This Al-Jazeera documentary dissects the infamous “Collateral Murder” video.
Salat became a member of the Islamist al-Shabab group in Somalia more by bad luck than inclination; he happened to be one of nine boys standing by the school gate when the group raided his school looking for “recruits.”
The younger boys were separated into two groups; some were sent to cook, others like Salat, were given clubs and sent into Mogadishu’s marketplaces to beat people acting outside of their interpretation of Islamic law.
“We beat the people who kept their shops open, who were not in the mosques,” he says, “They told us, during prayer time, go to the market and beat the people who were not praying. They said they would kill us if we did not listen.”
Weeks later, convinced he would be killed, Salat escaped the al-Shabab compound and fled to Kenya and the Dadaab refugee camp, home to around 350,000 mainly Somali refugees.
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“For decades intelligence reformers sought to centralize the U.S. intelligence community in a single office with real power over budgets, personnel, and operations. Ten years ago they finally got their wish. Following an intense congressional fight, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) set up shop in April 2005 with high expectations. The office was supposed to ensure the kind of inter-agency coordination that was supposedly missing before the 9/11 attacks. It was to be the fulcrum of sharing and collaboration among agencies with long histories of mutual suspicion and occasional disdain. Ultimately it sought to unify a sprawling constellation of civilian and military agencies into “fully integrated intelligence community” that would “inform decisions made from the White House to the foxhole.”
“How did the candidate of hope and change turn into the president of secret kill lists, drone strikes hitting civilians, and immunity for torturers? The answer may lie in his relationship with the CIA director, a career bureaucrat turned quiet architect of a morally murky national security policy who isn’t going to let a little thing like getting caught spying on the Senate bring him down.”
“The recent arrests on terrorism-related charges of six young Somali-Americans from Minneapolis and others throughout the United States have prompted renewed questions over the issue of entrapment, and over the degree of real security achieved by disrupting plots that law-enforcement had helped shape.
The six, ages 19 to 21, were charged with conspiracy to aid and support a terrorist organization, and are accused of trying to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also called ISIS).
“These were focused men who were intent on joining a terrorist organization,” Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said at a news conference.
But the case relies partly on a confidential human source (CHS), who had been a part of the group seeking to join ISIL before he began cooperating with the FBI.”
“French police have foiled five terror attacks in recent months, Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said.
He said the latest was a planned attack on churches in Villejuif outside Paris.
An Algerian man was arrested on Sunday over the alleged plan, after he apparently shot himself by accident and called an ambulance.”
“The DNI post was the centerpiece of landmark legislation enacted in 2004, informed by the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Presidential, legislative, and bureaucratic politics all contributed to a compromise law that sought to improve information sharing and strengthen central leadership of our sprawling intelligence enterprise without infringing upon existing military and departmental chains of command. Ten years of experience offers an opportunity to take stock and ask whether the government is smarter and the country is safer as a result of these changes.”