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Entries in Al Qa'eda (99)


US Feature: How the Obama Administration Killed 3 US Citizens in Yemen (New York Times)

See also EA Video Analysis: Drones, President Obama, and Rand Paul's Filibuster --- "More Macbeth Than Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"

Abdulrahman al-AwlakiThe missile strike on Sept. 30, 2011, that killed Mr. Awlaki — a terrorist leader whose death lawyers in the Obama administration believed to be justifiable — also killed Mr. Khan, though officials had judged he was not a significant enough threat to warrant being specifically targeted. The next month, another drone strike mistakenly killed Mr. Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, who had set off into the Yemeni desert in search of his father. Within just two weeks, the American government had killed three of its own citizens in Yemen. Only one had been killed on purpose.

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US Politics Video and Transcript: President Obama's State of the Union Address

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, fellow Americans, 51 years ago, John F. Kennedy declared to this chamber that “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power, but partners for progress.”


“It is my task,” he said, “to report the state of the union. To improve it is the task of us all.”

Tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, there is much progress to report. After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home.


After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over 6 million new jobs. We buy more American cars than we have in five years and less foreign oil than we have in 20.

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US Feature: Justice Department --- Yes, We Can Kill American Citizens Overseas with Drones (NBC and DeYoung)

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Rachel Maddow features the Justice Department paper, "Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen"

The United States can lawfully kill a U.S. citizen overseas if it determines the target is a “senior, operational leader” of al-Qaeda or an associated group and poses an imminent threat to the United States, according to a Justice Department document.

The document defines “imminent threat” expansively, saying it does not have to be based on intelligence about a specific attack since such actions are being “continually” planned by al-Qaeda. “In this context,” it says, “imminence must incorporate considerations of the relevant window of opportunity” as well as possible collateral damage to civilians.

It says that such determinations can be made by an “informed, high-level official of the U.S. government.”

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EA Video Analysis: North Africa, "Generational Struggle", and War on Terror 2.0

A few words of concern --- with a  request for knowledge and understanding, rather than caricature and polemic --- to British Prime Minister David Cameron about his declaration of "generational struggle" against "terrorists", "jihadists", Al Qa'eda, and anyone else with a "poisonous ideology":


Pakistan Analysis: Will Islamabad & Washington Split Over Drone Killing of Mullah Nazir?

See also Pakistan Opinion: The Dangerous Illusion of the Pro-Pakistani Taliban

Maulvi NazirIt is likely that Pakistan and the US have finally reached some kind of resolution on how to deal with the complex relations between Afghan Taliban, the TTP, and Al Qa'eda on the one hand and between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the US on the other. For Islamabad, this may have involved agreement on joint operations and continued intelligence sharing vis-s-vis Al Qa'eda and TTP operatives. That has brought US economic and security assistance with the release of $600 million from the Coalition Support Fund and another $200 million for the Bhasha Dam.

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Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Opposition Rejects Morsi's Referendum

See also US War on Terror Feature: Preparing for Military Operations in Africa
Syria Live Coverage: "A Political Process to End the Crisis is Still Possible"
Sunday's Egypt, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Morsi Gives Back His Expanded Powers

2047 GMT: Libya. The trial of Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, the last Prime Minister in the Qaddafi regime, opened today, with charges including "abusing public funds" and "committing acts aiming to unjustly kill people".

Al-Mahmoudi sat in a caged section of the courtroom and spoke only once during the one-hour hearing, saying "yes" when asked to confirm his presence.

The next hearing was set for 14 January.

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US War on Terror Feature: Preparing for Military Operations in Africa (Barnes/Perez)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presses Algeria to join intervention in Mali, 29 October 2012

Military counterterrorism officials are seeking more capability to pursue extremist groups in Africa and elsewhere that they believe threaten the U.S., and the Obama administration is considering asking Congress to approve expanded authority to do it.

The move, according to administration and congressional officials, would be aimed at allowing U.S. military operations in Mali, Nigeria, Libya and possibly other countries where militants have loose or nonexistent ties to al Qaeda's Pakistan headquarters. Depending on the request, congressional authorization could cover the use of armed drones and special operations teams across a region larger than Iraq and Afghanistan combined, the officials said.

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Syria Video and Transcript: President Assad's Interview with Russia Today

RT: There are many people who were convinced a year ago that you would not make it this far. Here again you are sitting in a newly renovated presidential palace and recording this interview. Who exactly is your enemy at this point?

BA: My enemy is terrorism and instability in Syria. This is our enemy in Syria. It is not about the people, it is not about persons. The whole issue is not about me staying or leaving. It is about the country being safe or not. So, this is the enemy we have been fighting as Syria.

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Yemen 1st-Hand: "Government Is Not Strong, But People Are Not Liberated" (Fielding-Smith)

At a protest in Aden, a young man holds the flag of the Southern Movement and the former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen

In the space of 30 years, Aden has been a British colony, the capital of a Soviet-backed independent republic, part of a new united Yemen, and the headquarters of a shortlived breakaway state, before being over-run and looted by the unity government’s forces. Residents say the wildly volatile state of limbo they have been in for the past year and a half is more alarming than anything they’ve experienced before.

“The government is not strong, but the people are not liberated,” said Mohamed Ali Ahmed, who recently returned after nearly three decades away and is a veteran of the south’s breakaway war. “It’s a kind of chaos --- no one is controlling anything.”

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Pakistan to Yemen to North Africa Feature: The CIA Seeks More Drones

Protest in Pakistan earlier this month against US drone strikes

The CIA is urging the White House to approve a significant expansion of the agency’s fleet of armed drones, a move that would extend the spy service’s decade-long transformation into a paramilitary force, U.S. officials said.

The proposal by CIA Director David H. Petraeus would bolster the agency’s ability to sustain its campaigns of lethal strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and enable it, if directed, to shift aircraft to emerging al-Qaeda threats in North Africa or other trouble spots, officials said.

If approved, the CIA could add as many as 10 drones, the officials said, to an inventory that has ranged between 30 and 35 over the past few years.

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