7:07 AM, Mar 6, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The semi-annual report on "Re-engagement of Detainees Formerly Held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba" was released on Wednesday by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Out of a total of 614 former prisoners (up from 603 six months ago), intelligence has confirmed that 104 (up from 100) have re-engaged in terrorism/insurgent activities while another 74 are suspected of doing so. The latest report nudged the recidivism rate up to an even 29 percent from 28.9 percent last September.
The report provides a chart breaking down the statistics into a number of categories:
If there is good news to be found in the report, it is that 3 of the 4 detainees confirmed to have reengaged are now deceased. Only one of the newly confirmed relapsed terrorist is still at large, joining the 56 other previously confirmed and 48 other suspected of reengaging presently not in custody.
One of President Obama's first acts in office was to sign an executive order to close the facility at Guantanamo. In his State of the Union Address this January, the president briefly expressed his desire once again to see the facility closed, laying the responsibility on Congress to act. Jay Carney was recently asked about a news report of a former detainee arrested in Britain suspected of terror activity in Syria, but Carney said he had not seen the report:
Q A former Guantanamo detainee has been arrested in Britain on suspicion of terror offenses in Syria. When you see these incidences pop up does it give the White House any pause on a policy for closing Guantanamo?
MR. CARNEY: I haven't seen that specific report. What I can tell you is that there is a thorough review process on every individual, every detainee who’s being considered for transfer that takes all of these issues into account.
As was the case six months ago, the new semi-annual report simply appeared on the DNI's website on Wednesday. The release was not noted on the DNI's Twitter account, the agency's Facebook page, nor IC on the Record, the DNI's Tumblr account.
7:36 AM, Feb 26, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
News broke this week that under a plan released by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the United States Army will be reduced to its smallest force since before World War II. Though not directly related to that plan, another announcement this week by the Defense Department gives, perhaps, a taste of what those cuts may look like. Plans are underway for massive cuts to the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), the organization that has led military's efforts to combat a weapon of choice among insurgents and terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world. JIEDDO's current staff of 3,000 will be reduced to 1,000 by the end of this fiscal year, and further plans could see the number fall as low as 400 down the road.
1:35 PM, Feb 5, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A lawmaker at a Benghazi hearing stumped U.S. intelligence officials yesterday with this question:
1:16 AM, Jan 29, 2014 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
President Barack Obama delivered a State of the Union Address on Tuesday that was important less for what he said than for what it says about him.
Writes 'Isreal.'9:12 AM, Jan 15, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The office of the Director of National Intelligence released its interactive 2014 Counterterrorism Calendar this week on the website of the National Counterterrorism Center. The map provided with the calendar contains an embarrassing error, misspelling the name of the U.S.'s closest ally in the Middle East, Israel, as "Isreal." The error can be seen by hovering over the tiny country with a computer mouse:
10:07 AM, Dec 31, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Steve Hayes, with Kirsten Powers and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
Contradicts previous reporting from the New York TImes.4:01 PM, Dec 29, 2013 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Let’s start by giving David Kirkpatrick credit. Kirkpatrick, the Cairo bureau chief of the New York Times and author of this weekend’s much-discussed piece on Benghazi, provides many new on-the-ground, minute-by-minute details of the attacks and the weeks and months leading up to them. Some of the reporting is incredible. Kirkpatrick describes the vase in the living room of the home belonging to the mother of Abu Khattala, a main suspect in those attacks. He reports on how the fighting in the consulate paused when Abu Khattala entered the compound, a revealing fact. Citing security camera video footage, the author describes how one of the attackers paused amidst the bedlam in the consulate to pour some Hershey’s chocolate syrup down his throat. Kirkpatrick obviously spent considerable time on the ground in Benghazi and interviewed several anti-Western Islamists, including some involved in the attacks. There’s little doubt he took considerable risks as he reported his piece.
1:02 AM, Nov 14, 2013 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Two former CIA officials who fought in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, were asked to sign additional nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) more than six months after those attacks. The two officials, who will testify Thursday before a subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, were presented the nondisclosure agreements during a memorial service in May at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, honoring Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, two of the CIA-affiliated personnel who died during those attacks.
1:51 PM, Nov 4, 2013 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
The head of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed in an American drone strike in northern Pakistan late last week. Mehsud can now be added to an impressive list of senior terrorists killed in the U.S. drone war. But how effective are such decapitation strikes?
7:01 AM, Oct 28, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
CBS's 60 Minutes ran this report last night on the Benghazi terror attack of September 11, 2012:
1:00 AM, Sep 11, 2013 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
One year after the terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, the survivors may finally begin to talk.
2:01 PM, Sep 10, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
Although the White House posted its annual Presidential Proclamation of National Days of Prayer and Remembrance commemorating September 11th, 2001, there is no mention of the Benghazi attacks of 2012.
4:12 PM, Sep 9, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
An unclassified version of a September report from the Director of National Intelligence reveals that another five former Guantanamo Bay detainees have either been confirmed as reengaging in terrorism or are suspected of doing so. The report comes just as a judge in Algeria has approved parole of two detainees recently transferred to Algerian custody from the Cuba-based detention facility.
10:47 PM, Aug 19, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Josh Rogin reports that "Secretary of State John Kerry has determined that the four State Department officials placed on administrative leave by Hillary Clinton after the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi do not deserve any formal disciplinary action and has asked them to come back to work at the State Department starting Tuesday."
9:25 AM, Aug 15, 2013 • By JAIME DAREMBLUM
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?