TERRORISM

2010

Materials presented chronologically.

Baker, Peter. "Obama Aide Gets Waiver to Investigate Airline Plot." New York Times, 1 Jan. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"The White House has granted a special ethics waiver to allow" John O. Brennan, the deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, "to conduct a review of the intelligence and screening breakdown that preceded the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt on an American passenger plane over Detroit." See also, Karen DeYoung, "Bombing Reports Start Trickling in to Obama," Washington Post, 1 Jan. 2010.

CNN. "Obama Outlines Anti-Terrorism Flaws, Reform." 7 Jan. 2010. [http://www.cnn.com]

Speaking at the White House on 7 December 2010, President Obama outlined "the intelligence and other government failures leading up to the botched December 25 terror bombing of a U.S.-bound jetliner. The president also detailed a series of major reforms ordered in the wake of the attack."

For the "Summary of the White House Review of the December 25, 2009 Attempted Terrorist Attack," see: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/summary_of_wh_review_12-25-09.pdf.

For the President's directive, "Attempted Terrorist Attack on December 25, 2009: Intelligence, Screening, and Watchlisting System Corrective Action," dated 7 January 2010, see: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/potus_directive_corrective_actions_1-7-10.pdf.

See also, Karen DeYoung and Michael A. Fletcher, "U.S. Was More Focused on al-Qaeda's Plans Abroad than for Homeland, Report on Airline Bomb Plot Finds," Washington Post, 8 Jan. 2010, A1; and Jeff Zeleny and Helene Cooper, "Obama Details New Policies in Response to Terror Threat," New York Times, 8 Jan. 2010.

Warrick, Joby. "Ex-CIA Official to Lead Inquiry into Plane Incident." Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2010. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

DNI Dennis C. Blair has appointed John E. McLaughlin, former deputy CIA director, to "lead a review of missteps by U.S. intelligence agencies and assess proposals for correcting weaknesses in a system that did not respond to warnings about terrorism suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab." See ODNI, Public Affairs Office, "DNI Asks John E. McLaughlin to Head Group that Will Examine Recent Intelligence Challenges," ODNI News Release No. 04-10 (Washington, DC: 8 Jan. 2010).

Nakashima, Ellen. "Intelligence Chief Acknowledges U.S. May Target Americans Involved in Terrorism." Washington Post, 4 Feb. 2010. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

DNI Dennis C. Blair told HPSCI members on 3 February 2010 that "government agencies may kill U.S. citizens abroad who are involved in terrorist activities if they are taking action that threatens Americans." Blair added that "the factors that 'primarily' weigh on the decision to target an American include 'whether that American is involved in a group that is trying to attack us, whether that American is a threat to other Americans.'"

Pincus, Walter, and Carrie Johnson. "Interagency Teams Can Now Question Terror Suspects." Washington Post, 6 Feb. 2010, A3. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Interagency interrogation teams" from the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group "have started to question key terrorism suspects under a classified charter approved last week, but authorities have been slower to resolve pressing issues that emerged since Christmas -- including how to draw the line between gathering intelligence and building a legal case, according to federal officials and experts following the process."

DeYoung, Karen. "Afghan Taliban's Second in Command Captured in Karachi." Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2010. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"The Afghan Taliban's second in command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, was captured last week in Karachi during a joint operation by Pakistan's intelligence service and the CIA, according to U.S. and Pakistani sources." See also, Mark Mazzetti and Dexter Filkins, "Secret Joint Raid Captures Taliban's Top Commander," New York Times, 16 Feb. 2010.

Miller, Greg. "Muslim Cleric Aulaqi Is 1st U.S. Citizen on List of Those CIA Is Allowed to Kill." Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2010, A8. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

A U.S. official said on 6 April 2010 that Anwar al-Aulaqi "has become the first U.S. citizen added to a list of suspected terrorists the CIA is authorized to kill." The Muslim cleric, who resides in Yemen, "was previously placed on a target list maintained by the U.S. military's Joint Special Operations Command and has survived at least one strike carried out by Yemeni forces with U.S. assistance.... Because he is a U.S. citizen, adding Aulaqi to the CIA list required special approval from the White House."

Miller, Greg. "Spy Agencies Faulted for Missing Christmas Day Bomb Attempt, Senate Panel Finds." Washington Post, 19 May 2010, A2. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

An SSCI report on the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day 2009 concluded "the government had enough information to block the suspect from boarding the flight, but was hobbled by breakdowns that included human error as well as computer glitches at agencies such as the State Department, the CIA and the National Counterterrorism Center.... In addition to faulting the State Department for not revoking Abdulmutallab's U.S. visa" the report asserts that the NCTC "failed at its fundamental mission of serving as the government's nerve center for terrorist-related threats."

