Archive for the ‘War on Terror’ Category

Spencer Ackerman
Wired.com
November 4, 2011

The expansion of the CIA’s undeclared drone war in the tribal areas of Pakistan required a big expansion of who can be marked for death. Once the standard for targeted killing was top-level leadership in al-Qaeda or one of its allies. That’s long gone, especially as the number of people targeted at once has grown.

This is the new standard, according to a blockbuster piece in the Wall Street Journal: “men believed to be militants associated with terrorist groups, but whose identities aren’t always known.” The CIA is now killing people without knowing who they are, on suspicion of association with terrorist groups. The article does not define the standards are for “suspicion” and “association.”

Strikes targeting those people — usually “groups” of such people — are called “signature” strikes. “The bulk of CIA’s drone strikes are signature strikes,” the Journal’s Adam Entous, Siobhan Gorman and Julian E. Barnes report.

And bulk really means bulk. The Journal reports that the growth in clusters of people targeted by the CIA has required the agency to tell its Pakistani counterparts about mass attacks. When the agency expects to kill 20 or more people at once, then it’s got to give the Pakistanis notice.

Determining who is a target not a question of intelligence collection. The cameras on the CIA fleet of Predators and Reapers work just fine. It’s a question of intelligence analysis — interpreting the imagery collected from the drones, and from the spies and spotters below, to understand who’s a terrorist and who, say, drops off the terrorists’ laundry. Admittedly, in a war with a shadowy enemy, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two.

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Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
October 14, 2011

No information about plot exists within FBI channels

Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer says that an FBI insider told him the dubious terror plot to assassinate a Saudi ambassador which has been blamed on Iran was likely manufactured by the Obama administration, because no information about the plot even exists within FBI channels.

The plot, an assassination attempt against Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, was pinned on an Iranian-American used-car salesman from Texas and subsequently linked by the Obama administration to a wider conspiracy controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

According to the administration, used car salesman Mansour J. Arbabsiar tried to hire assassins from a Mexican drug gang to carry out the murder, but the head of the drug gang turned out to be a DEA agent posing as a Mexican Los Zetas gangster. The story has all the hallmarks of classic FBI entrapment tactics that have characterized almost every major terror bust in recent times.

Having personally interrogated Iranians, Shaffer doubted the fact that members of the elite Quds Force would risk carrying out an assassination in the United States when it would be far easier to conduct such a plot in the middle east.

“It does not smell correctly,” Shaffer told Fox Business host Andrew Napolitano, adding that it was doubtful a successful used car salesman who has been part of the community for 15 years would suddenly become embroiled in an international assassination plot.

Asked by Napolitano if Arbabsiar was the victim of another FBI sting, Shaffer responded, “I think that’s part of it.”

“The FBI’s had a record lately and I did talk to one of my inside guys and he is saying he thinks the same thing, you know why, because he can’t find any real information and he’s got a clearance – so that tells him that there’s something going on that’s extraordinary by the fact that he’s an inside investigator, knows what’s going on and yet, I’m gonna quote here, ‘There’s nothing on this within the DOJ beyond what they’ve talked about publicly’ – which means to him that there’s something very wrong with it,” said Shaffer.

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Sudarsan Raghavan
The Washington Post
September 30, 2011

SANAA, Yemen — Anwar al-Aulaqi, a radical U.S.-born Muslim cleric and one of the most influential al-Qaeda leaders wanted by the United States, was killed Friday in a CIA drone strike in northern Yemen, U.S. and Yemeni authorities said, eliminating a prominent terrorist recruiter who inspired attacks on U.S. soil.

The strike also killed a second U.S. citizen — Samir Khan, the co-editor of an al-Qaeda magazine — and two other unidentified al-Qaeda operatives, the Yemeni government said. But tribal leaders in the area said at least seven people were killed. They identified one of the others as al-Qaeda militant named Salem bin Arfaaj.

In Washington, senior Obama administration officials confirmed that Aulaqi, 40, a dual national of the United States and Yemen, and Khan were killed in a drone strike on their convoy.

The strike was carried out by a CIA drone operating from a new agency base on the Arabian Peninsula, U.S. officials said. It marks the first time that the CIA has launched a drone strike in Yemen since 2002, and the first indication that the new base is operational. The Post is withholding details on the specific location of the base at the request of the Obama administration.

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STEVE PEOPLES
Associated Press
September 30, 2011

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is condemning the Obama administration for killing an American born al-Qaida operative without a trial.

Paul, a Texas congressman known for libertarian views, says the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki on Yemeni soil amounts to an “assassination.” Paul warned the American people not to casually accept such violence against U.S. citizens, even those with strong ties to terrorism.

Anwar al-Awlaki was considered one of the most influential al-Qaida operatives wanted by the United States. U.S. and Yemen officials say he was killed in a U.S. air strike targeting his convoy Friday morning.

Paul made the comments to reporters after a campaign stop Friday at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. He said America’s leaders must think hard about “assassinating American citizens without charges.”

Youtube
September 23, 2011

Associated Press
June 16, 2011

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States will seek to hunt down and kill new Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri just as it did his predecessor Osama bin Laden, the top US military officer said Thursday.

“There is not a surprise from my perspective that he’s moved into that position,” Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told journalists after the Egyptian leader was named the new Al-Qaeda chief.

“He and his organization are still threatening us, and as we did both seek to capture and kill — and succeed in killing — bin Laden, we certainly will do the same thing with Zawahiri.”

REID J. EPSTEIN |
Politico
June 14, 2011

A federal prosecutor has launched a secret grand jury to investigate possible CIA war crimes at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Time magazine reported.

Federal prosecutor John Durham, who was first appointed to probe the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes by Attorney General Michael Mukasey in 2008, is now working on an expanded probe authorized by the Obama Justice Department that includes cases of alleged abuse of terror suspects in U.S. custody.

Time reported on Monday that one Durham-issued subpoena said the federal grand jury “is conducting an investigation of possible violations of federal criminal laws involving War Crimes (18 USC/2441), Torture (18 USC 243OA) and related federal offenses.”

The case centers around the death of Iraqi prisoner Manadel al-Jamadi, who was known as “the Iceman” because after killing him, U.S. forces wrapped him in ice in an attempt to alter his postmortem appearance. In a photograph that drew worldwide scorn, Army Spc. Charles Graner was photographed giving a “thumbs-up” sign while posing over al-Jamadi’s dead body.

Citing “those close to the case,” Time said the probe is believed to target CIA interrogator Mark Swanner, the last person to question al-Jamadi before his death.

Swanner has said he didn’t harm al-Jamadi and declined to comment to Time. The Justice Department also declined comment.

The investigation, should it result in war crimes charges, could explode into the political arena.

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