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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, May 17, 2013 at 11:51 AM

The Department of Justice’s Inspector General released an interim report on the Department’s handling of “known or suspected” terrorists who have entered the government’s witness protection program.  The report found, among other things, that information on some program participants had not been turned over to no-fly list authorities; and, that two such people could not be located—though one is abroad, and the other is believed to be.  Here are related stories by NPR (times two) and Spencer Ackerman at Wired.

Much attention was paid to yesterday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the 2001 AUMF. The New York Times’s Charlie Savage and The Hill’s Carlo Munoz both have stories. Check out Jack’s readout of the hearing here, and get your witness testimony here.

Cato’s Christopher Preble reacts to Steve and Jen Daskal’s op-ed/working paper on the AUMF over at Cato At Liberty.

Federal authorities have arrested a Uzbek in Boise, Idaho. Here’s the unsealed indictment, an NPR’s story and a Times report.

The Times’s Scott Shane and Ellen Barry discuss federal agents’ repeated questioning of a Chechen refugee and former separatist fighter, who had links to Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

On to Syria matters: Ben Hubbard of the Times says the conflict is breaking the country apart. The same newspaper’s Michael Gordon and Eric Schmitt cover allegations that Russia has sent advanced anti-ship cruise missiles to the Assad regime. And USA Today’s Jim Michaels has this piece on the possible U.S. deployment of cyber weapons against the Assad regime.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyep Erdogan is in the U.S., and meeting with governmental officials about Syria, among other pressing issues. He spoke at a Brookings event today. This Times op-ed  examines the implications of the Syria crisis for Turkey, both domestically and internationally.  The authors are Turkey experts Soner Cagaptay and former Ambassador James Jeffrey, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The Washington Post’s Outlook section has a “Five Myths” piece focused on Benghazi, penned by National Journal’s chief correspondent Michael Hirsh.

The Pakistani Taliban are believed to be responsible for a pair of bombings at mosques in northwestern Pakistan today. At least 13 people are dead, says the AP.

And a car bomb targeted U.S. military vehicles and killed at least 16 people on Thursday in Kabul, Afghanistan, write Matthew Rosenberg and Sangar Rahimi in the Times.

The World Health Organization and Saudi doctors say that the SARS-like virus that emerged in the Middle East last spring spreads primarily through close, person-to-person contact. This implicates health care workers treating infected patients; a doctor and a nurse are the latest victims.  (There are now 40 confirmed cases.)  Here’s the Wall Street Journal with more details.

Adam Nossiter discusses the challenges of rebuilding Mali, notwithstanding the international community’s recent $4.2B pledge of support for those efforts.

Earlier, we noted the conviction of Efrain Rios Montt, in a court in his Guatemalan homeland, for his role in the genocide there in 1982-83. Elisabeth Malkin in the Times highlights the absence, during the trial, of reference to the United States’ role in engineering Guatemala’s 1954 military coup, or to the United States’ general support for the military during its rule.

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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