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Search Tags: Pentagon & Beyond
A former Marine accused of firing shots at the Pentagon, Marine Corps museum and other military buildings has been charged with damaging his jail cell in an apparent escape attempt. The Associated Press reports, Loudoun County sheriff's office says officials noticed damage Friday to a cinder block wall of Yonathan Melaku's holding cell. Officials say the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center is constructed as a maximum security facility.
The Moroccan government says an al-Qaida-linked cell planning attacks inside that country has been dismantled. Morocco has been has been left alone in recent years by Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, the North African branch of the terror network, but the latest arrests suggest the group is trying to work its way into the country of 32 million. A three-man group with connections to Al Qaida were arrested.
A fishing boat and a Russian nuclear-powered submarine collided off the country's Pacific coast, damaging the outer shell of the naval vessel but causing no radiation leak, Russian news agencies reported on Thursday. According to Reuters, "the nuclear reactor of the submarine St George the Conqueror was unaffected and radiation levels after Wednesday's incident in Avachin Bay off Kamchatka Peninsula were normal."
China has condemned the United States for its latest arms sales offer to Taiwan, calling the decision "grave interference" in Chinese internal affairs and warning it will damage U.S. military and security ties with Beijing. On the other side of the matter, Taiwan is upset the U.S. won't sell them the advanced F-16 C and D version of the fighters they want. Instead the U.S. says it will only sell upgrades to the current A and B models.
There will be fallout from the killing of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani. Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen says it seems the Taliban is shifting tactics to more spectacular, high-profile attacks and assassinations. He said this also means that U.S. and Afghan forces will have to adjust to it. Mullen said at a news conference commanders are working with the Afghans to shore up their personal security.
Another controversy is brewing. A video called "collateral murder" has been posted at wikeleaks.org. It appears to show a group of unarmed men being fired on by U.S. military forces in Iraq in July of 2007. Reuters is reporting a Senior U.S. miltiary official confirms the video is authentic and came from an Apache helicopter gunsight. Reuters says among those believed to be killed in the attack was Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and his driver. Two children also were wounded.
The clashes between Yemeni government forces and al Qaida continue in the southern part of the country. Radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki is believed to be in the region and Yemeni media report his protectors have been hit hard. More than 10,000 people have fled their homes in the Shabwah Province. John Brennan, interestingly enough was in Yemen, when the clashes kicked off. An Obama administration spokesman said Brennan left the capitol of Sanaa on Monday.
President Obama has made his new nuclear posture public. It has three pillars --disarmament, nonproliferation and peaceful uses. He said they are central to the vision, outlined in Prague last September, of stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and seeking a world without them. He's proposing measures to reduce and eventually eliminate existing nuclear arsenals; strengthening the Non-proliferation Treaty and halting proliferation of nuclear weapons to additional states; and prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons or materials. He's also placing heavy emphasis on the black market that feeds illicit programs
If you think things between the U.S. and Russia are cozy, think again. Pentagon officials say two Russian aircraft buzzed a U.S. Navy warship in the Arctic's Barents Sea last week, each coming within about 50 yards of the frigate. Flying by Navy ships in international waters is not unheard of. But this Cold War-style incident was enough to stir some concern. Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said Navy personnel aboard the ship did not believe the actions were hostile. He told reporters on Friday that the U.S. was still trying to determine whether either side broke protocol.
The U.S. military almost launched fighter jets and discussed a possible shoot-down when an errant Navy drone briefly veered into restricted airspace near the nation's capital last month, a senior military official said Thursday. The Associate Press reports the incident underscores safety concerns with unmanned aircraft as defense officials campaign to use them more often during natural disasters and for homeland security. Navy Adm. James Winnefeld Jr., head of Northern Command, said Thursday that the August mishap could hamper the Pentagon's push to have the Federal Aviation Administration ease procedures for drone use by the military in domestic skies.