Huckabey, Jessica M., and Mark E. Stout. "Al Quida's Views of Authoritarian Intelligence Services in the Middle East." Intelligence and National Security 25, no. 3 (Jun. 2010): 327-349.

"The jihadists perceive that operations of any significant scale against their home countries will lead to rounds of arrests, torture, and eventually, even the most battle-hardened veterans learned they could not wage any kind of war against regimes having a functioning security apparatus."

Kornblut, Anne E. "Counterterror Adviser John Brennan: A Forceful Voice on Obama's Security Team." Washington Post, 6 Jun. 2010, A4. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"[A]fter being forced to withdraw from consideration for CIA director in 2008," John O. Brennan "has transformed his role into that of the president's closest intelligence adviser." The President's nominee as DNI, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr., will need to "develop a strong relationship" with Brennan.

Mazzetti, Mark, Robert F. Worth, and Eric Lipton. "Bomb Plot Shows Key Role Played by Intelligence." New York Times, 31 Oct. 2010. [http://www.nytimes.com]

Two packages containing homemade bombs moved through "four countries in at least four different airplanes -- two of them carrying passengers -- before they were identified in Britain and Dubai" after a "tip from Saudi Arabia's intelligence service.... The foiling of the package plot was a significant success.... It was also a sobering reminder to officials around the world that quick response to timely intelligence rules the day.... But the plot also points up holes in the system, particularly the security of cargo flights."

Barnes, Julian E., and Adam Entous. "Yemen Covert Role Pushed: Foiled Bomb Plot Heightens Talk of Putting Elite U.S. Squads in CIA Hands." Wall Street Journal, 1 Nov. 2010. [http://online.wsj.com]

The bombing plot by suspected al Qaeda militants in Yemen "has added urgency" to an administration review of "military options that include putting elite U.S. hunter-killer teams that operate secretly in the country under [CIA] authority. Officials said support was growing both within the military and the administration for shifting more operational control to the CIA." Allowing U.S. Special Operations "units to operate under the CIA would give the U.S. greater leeway to strike at militants ... without the explicit blessing of the Yemeni government." The White House is also "considering adding armed CIA drones to the arsenal against militants in Yemen"

Miller, Greg, Greg Jaffe, and Karen DeYoung. "U.S. Deploying Drones in Yemen to Hunt for Al-Qaeda, Has Yet to Fire Missiles." Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2010. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

U.S. officials have described a major buildup of intelligence and lethal assets in Yemen, including "additional CIA teams and up to 100 Special Operations force trainers, and the deployment of sophisticated surveillance and electronic eavesdropping systems operated by spy services" including NSA. The officials "declined to provide details on the drones that have been deployed to Yemen, except to say that they are operated by the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).... The Predators in Yemen are flown from a base outside the country that U.S. officials declined to identify. The most likely options include U.S. military installations in Djibouti and Qatar."

Best, Richard A., Jr. Securing America’s Borders: The Role of the Intelligence Community. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 7 Dec. 2010. Available at: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/R41520.pdf.

"In recent decades, and especially after 9/11, the potential for terrorists coming across the border as well as extensive narcotics trafficking have led policymakers to reach beyond law enforcement agencies to seek out information acquired by intelligence sources, including signals intelligence, imagery intelligence, and human agents....

"[T]here are a number of concerns about the contribution of intelligence agencies that Congress may choose to review. First, border security missions might detract from traditional intelligence missions.... Secondly, both intelligence and law enforcement agencies might in some situations be gathering information from the same sources.... Thirdly,... observers are concerned that intelligence collection techniques might infringe the civil liberties of U.S. persons.... Finally, others point to the potential that the involvement of intelligence agencies in border security efforts could affect overall U.S.-Canadian and U.S.-Mexican relations."

Priest, Dana, and William M. Arkin. "Monitoring America." Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2010. [http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/articles/monitoring-america]

"[T]he United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators. The system ... collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing. The government's goal is to have every state and local law enforcement agency in the country feed information to Washington to buttress the work of the FBI."

This story focuses on "the local level. It describes a web of 4,058 federal, state and local organizations, each with its own counterterrorism responsibilities and jurisdictions. At least 935 of these organizations have been created since the 2001 attacks or became involved in counterterrorism for the first time after 9/11."

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