BERLIN — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says about 30 detainees have been cleared for release from Guantanamo Bay.
Holder met with reporters in Germany ahead of a speech appealing for Europe’s help to close the U.S. military detention facility.
The attorney general says the U.S. has not decided which detainees they want to send to specific countries, adding that those decisions are weeks away.
There are 241 prisoners at Guantanamo, and Holder has been visiting European leaders this week asking for help relocating detainees and shuttering the detention site over the next nine months.
Previewing his later speech, Holder said closing the detention facility is a shared responsibility for the U.S. and Europe.
AP’s earlier story is below. Read more…
President George W. Bush has won a major victory for his legacy building efforts in his final days in office as a special intelligence appeals court has ruled that the Bush Administration’s much derided Terrorist Surveillance Program is legal. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review made the ruling in late August, but it is only being made public now. Specifically, the court ruled that Congress acted within its authority in 2007 when it passed the Protect America Act, which codified the existing Bush Administration program with minor, cosmetic changes. The terrorist surveillance program, as the Bush Administration calls it, operated in secret for close to four years, from right after the September 11th attacks until the New York Times revealed the existence of the program in December, 2005.
Since then, President Bush and Administration officials have come under withering criticism from Democrats, civil liberties activists, and Administration opponents. The critics accused the Administration of domestic spying, listening in on the conversations of ordinary Americans, abuse if power, and criminal violations of privacy laws. The Administration has steadfastly maintained that the program was legal, necessary, and effective; countering its critics by pointing out the president’s inherit powers under Article 2 of the Constitution to command the conduct of war. The decision validates the Administration’s claims about the program, and proves that critics’ interpretation of the law has been wrong all along. As the president prepares to leave office, the Administration has been highlighting its accomplishments. Chief among those has been keeping America safe from attack for the past seven and a half years. The terrorist surveillance program has played a big part in accomplishing that, despite attempts by Democrats and the left to discredit the program and the Bush Administration’s exercise of its authority. To his critics’ chagrin, the court’s ruling will bolster President Bush’s efforts to explain his legacy in his post-presidential years, and it could be the first of many similar validations of Bush Administration policies and decisions. Read more…
An Egyptian engineering student was sentenced in the United States on Thursday to 15 years imprisonment after pleading guilty to uploading a 12-minute video to YouTube that demonstrated how to convert a remote-control toy car into a bomb detonator.
In June, Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed, 27, pleaded guilty in a Florida federal court to one count of providing material support to terrorists. He was a student at the University of South Florida. South Carolina authorities said they found various bomb-making materials in the vehicle he was driving when he was pulled over last year.
The video, with his voice in Arabic, was discovered during a search of his laptop computer, the authorities said. In the video, which the authorities said was viewed by the public hundreds of times, shows how to make a remote-control toy car from Walmart into a bomb detonator.
In court documents, (.pdf) he said “he intended the technology demonstrated in his audio-video recording to be used against those who fight for the United States.” He said he considered them and their allies fighting in Arab countries to be “invaders.” The United States, he said, was a “vile nation.”
via Times Online
The investigation into the terror attacks that have killed at least 125 people in Bombay are focussing on a fishing vessel that was found off the city’s coast with one dead body on board, security sources say.
It is thought that the vessel was used by the terrorists before they climbed aboard a smaller boat to land at Colaba, the popular tourist area that suffered the worst strikes and where gunmen are hostages still holed up in two luxury hotels.
“This is a vital lead,” an Indian intelligence source told The Times.
The nationality of the dead man found on the boat is unknown, but one theory being pushed by many inside India’s intelligence apparatus is that the boat’s origin was Karachi, in Pakistan.
It is thought that the calls made by a satellite phone on board are bing analysed.
Manmohan Singh, the Indian Prime Minister, has said the attacks were triggered by forces “outside the country”, a thinly veiled reference to Pakistan. There are fears that tensions are rising between the two nuclear-armed nations.
Independent analysts have said that Wednesday’s attacks also recalled previous strikes by Lashkar-e-Toiba, a Pakistan-based militant group linked to a 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament, where terrorists stormed the building with guns and grenades, taking hostages as part of a suicidal mission. Read more…
The ACLU is reporting the millionth name has been added to the Government’s Terrorist Watch List. This is the list the TSA maintains to monitor who is boarding planes to peruse the friendly skies. There is no indication as to what criteria goes into determining what qualifies you for this list or even if the ACLU has access to it but the figure is eerie nonetheless. First the government is illegally spying on its citizens, tapping their phones, then they turn around and put them on terrorist lists, what’s next?
via US News
KABUL—The war in Afghanistan reached a wrenching milestone this summer: For the second month in a row, U.S. and coalition troop deaths in the country surpassed casualties in Iraq. This is driven in large part, U.S. officials point out, by simple cause and effect. Marines flowed into southern Afghanistan earlier this year to rout firmly entrenched Taliban fighters, prompting a spike in combat in territory where NATO forces previously didn’t have the manpower to send troops. “We’re doing something we haven’t done in seven years, which is go after the Taliban where they’re living,” says a U.S. official.
This is the most shocking news I’ve heard in a while, no pun intended
via Washington Times
Just when you thought you’ve heard it all…
A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers.
This bracelet would:
• take the place of an airline boarding pass
• contain personal information about the traveler
• be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage
• shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes
NYC is launching a new aggressive campaign linking bootleg merchandise to terrorist organizations. The city is probably the number#1 destination in the world for fake Louie Vitton, Gucci and Rolexes etc., thus this campaign obviously uses the undertone of terrorism to try to frighten people into not buying “counterfeit” items due to their supposed funding of rogue organizations. Yeah Right! More below:
The city will display 50 black, yellow and red posters in tourist spots like Times Square and Chinatown over the next two months with the message, “The Real Price of Counterfeit Goods.”
“When you buy counterfeit goods, you support child labor, drug trafficking, organized crime and even worse,” one version reads. Another says that buyers have cost the city $1 billion per year in lost tax revenue
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