Yesterday, President Barack Obama delivered remarks before a Memorial Day service at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia, in which he celebrated the day as the first Memorial Day since the end of the war in Afghanistan.
Latest in Al Qaeda
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence today released a new set of documents recovered during the raid of Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011.
The release contains two sections: 1) a list of non-classified, English-language material found in and around the compound; and 2) a selection of now-declassified documents. The declassified documents consist of 103 new items, including letters, speeches, and updates from al Qaeda leaders and affiliates.
Editor’s Note: After 9/11 Ayman al-Zawahiri became the face of Al Qaeda, giving speeches and sending out videos to guide the now-scattered jihadist flock. And of course after Bin Ladin’s death Zawahiri's stature rose even further. Yet as my Brookings colleague Bruce Riedel points out, Zawahiri has gone silent in recent months despite the turbulence all around him.
When a journalist writes a tell-all story about a classified operation, and he suspects the story will catalyze anti-American anger, provide fuel for terrorist groups, and cause severe friction with foreign governments, the act of publication is morally fraught. When the story is based on obscenely thin sourcing and careens into conspiracy theories, the decision to publish becomes indefensible. Seymour Hersh has had a long and distinguished history as one of America’s finest investigative journalists. In recent years, he has gone a bit kooky.
A new AP-GFK poll released today finds broad swaths of the American public continue to strongly support the U.S. targeted killing program.
U.S. Drone Strike Reportedly Killed Two Hostages Held by Al-Qaeda, One American and One Italian, as well as an American Al-Qaeda Member
Breaking news from the New York Times:
A grand jury in Ohio has indicted Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, a recently-naturalized US citizen and resident of Columbus, with two material support counts (and one false statement count) based on allegations that he traveled to Syria to fight, that he received military-style training from al Nusrah, and that he came back to the United States after receiving directions from "a cleric in the organization" who told him "he should return to the United States and carry out an act of terror
On March 4 2015, Pakistani national Abid Naseer was convicted in a Brooklyn Federal Court of supporting terrorism and conspiring with al-Qaeda to bomb a shopping mall in the United Kingdom in 2009.
In the trial of Abid Naseer, the U.S. Department of Justice released a trove of new files recovered from Osama bin Laden's compound during the May 2011 raid by U.S. Navy Seals that ended in his death. Seventeen of the documents were released in 2012.
An interesting development in the ongoing debate regarding the optimal disposition for captured al Qaeda members: The Justice Department has just announced that two al Qaeda members (both citizens of Yemen) were captured in Saudi Arabia (and have now been "lawfully expelled" to the United States to face a civilian criminal trial in the Eastern District of New York. The criminal complaint alleges that Saddiq Al-Abbadi and Ali Alvi both participated in attacks on U.S.