Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Ritika Singh
Monday, May 20, 2013, 4:03 PM

As Jack posted yesterday---and as everyone is buzzing about---President Obama will give a major counterterrorism speech on Thursday at the National Defense University.  The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and Politico all report on the talk, and subjects that the President will likely address.

Speaking of Jack, he noted another of today's big stories: the Washington Post's piece on the FBI's search, a few years back,  of an email account belonging to Fox News reporter James Rosen.

Naureen Shah and Tarek Z. Ismail of Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute have this op-ed in the Hill about the push to expand the FBI’s surveillance powers after the Boston marathon bombings:

Where ideology plays a larger role in terrorism, the best prevention is counter-ideas. Perversely, fear of FBI surveillance has made some American Muslim leaders feel they must shun or silence, rather than engage with, youth who show interest in violent extremism. Less surveillance, not more, is likely to free these communities to address violent extremist beliefs with anti-violence principles of Islam and democratic values already abundant within them.

Matt Waxman offered another perspective on this issue, and New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice has a fact sheet entitled “Just What Is An FBI Investigation?” which lays out the broad categories and features of FBI investigations.

The Times editorial board describes the FBI’s new proposal to eavesdrop on internet communications, arguing that the “rules will have to strike the right balance between privacy and cybersecurity and the government’s need to monitor criminal activity.”

The Associated Press reports that a gentleman and gentlewoman from Florida have been arrested and charged with possession of an explosive device.  Authorities had discovered pipe bombs and an arsenal of weapons in their home.

Chinese army hackers have resumed their hacktivities, after being accused earlier this year of stealing information from American companies and government agencies.  So says the Times. BBC also has the story.

The Washington Post editorial board explains why cyberattacks matter and why the United States urgently needs to pass legislation to deal with vulnerabilities in cyberspace.

For all of you who were trying to read Al Qaeda’s latest issue of Inspire over the weekend---and found it a scrambled mess---Western intelligence agencies may have been the reason. CNN reports.

CNN also informs us that the Obama administration is flexing its Benghazi  muscles.  The military has updated its “capture or kill” plans for the attacks' alleged perpetrators.

Violence in Iraq continues to leave a devastating death toll: At least 48 people were killed and 170 injured as car bombs exploded across Baghdad and Basra today, reports Duraid Adnan of the New York Times.

According to the BBC, Russian counterterrorism officials prevented a terrorist attack in Moscow over the weekend; the suspects allegedly had undergone training in the "Afghanistan-Pakistan region."

One Fazliddin Kurbanov, of Boise, Idaho, has pleaded not guilty to federal terrorism charges. He was arrested last Thursday, indicted in both Idaho and Utah, and has been charged with “one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and one count of possessing an unregistered destructive device.” CNN has the scoop.

The Toronto Star investigates the Canadians who have joined the jihad in Africa, from al-Shabaab to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

The Times says that Rasul Mohseni, the powerful head of a provisional council in Afghanistan, was killed by a suicide bomber today.

Good news from the Frenemies: The AP announces that Pakistan has taken significant steps to regulate the sale of fertilizer produced at two factories in the country--and thus also to prevent the fertilizer's use in IEDs in Afghanistan. And Pakistan’s powerful military general Ashfaq Kayani met with incoming prime minister Nawaz Sharif about a host of issues, according to the Post.

Michael Sheehan, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict, told the Senate Armed Services Committee at last week’s hearing (at which Jack testified) that the War on Terror would last “10 to 20 years,” reports the Hill.

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.