look into who was responsible for leaking witness information to the public. Here’s the AFP story.

The suspect in the ricin-envelope lacing incident appeared in court yesterday, says the AP.  The fellow’s attorneys argue that he was framed, much as attorneys for the previous (and now cleared) suspect did.

Developments in the South China Sea: in what some are calling imperialism, a Chinese vessel—a cruise ship called the “Coconut Fragrance Princess”—has set out for the Paracel Islands.  The territory is disputed. China, Taiwan and Vietnam all claim sovereignty, thus the diplomatic tension.  Here’s the International Herald Tribune report.

According to Wired‘s Noah Schachtman the DoD has hired a state-owned, Chinese company to create more bandwidth capabilities for the U.S. military. DoD officials say that they reviewed the deal’s security and business concerns, and found a way to secure their data from Chinese spying.

NPR probes whether the FAA’s role in regulating drones in domestic airspace will inhibit the drone industry from taking off.  (Pun intended, and thoroughly relished.)

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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