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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, May 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Scott Shane of the New York Times discusses the devastating effects of online radicalization, and how difficult it can be to detect plots before the fact. The brothers Tsarnaev appear to have been motivated and instructed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (“AQAP”) web materials: Anwar al-Awlaki’s sermons, and Samir Khan’s Inspire magazine.   Shane also notes that AQAP’s Lone Mujahid Pocketbook, another jihadist manual, appeared online only a month before the Boston attacks.

Michael Hirsh of the National Journal has this article about whether signs of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s radicalization could have been detected; if so, whether anything could have been done about it; and why the Obama administration’s program to provide education and outreach to Muslim communities in the United States still has not been implemented nationwide.

Greg Miller and Sari Horwitz have a lengthy piece in the Washington Post on the intelligence trail leading up to the Boston attacks and the holes in the vast counterterrorism bureaucracy in the United States.

Michael Wines and Ian Lovett of the Times take a deep dive into Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s past.

Julia Preston, also of the Times, tells us that DHS has now ordered more stringent security checks for all foreign students entering the United States—because Azamat Tazhayakov, a Kazakh associate of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, entered the country on a student visa that should have been cancelled.

Meanwhile, Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald has this story on Guantanamo detainee Obaidullah’s recently-released declaration, which Wells linked to last Friday. In it, the detainee claims that the hunger strike began because U.S. soldiers mishandled Korans during a search in February.

Bruce Ackerman and Eugene R. Fidell of Yale Law School have an op-ed in the New York Times arguing that the President can close Guantanamo Bay by sending federal judges to the prison to try the remaining detainees under civil criminal procedures and “create a panel of federal judges to hear appeals.”

Ralph Nader and Bruce Fein sent this letter to President Obama on Friday.  They too called on the president to take action on Guantanamo.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board argues that President Obama should lift the moratorium on transferring prisoners to Yemen and work harder with other countries to repatriate detainees, because an “incomplete solution” is “better than none at all.”

Karen Greenberg of Fordham Law debunks five myths about Guantanamo Bay in the Post.

And Omar Deghayes, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, talks to National Public Radio about hunger strikes—having gone on three himself.

Sean Sullivan and Anne Gearan of the Post tell us that Gregory Hicks, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Libya, claims that he told investigators the Benghazi attack was a terrorist strike from the get-go. Hicks and two other State department officials will testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday, reports CNN.

Deborah Kay Jones has been nominated to replace the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya; her hearing in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is tomorrow, writes Julian Pecquet of the Hill. Some lawmakers—you know who they are—have threatened to hold up her nomination if they do not receive satisfactory answers about last year’s attack. Brace yourselves for a catfight.

Eight American soldiers were killed in Afghanistan this weekend, according to Alissa J. Rubin of the Times. Qadir Sediqi of CNN has more.

As was revealed last week, the CIA has been delivering “bags of cash” to Afghan President Hamid Karzai—who said this weekend, reports Matthew Rosenberg of the Times, that he wants the cash to keep coming. Don’t we all?

In the run up to Pakistan’s parliamentary elections this Sunday, Pakistani band Beygairat Brigade has released another humorous video mocking the country’s all-powerful military. This one is also about the military brass—particularly timely in the wake of ex-President Pervez Musharraf’s return to Pakistan—and contains the following excellent line: “If its one of them you give naughty look to/Very soon you will disappear from view.”

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder, the Times reports that six former lawmakers have been discussing what to do about “enforced government secrecy” over extraterrestrial threats to the planet. Step aside, Al Qaeda, your moment is past: It’s Today’s Moment of Zen.

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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