TERRORISM

2009

Materials presented chronologically.

Shipman, Tim. "CIA Spies Recruiting Record Number of British Pakistani Informers." The Standard (Hong Kong), 5 Jan. 2009. [http://www.thestandard.com.hk]

According to security sources in Washington and London, the CIA "is recruiting and handling a record number of informers in the British Pakistani community with the tacit agreement of the British government.... Intelligence from CIA informers has helped thwart more than one terrorist atrocity on British soil."

Warrick, Joby. "Jan. 1 Attack by CIA Killed Two Leaders of Al-Qaeda." Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2009, A12. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

U.S. counterterrorism officials confirmed on 8 January 2009 that a New Year's Day CIA missile strike in northern Pakistan "killed two top al-Qaeda members[,] ... Usama al-Kini, a Kenyan national who was described as al-Qaeda's chief of operations in Pakistan,... along with his lieutenant, identified as Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan." Kini "was the eighth senior al-Qaeda leader killed in clandestine CIA strikes since July, the officials said."

Smith, R. Jeffrey. "Obama Taps CIA Veteran as Adviser on Terror: Brennan Has Drawn Fire on Interrogations." Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2009, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

President-elect "Barack Obama has picked John O. Brennan as his top adviser on counterterrorism." Brennan "was chief of staff to then-CIA Director George J. Tenet from 1999 to 2001 and director of National Counterterrorism Center from 2004 to 2005." He will serve as "an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism, with a dual hat as the White House adviser for homeland security."

Shane, Scott, Mark Mazzetti, and Helene Cooper. "Obama Reverses Key Bush Security Policies." New York Times, 23 Jan. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 22 January 2009, President Obama "signed executive orders closing the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, within a year; ending the Central Intelligence Agency's secret prisons; and requiring all interrogations to follow the noncoercive methods of the Army Field Manual.... One new task force, headed by the attorney general and the secretary of defense, will study detainee policy and report to the president in six months. A second, led by the attorney general, and with the secretary of defense and director of national intelligence as vice co-chairmen, will study whether the Army Field Manual should remain the only standard for interrogators and review the practice of extraordinary rendition, in which captured terrorism suspects are transferred to other countries."

See also, Joby Warrick and Karen DeYoung, "Obama Reverses Bush Policies on Detention and Interrogation," Washington Post, 23 Jan. 2009, A6.

Travers, Russell E. "Evaluating Progress in the 'War on Terror.'" Intelligencer 17, no. 1 (Winter-Spring 2009): 11-14.

The former deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center concludes that "[u]nderstanding the changing nature of the threat will require a continuing reevaluation of ... complex, and largely, nonquantifiable, variables."

Lichtblau, Eric. "Justice Dept. Finds Flaws in F.B.I. Terror List." New York Times, 7 May 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

A report by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, released on 6 May 2009, says that the FBI "has incorrectly kept nearly 24,000 people on a terrorist watch list on the basis of outdated or sometimes irrelevant information, while missing people with genuine ties to terrorism who should have been on the list.... By the beginning of 2009, the report said, this consolidated government watch list comprised about 400,000 people, recorded as 1.1 million names and aliases, an exponential growth from the days before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001."

Meyer, Josh. "FBI Planning a Bigger Role in Terrorism Fight." Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2009. [http://www.latimes.com]

Under the still developing "global justice" initiative, the FBI and Justice Department will "significantly expand their role in global counter-terrorism operations, part of a U.S. policy shift that will replace a CIA-dominated system of clandestine detentions and interrogations with one built around transparent investigations and prosecutions.... The approach effectively reverses a mainstay of the Bush administration's war on terrorism, in which global counter-terrorism was treated primarily as an intelligence and military problem, not a law enforcement one."

Hsu, Spencer S., and Joby Warrick. "Obama's Battle Against Terrorism To Go Beyond Bombs and Bullets." Washington Post, 6 Aug. 2009. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

John O. Brennan, President Obama's senior counterterrorism adviser, said in an interview on 5 August 2009 that "[t]he U.S. government must fundamentally redefine the struggle against terrorism, replacing the 'war on terror' with a campaign combining all facets of national power to defeat the enemy."

Warrick, Joby, Joshua Partlow, and Haq Nawaz Khan. "A Psychological Blow For Pakistani Taliban: Apparent Killing of Group's Leader Expected to Disrupt Terror Operations." Washington Post, 8 Aug. 2009. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to U.S. and Pakistani officials familiar with the strike, a missile launched by a CIA-operated unmanned aircraft apparently killed Baitullah Mehsud, commander of the Pakistani Taliban, on 5 August 2009. He was "a central figure in a network of South Asian and international terrorist groups whose operations had become increasingly coordinated in recent months."

Schmitt, Eric. "F.B.I. Agents' Role Is Transformed by Terror Fight." New York Times, 19 Aug. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

The author spent two days with a 21-member FBI threat squad, known as Counterterrorism 6, or CT-6, based out of Norwalk, CA. The FBI "now ranks fighting terrorism as its No. 1 priority. It has doubled the number of agents assigned to counterterrorism duties to roughly 5,000 people, and has created new squads across the country that focus more on deterring and disrupting terrorism than on solving crimes. But the manpower costs of this focus are steep, and the benefits not always clear.... The threat squad here is just one part of the F.B.I.'s sprawling Los Angeles field office. About 30 percent of the office's 750 agents work on terrorism cases, including Al Qaeda, Hamas, terrorism financing and animal rights extremists."

Gettleman, Jeffrey, and Eric Schmitt. "U.S. Kills Top Qaeda Leader in Southern Somalia." New York Times, 15 Sep. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to American and Somali officials, U.S. Special Operations Forces operating from helicopters on 14 September 2009 killed Islamic militant Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan and other Shabab leaders in a daylight raid in southern Somalia. "Shabab leaders said that six foreign fighters," including Nabhan, were "killed, along with three Somali Shabab."

Baker, Peter, and Carl Hulse. "U.S. Had Early Signals of a Terror Plot, Obama Says." New York Times, 30 Dec. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"President Obama was told [on 29 December 2009] about more missed signals and uncorrelated intelligence that should have prevented a would-be bomber from boarding a flight to the United States, leading the president to declare that there had been a 'systemic failure' of the nation’s security apparatus." See also, Carrie Johnson, Karen DeYoung, and Anne E. Kornblut, "Obama Vows to Repair Intelligence Gaps Behind Detroit Airplane Incident," Washington Post, 30 Dec. 2009, A1.

Follow-up materials on this incident are in the 2010 file.

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