Miscues at U.S. counterterrorism base put aircraft in danger, documents show (WaPo)

Djibouti

“The skies above the U.S. military’s counterterrorism hub on the Horn of Africa have become chronically dangerous, with pilots forced to rely on local air-traffic controllers who fall asleep on the job, commit errors at astronomical rates and are hostile to Americans, documents show.

Conditions at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, the base for U.S. pilots flying sensitive missions over Yemen and Somalia, have become so dire that American warplanes and civilian airliners alike are routinely placed in jeopardy, according to federal aviation experts and documents obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act.”

Read the full article here.

US law enforcement accused of using entrapment to ensnare ‘terrorists’ (Al-Jazeera)

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“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.”

Read the full article here.

The FBI Releases Final Report of the 9/11 Review Commission

FBI HRT MOUT Drills, courtesy of WaPo

FBI HRT MOUT Drills, courtesy of WaPo

“Today, the FBI released The FBI: Protecting the Homeland in the 21st Century, the final report of the 9/11 Review Commission. This congressionally mandated review focused on the FBI’s implementation of the recommendations proposed by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission).”

See the full press release here.

Relocation of U.S. Personnel From Yemen (State)

Yemen

“Due to the deteriorating security situation in Yemen, the U.S. Government has temporarily relocated its remaining personnel out of Yemen. We have informed President Hadi of this step as part of our close coordination with the Yemeni government. We will continue to engage the Yemeni people and the international community to strongly support Yemen’s political transition. We also continue to actively monitor terrorist threats emanating from Yemen and have capabilities postured in the area to address them. As we have in the past, we will take action to disrupt continuing, imminent threats to the United States and our citizens.”

See the full press release here.

“The ISIS Twitter census: Defining and describing the population of ISIS supporters on Twitter” (Brookings)

ISIS Twitter Accounts

“Although much ink has been spilled on ISIS’s activity on Twitter, very basic questions about the group’s social media strategy remain unanswered. In a new analysis paper, J.M. Berger and Jonathon Morgan answer fundamental questions about how many Twitter users support ISIS, who and where they are, and how they participate in its highly organized online activities.”

See the full Brookings report here.

Al Qaeda Operative Convicted for Role in International Terrorism Plot Targeting the United States and Europe (FBI)

“Earlier today, following a two-week trial, Abid Naseer, a Pakistani national who joined al-Qaeda and plotted to commit a terrorist attack in the United Kingdom, was found guilty by a jury in Brooklyn federal court of providing material support to al-Qaeda, conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaeda, and conspiring to use a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence. The evidence at trial established that the defendant and his accomplices came within days of executing a plot to conduct an attack on a busy shopping mall located in the city center of Manchester, United Kingdom in April 2009. The planned attack, which also targeted the New York City subway system and a newspaper office in Copenhagen, Denmark, had been directed by and coordinated with senior al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan. Naseer is the eighth defendant to face charges, and the fourth to be convicted, in Brooklyn federal court related to the al-Qaeda plot, which also involved Adis Medunjanin, Najibullah Zazi, and Zarein Ahmedzay, the three members of the cell that targeted New York City.”

See the full press release here.