TERRORISM

2007

Materials presented chronologically.

Bazan, Elizabeth B., Gina Marie Stevens, and Brian T. Yeh. Government Access to Phone Calling Activity and Related Records: Legal Authorities. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 20 Aug. 2007. Available at: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RL33424.pdf.

"This report summarizes statutory authorities regarding access by the government, for either foreign intelligence or law enforcement purposes, to information related to telephone calling patterns or practices. Where pertinent, it also discusses statutory prohibitions against accessing or disclosing such information, along with relevant exceptions to those prohibitions."

Cowell, Alan. "Britain Arrests 9 Suspects in Terrorist Kidnapping Plot." New York Times, 1 Feb. 2007. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 31 January 2007, British police in the city of Birmingham "conducted a series of raids..., arresting nine suspects on terrorism charges in what appeared to be a shift in the tactics of terrorism in Britain. The suspects are accused of devising a plot that included plans to kidnap, torture and behead a British Muslim soldier and broadcast video images of his killing on the Internet.... The Home Office in London called the arrests 'a major counterterrorism operation.'"

Gordon, Michael R., and Mark Mazzetti. "U.S. Used Base in Ethiopia to Hunt Al Qaeda in Africa." New York Times, 23 Feb. 2007. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to American officials, a U.S. Special Operations unit, Task Force 88, deployed in Ethiopia and Kenya, "waged a campaign from Ethiopia [in January 2007] to capture or kill top leaders of Al Qaeda in the Horn of Africa, including the use of an airstrip in eastern Ethiopia to mount airstrikes against Islamic militants in neighboring Somalia." U.S. officials described the effort "as a qualified success that disrupted terrorist networks in Somalia, [and] led to the death or capture of several Islamic militants." The officials "said that Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the mastermind of the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and the alleged ringleader of Al Qaeda's East African cell, remains at large."

Shoham, Dany, and Stuart M. Jacobsen. "Technical Intelligence in Retrospect: The 2001 Anthrax Letters Powder." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 20, no. 1 (Spring 2007): 79-105.

"A wide range of ... implications -- geopolitical, legal, strategic, technological, scientific, and medical -- emanate from th[e] failure" to solve the late 2001 anthrax letters attacks in the United States.

Shane, Scott. "6 Years After 9/11, the Same Threat." New York Times, 18 Jul. 2007. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 17 July 2007, the nation's intelligence agencies released a declassified summary of a National Intelligence Estimate suggesting that "the threat of terrorist violence against the United States is growing worse, fueled by the Iraq war and spreading Islamic extremism."

Kean, Thomas H., and Lee H. Hamilton. "Are We Safer Today?" Washington Post, 9 Sep. 2007, B1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The former chairman and vice chairman of the 9/11 commission state: "Two years ago, we and our colleagues issued a report card assessing the U.S. government's progress on the bipartisan recommendations in the 9/11 commission report. We concluded that the nation was not safe enough. Our judgment remains the same today: We still lack a sense of urgency in the face of grave danger.... [W]e are safer in a narrow sense: We have not been attacked, and our defenses are better. But we have become distracted and complacent.... The terrible losses our country suffered on 9/11 should have catalyzed efforts to create an America that is safer, stronger and wiser. We still have a long way to go."

Shane, Scott, David Johnston, and James Risen. "Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations." New York Times, 4 Oct. 2007. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"[S]oon after Alberto R. Gonzales's arrival as attorney general in February 2005," the Justice Department issued a secret opinion that was "an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques" ever used by the CIA. According to officials briefed on it, the opinion "provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures." Later in 2005, "the Justice Department issued another secret opinion" declaring that "none of the C.I.A. interrogation methods violated" the standard of no "cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment.

Eggen, Dan, and Michael Abramowitz. "Congress Seeks Secret Memos on Interrogation." Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2007, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Democratic lawmakers assailed the Justice Department [on 4 October 2007] for issuing secret memos that authorized harsh CIA interrogation techniques, demanding that the Bush administration turn over the documents. But officials refused and said the tactics did not violate anti-torture laws."

Associated Press. "Bush's Homeland Security Adviser Steps Down." 19 Nov. 2007. [http://www.cnn.com]

President Bush announced on 19 November 2007 that Fran Townsend, the White House's homeland security adviser, is leaving the government. There was no reason given for Townsend's departure; no successor has been named.

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