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National Security Correspondent J.J. Green has traveled three continents covering intelligence, terrorism, and security issues. From Afghanistan to Africa, Iraq to Ireland, there isn't anywhere J.J. won't go, nor anyone he won't talk with, to get the stories affecting the defense and national security communities.
A U.S. official said yesterday, they notified the Dutch authorities early on that they had no derogatory information on two men, both of Yemeni origin, who had suspicious items in their luggage. Still the Dutch were not satisfied. A major concern was the fact that one of the men and his luggage with contained suspicious items were headed to separate locations. Analyst say that is a classic sign of either a system test or compartmentalized attempt to slip prohibited items aboard an airplane.
You may have seen or heard about the movie Transformers and the military theme in the movie. It may soon be more than a movie. For several years now the Pentagon has been looking into flying cars. Now they're working on a flying humvee. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has chosen two companies to participate in project Transformer. It's a fully automated four-person vehicle that can drive like a car and then take off and fly like an aircraft to avoid roadside bombs. Lockheed Martin and AAI Corp., a unit of Textron Systems are moving to the next stage.
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner says Virginia officials should keep up the fight against the closing of a defense command in Norfolk. According to the Associated Press, the Virginia Democrat also suggested a different tack during a stop in Portsmouth on Thursday. He said Virginia officials should convince the Pentagon that it makes military and economic sense to keep the Joint Forces Command in Hampton Roads. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced this month he wants to close the command, which employs some 6,000 military and civilian workers.
The former chief of U.N. nuclear inspections worldwide, told Le Monde newspaper that Iran has stockpiled enough low-enriched uranium for 1-2 nuclear weapons. But Olli Heinonen, said it would not make sense for it to "cross the bomb-making threshold with such a small amount". He also said Iran's uranium reserve still represented a "threat." Pentagon officials told Congress last spring Iran could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a one nuclear weapon in as little as a year.
Canadian authorities say they've broken up an al Qaida terror plot. Two residents from Ottawa have been arrested after one of them was preparing to leave the country. Authorities are tight-lipped about the investigation, but they say the plot involved at least one suspect who had traveled to the tribal territories of Pakistan and Afghanistan. They also indicated the plot involved explosives. Canada is the only one of the major countries on Al Qaida's list that they have yet to successfully attack.
A failure by Navy air traffic controllers to follow standard procedures contributed to a midair collision that killed seven Coast Guard members and two Marines off Southern California last year, according to a Coast Guard report released Tuesday. The Associated Press says controllers at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, near San Diego, failed to notify the pilot of a Coast Guard C-130 plane that four Marine helicopters were in the area. The Marine flyers were also unaware of the Coast Guard plane's presence. The report said there is no single reason or person to blame for the crash on the night of Oct. 29, 2009. It made a series of recommendations to improve safety in the largely unregulated airspace.
You may remember the story of a pregnant Marine who was murdered at Camp Lejune in December of 2007. A jury on Monday convicted a former Marine of first-degree murder in the death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, 20, of Vandalia, Ohio, in December 2007. Cesar Laurean, 23, of Las Vegas faces life in prison without parole. He was also convicted of theft and fraud charges.
The Pentagon is warning for the first time about the Chinese military's use of civilian computer experts in clandestine cyber attacks aimed at American companies and government agencies. DoD has issued a report says the People's Liberation Army, is using "information warfare units" to develop viruses to attack enemy computer systems and networks, and those units include civilian computer professionals.
The "height of irresponsibility". That what the Pentagon says about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's decision to release another 15-thousand documents related to the war in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says "there are very serious operational consequences. There are the names of a lot of Afghans who have worked with us and helped us in those documents." He added the documents contain a significant amount of information about U.S. tactics, techniques and procedures, including places where they are vulnerable.
Polish authorities have extradited a man believed to be a Mossad agent to Germany, where he faces charges over a passport that was used in the slaying of a Hamas leader in Dubai earlier this year. The suspect, known as Uri Brodsky was handed over to German police at Warsaw's international airport. German prosecutors accuse him of illegally helping to procure a passport used in connection with the Jan. 19th slaying of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at a hotel in Dubai.
