In late June, the State Department issued a controversial report on Iranian activity in the Western Hemisphere. Its most notable conclusion was that “Iranian influence in Latin America and the Caribbean is waning.” Critics immediately pointed out that, just a month earlier, Argentine special prosecutor Alberto Nisman had released a 500-page report showing that Tehran has “clandestine intelligence stations and operative agents” scattered across the region. The obvious question was: Why hadn’t Foggy Bottom considered the Nisman dossier before publishing its recommendations?
Even after a year of North Korean nuclear and missile tests, this year's State Department “Country Reports on Terrorism” makes the risible claim that North Korea is "not known to have sponsored any terrorist acts since the bombing of a Korean Airlines flight in 1987."
In a May 30, 2013, letter to CIA officers on the ground last fall in Benghazi, Libya, CIA director John Brennan notified survivors of those attacks that congressional oversight committees remain interested in hearing from them.
INTERPOL issued a “global security alert advising increased vigilance for terrorist activity” on Saturday. While the U.S. government has warned of al Qaeda’s terrorist plotting against embassies and consulates, ordering 22 diplomatic facilities closed over the weekend, INTERPOL is alarmed by al Qaeda’s role in several large-scale jailbreaks.
Al Qaeda’s jailbreaks have been an all too common occurrence in the post-9/11 world. And they have directly fueled the fight. Chances are the massive jailbreak in Iraq this week will cause significant problems for the U.S. and its allies down the road. History tells us as much. There are numerous examples of once-detained al Qaeda operatives rejoining the terror network. Consider just two examples.
Shortly after opening its political office in Doha, Qatar earlier this week, the Taliban floated the idea of exchanging U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been in captivity since 2009, for the top five Taliban leaders in U.S. custody at Guantanamo. The offer, which has been a longstanding Taliban demand, was first reported by the Associated Press.
The message regarding terrorism from the Obama administration over the past few years has been that al Qaeda is on the run, its core leadership has been "decimated," and that the face of the "war on terror" is changing for the better. In his recent speech on U.S. counterterrorism strategy, President Obama said, "Core al Qaeda is a shell of its former self.
When Edward Snowden decided he wanted to release details about the NSA's intelligence operations to the public, he reached out to Laura Poitras, a 49-year-old film maker and political activist opposed to the war on terror.
Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, added his rather important voice to the growing number of current and former officials who believe the Obama administration should expedite the release of some documents captured during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. And Rogers, in an appearance Sunday on MeetthePress, suggested that the Obama administration cherry-picked the few documents released to date to create a narrative about al Qaeda favorable to the president.
The State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 survey on Thursday. The section on the Middle East and North Africa includes a report on terror attacks in Libya. All told, there were eleven terrorism-related attacks last year in Libya prior to the 9/11 attack in Benghazi that took the life of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods. Six of those eleven attacks took place in Benghazi: