Somalia President: Al-shabab Could Attack The United States
It can happen here in the United States as it is now happening in Nairobi. U.S. intelligence officials disputed this assessment in interviews with The Daily Beast. On Monday, Rep. Ed Royce, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said, I think at this point we do not have any evidence that al-Shabab has a capability of carrying out attacks on the United States. This points to the importance of our surveillance and intelligence capabilities on the ground in east Africa because there are a number of Americans who have joined the group. Mohamuds government, which was ++recognized by the Obama administration in January after a two-decade break in formal U.S.-Somali diplomatic relations, is widely regarded to be Somalias best hope for continuing a transition to a functional democracy and reestablishing government control of the few parts of Somalia now under al-Shabab control. He says that while its true the terrorist group still calls Somalia home, its not true that the group is Somali in origin or makeup. In Shabab there are Kenyans, there are Ugandans, there are Ethiopians, there are Arabs. It is only true that they are headquartered in Somalia, but Shabab is not Somali, the president said. He said he did not know if any Americans were involved in the Nairobi attack, as the group has claimed. Al-Shabab is on the defensive inside Somalia due to the combined efforts of Somali, Ethiopian, and international forces, and the group is losing the ability to fight militarily or hold large amounts of territory, Mohamud said, but they are still very capable of attacking soft targets and using terror tactics to kill innocents. The Shabab is losing ground and they are not in a position right now militarily to take new territories. They are on the run, he said. But their threat is not yet finished.
‘BREAKTHROUGH’ The only reference to enforcement in the draft is a threat that if Syria fails to comply with the resolution, the council would impose unspecified punitive measures under Chapter 7, which would require a second resolution that Russia could veto. A US State Department official hailed the deal as a “breakthrough”. “The Russians have agreed to support a strong, binding and enforceable resolution that unites the pressure and focus of the international community on the Syrian regime to ensure the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons,” the official said. Diplomats from the permanent Security Council members – China, Russia, the United States, France and Britain – had been haggling over the details of a resolution to back the American-Russian accord announced on September 14 in Geneva to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons. Assad agreed to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons amid an international outcry over a sarin gas strike in the suburbs of Damascus last month – the world’s deadliest chemical attack in 25 years. Washington has blamed Assad’s forces for the attack, which it said killed more than 1400 people, and President Barack Obama threatened a US military strike in response. Russia and Assad have blamed the attack on rebels battling to overthrow him in a civil war that, according to the United Nations, has left more than 100,000 people dead. TOUGH NEGOTIATIONS In a speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Obama sought to persuade world leaders to apply pressure on Damascus with a resolution that included tough consequences should Assad not surrender his chemical weapons stockpiles in a verifiable way. But by putting the Syria crisis back in the hands of the UN Security Council where Russia has the ability to block punitive action, the chances of US military action appeared to recede even further. Obama faces tough opposition from a sceptical Congress and a war-wary public on the wisdom of intervening military in Syria. With rebel forces plagued by divisions, the Friends of Syria – a bloc of mainly Western and Gulf Arab countries plus Turkey -followed up Thursday’s announcement of the draft resolution with a pledge to boost aid to the opposition. Weapons shipments to the rebels have been inadequate to shift the military balance in their favour. US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that Syria “will implode before any side would claim a military victory” and that all sides needed to move rapidly to put a political solution in place to end the conflict. A senior US official said earlier that the United States and China – another permanent Security Council member – strongly agreed on the need to quickly adopt a binding resolution on eradicating Syria’s chemical arsenal, a remark that appeared aimed at putting pressure on Russia to accept the measure.
United States, Russia agree on United Nations-Syria chemical arms measure
The NSA has reportedly been tapping its giant repositories of phone and e-mail data to create complex diagrams of some Americans’ interactions, including lists of associates and travel companions; location info; and other personal data. That seems to have been the thinking of at least one intelligence worker with the US National Security Agency, who, an NSA letter suggests, regularly tapped the agency’s now-infamous phone-data collection program to screen people she met at cocktail parties and the like. Vietnam-era spying by NSA comes to light As the present-day NSA draws fire from critics worried about contemporary abuses of power, new details have surfaced about the secretive agency’s efforts — during the Vietnam War era — to spy on prominent antiwar figures on behalf of the White House. Newly declassified materials reveal that the US National Security Agency spied on two prominent Congressmen — Senators Frank Church and Howard Baker — along with high-profile figures such as civil rights leader and antiwar voice Martin Luther King and heavyweight champ and conscientious objector Muhammad Ali. But the latest secret doc to see daylight makes the NSA’s surveillance missteps look rather like child’s play — at least in comparison to nuking your own country. That’s right, the Guardian reports that the US nearly took out a nice chunk of the Eastern seaboard in 1961 when a B-52 bomber broke apart in midair over North Carolina and dropped two hydrogen bombs — one of which came one electrical switch away from detonating. The recently declassified opinion by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — released Tuesday — suggests they do. “To date, no holder of records who has received an order to produce bulk telephony metadata has challenged the legality of such an order,” it reads . Nope, sorry: As advantageous as that might be (think of the huge network you’d suddenly be a part of), the news here is actually that LinkedIn is — like Google , Yahoo , and Facebook before it — pushing to gain the right to publish detailed info on the number of national security-related requests for user data it receives from the US government. Earlier this week, Techdirt picked up on a passing mention in a Brazilian news story and a Slate article to point out that the US National Security Agency had apparently impersonated Google on at least one occasion to gather data on people.