The Pentagon is going to sell about 200 Patriot missiles worth about $900 million to Kuwait. The goal is to build up anti-missile systems in the Persian Gulf. The Associated Press's Anne Flaherty writes, the initiative is aimed at defending Gulf allies against potential Iranian missile strikes and to signal to Tehran that any aggression would not go unanswered. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Wednesday that it had notified Congress of the proposed sale. Congress could object but is not expected to do so.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is recommending the elimination of the U.S. Joint Forces Command. That command is one of DoD's ten combatant commands and recently believed to play a key role in transforming the U.S. military's capabilities. Headquartered in Norfolk, Va., the command oversees a force of more than 1.16 million men and women. The command is comprised of active and reserve personnel from each branch of the armed forces, civil servants and contract employees. The commander oversees the command's four major mission areas: Joint Concept Development and Experimentation, Joint Training, Joint Capabilities Development, and Joint Force Provider.
The Pentagon is demanding that online whistle-blower WikiLeaks return its trove of tens of thousands of leaked U.S. government documents and delete them from its website and records. The Associated Press reports Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell didn't say what efforts the Defense Department might be able to take to compel Wikileaks to comply. He told a Pentagon press conference that, at this point, the Pentagon is asking Wikileaks "to do the right thing." Wikileaks posted nearly 77,000 classified military and other documents, mostly raw intelligence reports from Afghanistan, on its website July 25.
Gen. John D. Lavelle has been vindicated 30 years after he died. He was an Air Force General who was stripped of two stars and removed from his command from his command in 1972 because of allegations that he ordered unauthorized bombings in North Vietnam and keep them secret. The Pentagon now says tapes from the Nixon Administration reveal he had permission to do so.
1500 people are dead in Pakistan because of flooding. The Pentagon is dispatching several helicopters from Afghanistan to help transport relief supplies and refugees in flood-ravaged Pakistan. Four CH-47 Chinooks Two UH-60 Black Hawks will be sent over. Bad weather hindered their arrival yesterday, but they are expected to begin their missions today. Pakistan has repeatedly rejected, at least publicly as U.S. military presence in Pakistan, but in cases like this the government has proven to be very receptive.
Is the program to kill or capture terrorists working? A New York Times report seems to show some evidence it is. According to the NYT, American intelligence reporting has recently revealed growing examples of Taliban fighters who are fearful of moving into higher-level command positions because of these lethal operations.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the U.S. to protect any individuals who might be at risk after the Wikileaks War Dairies leaks. He also said the military was reviewing its rules for safeguarding classified information. He called it a "mountain of raw data" that didn't shed new light on U.S. policy but he and experts say it could help the Taliban Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen said that Wikileaks "might already have on their hands the blood of a young soldier or that of an Afghan family."
Difficult but the war in Afghanistan can succeed. The words of Richard Holbrook, the top U.S envoy in Afghanistan and Pakistan yesterday before Congress at an oversight hearing on money being spent on the nine year old war in Afghanistan. Lawmakers expressed concern about corruption that's eaten up millions of dollars. Holbrooke said this is the toughest job he's ever had.
The Defense Department says an investigation has identified dozens of members of the military and defense contractors that have allegedly obtained child pornography. Many of those involved are said to have access to top secret information. Some of those implicated to are connected to the National Reconnaissance Office and the National Security Agency. The Boston Globe first reported the story after obtaining documents through the Freedom of Information Act. Some have already been prosecuted.
The Afghan Taliban leadership is facing more pressure from the U.S. The U.S. Treasury Department will freeze the militants' assets, ban travel and trigger an arms embargo. It follows similar action by the United Nations earlier this week, and comes after calls from Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Afghanistan. the U.S. and U.N. sanctions prohibit any financial transactions of the terror leaders in U.N. member countries, putting additional pressure on Pakistan to take broader actions against the Taliban militants.