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.

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AQ vs. IS and the battle for the soul of jihad (Brookings)

Centcom Hack

Almost overnight, the Islamic State sent its enemies reeling—and turned U.S. policy in the Middle East upside down. As troubling as the Islamic State’s successes are for U.S. officials, there is one person for whom they are even more troubling: Ayman al-Zawahiri. Although the Al Qaeda leader might be expected to rejoice at the emergence of a strong jihadist group that delights in beheading Americans (among other horrors), in reality the Islamic State’s rise risks Al Qaeda’s demise. When Islamic State leader

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi rejected Al Qaeda’s authority and later declared a ca­liphate, he split the fractious jihadist move­ment.

The two are now competing for more than the leadership of the jihadist move­ment: they are competing for its soul.”

Read the full article here by 

“Petraeus: The Islamic State isn’t our biggest problem in Iraq” (WaPo)

Petraeus

“Gen. David H. Petraeus, who commanded U.S. troops in Iraq during the 2007-2008 surge, was back in that country last week for the first time in more than three years. He was attending the annual Sulaimani Forum, a get-together of Iraqi leaders, thinkers and academics, at the American University of Iraq – Sulaimani in northern Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

[Read: Five things Petraeus thinks about the future of the Middle East]

In his most expansive comments yet on the latest crisis in Iraq and Syria, he answered written questions from The Post’s Liz Sly, offering insights into the mistakes, the prosecution and the prospects of the war against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, which he refers to by its Arabic acronym, Daesh.”

See the full interview here.

U.S. Air Force Veteran Charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL (FBI)

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“WASHINGTON—U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch of the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Assistant Director in Charge Diego G. Rodriguez of the FBI’s New York Field Office and Commissioner William J. Bratton of the New York City Police Department announced that yesterday, a federal grand jury in New York City returned a two-count indictment charging Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, an American citizen and veteran of the U.S. Air Force, with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a foreign terrorist organization, and obstruction and attempted obstruction of justice. The defendant will be arraigned on the indictment tomorrow, March 18, at 11 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York.”

See the full press release here.

C.I.A. Cash Ended Up in Coffers of Al Qaeda (NYT)

Al-Qaeda Global Map, courtesy of the Economist.

Al-Qaeda Global Map, courtesy of the Economist.

“WASHINGTON — In the spring of 2010, Afghan officials struck a deal to free an Afghan diplomat held hostage by Al Qaeda. But the price was steep — $5 million — and senior security officials were scrambling to come up with the money.

They first turned to a secret fund that the Central Intelligence Agency bankrolled with monthly cash deliveries to the presidential palace in Kabul, according to several Afghan officials involved in the episode. The Afghan government, they said, had already squirreled away about $1 million from that fund.”

Read the NYT article here.

Hillary Clinton E-Mail Scandal

Clinton

Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, may have breached OPSEC.

Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.”

See the full reports:

AP: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/clinton-ran-own-computer-system-for-her-official-emails/2015/03/04/083c624c-c269-11e4-a188-8e4971d37a8d_story.html

NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/03/us/politics/hillary-clintons-use-of-private-email-at-state-department-raises-flags.html?smid=tw-bna&_r=3

WaPo: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/03/04/the-hillary-clinton-email-story-just-keeps-getting-worse-for-her/

“Egypt bombs Islamic State targets in Libya after beheading video” (WaPo)

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In retaliation for the gruesome killing of Egyptian Christians on a beach in Libya, Egypt sent its air force on the attack against Islamic State targets there Monday, in a move that threatened to ensnare Egypt in a regional conflict with the militants.”

Read the full Washington Post article here.