News you may have missed #608 (analysis edition)

Anwar al-Aulaki

Anwar al-Aulaqi

►►Spying on the United Nations. “Here is one of the well-known but seldom spoken truths about the United Nations: The international organization, which was founded in the name of peace and security, is also a hotbed of spying and clandestine operations, where someone might very well be listening to your conversations and monitoring your emails —-or perhaps reading your speeches in advance […]. The CIA is prohibited from domestic intelligence-gathering but, since the United Nations is considered foreign soil, it is authorized to run covert actions there”.
►►Secret panel can put Americans on ‘kill list’. American militants like Anwar al-Aulaqi, who was killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen late last month, are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior US government officials, which then informs the President of its decisions, according to officials. There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House’s National Security Council.
►►Blowback from CIA’s bin Laden vaccination ruse gets worse. If it wasn’t clear before, it is now: the fake vaccination program that the CIA set up before the Osama bin Laden raid really went awry. Not only did this plan not work –no bin Laden family DNA was obtained– but it also hobbled polio immunization drives and forced Save the Children to evacuate staffers from Pakistan out of fear of a backlash.

News you may have missed #327

  • Cyberspies eyed Canadian visa applications. Personal information about Canadians applying for visas was swiped by cyberspies who hacked into Indian embassy computers in Afghanistan. The data theft was part of a wider cyberespionage operation launched by the underground hacking community in China and aimed primarily at political targets, according to academic researchers.
  • Israeli Arab jailed for spying on top general. Rawi Sultani, who is accused of informing Hezbollah of his membership in the same fitness club as Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi, as well as of methods of accessing the club, has been sentenced to nearly six years’ imprisonment.
  • CIA places American on assassination list. US-born al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Aulaqi, who now lives in Yemen, has become the first US citizen to be placed on a CIA “targeted killing” list, which requires “special approval from the White House”.

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News you may have missed #318

  • US State Dept. lawyer defends CIA drone attacks. State Department legal adviser Harold Koh has told a conference that “the considered view of this administration” is that the controversial CIA-operated drone attacks inside Pakistan “comply with all applicable law, including the laws of war”.
  • How the CIA let Anwar al-Aulaqi escape to Yemen. Last year, the Yemeni government asked the CIA to help collect intelligence on US-born al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Aulaqi. But the CIA refused, and so did US Special Forces officials, who had been asked by the Yemenis to help them pursue Aulaqi. Just months later, US Army Major Malik Nidal Hasan, who was in contact with al-Aulaqi, killed 13 US soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas.
  • More on alleged Israeli spy caught in Algeria. Algerian authorities insist that a man (identified only as “Alberto”), who was captured after entering Algeria using a forged Spanish passport, is a Mossad agent. There are also rumors that the US embassy in Algiers has been involved in the case, and that it was for this reason that FBI deputy director John Pistole traveled to Algeria last week.

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