intelligence agencies

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Sources: Spy Agencies Lose Access to Analyzed Tweets

Twitter is blocking Dataminr service to government, says a WSJ report

(Newser) - Twitter has barred US intelligence agencies from accessing a service that parses tweets to alert clients to events like terror attacks over fears of appearing too chummy with federal agencies, sources tells the Wall Street Journal . For two years, the government has had access to the service, provided by private... More »

Rapper Eyed in Beheading of James Foley

UK intelligence said to have found a suspect

(Newser) - British officials say they've identified the ex-pat who beheaded James Foley but won't yet release his name, the Sunday Times reports. Investigators narrowed the case down to four suspects—including a British doctor's brother and an ex-gang member who went to Syria—but UK rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel... More »

NSA Able to Decode Most Calls, Texts Worldwide

Washington Post unveils latest Snowden material

(Newser) - The NSA is capable of breaking the encryption used on most phone calls and text messages worldwide, the latest Edward Snowden leak shows, though it's not certain how often the agency actually does it. Under US law, the NSA can't eavesdrop on citizens' conversations without a court order.... More »

Gitmo Lawyers: Agents Are Spying on Us

Guantanamo commander admits that cells are bugged

(Newser) - A defense lawyer for alleged 9/11 attackers is crying foul after spotting hidden listening devices in cells used to meet with her clients at Guantanamo Bay, the Guardian reports. And the response from Gitmo's commander—that the bugs were set up by secret agents, yet no eavesdropping is underway—... More »

In Search of Code Breakers, UK Intel Invades Social Media

Launches 'Can You Crack It?' test

(Newser) - Did you ever want to be a code-breaking secret agent? Well, this could be your big chance. One of Great Britain's oldest intelligence services, Government Communications Headquarters, has launched an online test called " Can You Crack It? ," designed to help find new talent, reports the BBC . The... More »

CIA Spies Captured in Middle East

Officials fear they will be executed

(Newser) - More than a dozen CIA spies have been caught in Lebanon and Iran over the last six months, and the US worries they’ll be executed—or already have been. "If they were genuine spies, spying against Hezbollah, I don't think we'll ever see them again,"... More »

Hackers Post 3K Intel Names, Emails

INSA had just published paper calling for greater online security

(Newser) - Hackers have grabbed and published the names and email addresses of thousands of high-ranking security officials, handing them over to an anti-secrecy website, reports NBC News . About 3,000 names belonging to the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, a nonprofit organization for members of the intelligence community, were posted to... More »

Cheney Still Hasn't Learned From Iraq

Autobiography shows he remained willing to act on weak intelligence: Bob Woodward

(Newser) - The “missing” WMDs in Iraq taught us a lesson: Don’t act on intelligence unless you’re 100% sure of it. Dick Cheney apparently missed that little tidbit, writes Bob Woodward after perusing the former veep’s new memoir. In In My Time, Cheney says he was the “... More »

US Intel Gathering Insanely Out of Control

Post 9/11 buildup has left us with more info than we can handle

(Newser) - In the wake of 9/11, the US has built an unspeakably massive top-secret counter-terrorism apparatus that appears to be riddled with waste, according to a major investigative piece that some 20 journalists spent nearly two years working on for the Washington Post . The paper found that 1,271 government organizations,... More »

'Gay Terrorist' Debacle May Explain 9/11 Intel Failure

Agency 'kept info from FBI to protect recruitment effort'

(Newser) - The CIA's eagerness to recruit a gay al-Qaeda insider could explain one of the biggest intelligence failures in the run-up to 9/11, according to investigative journalist Aram Roston. Ahmad Hikmat Shakir—an Iraqi Arab working for Malaysian Airlines—was closely associated with 9/11 hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar, whose name the CIA... More »

Video Reveals How CIA Sicced Bombers on US Missionary, Baby

CIA accused of covering up involvement in deaths

(Newser) - Video footage just obtained by ABC News shows how CIA errors caused the deaths of an American missionary and her 7-month-old daughter when their plane was shot down over Peru in 2001. CIA spotters wrongly identified the missionary family's Cessna as a drug traffickers' plane and alerted the Peruvian air... More »

Biggest US Error Was to Miss Yemen Threat

Seems we didn't know they were capable of launching terrorists

(Newser) - In all the news yesterday about US intelligence lapses, one "startling concession" stands out to Marc Ambinder: Security chief John Brennan admitted that the US didn't realize al-Qaeda's organization in Yemen—al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula—had "progressed to the point of actually launching individuals here." As... More »

More Surveillance = More Terrorism

We had info on Ft. Hood, Abdulmutallab, but it got lost in the mix

(Newser) - The expansion of government surveillance powers, often enabled by public unease following a terror attack or scare, actually makes those events more likely, Glenn Greenwald writes. The main problem is that intelligence agencies get clogged with useless information. In the cases of Ft. Hood and the Christmas attempt, our intelligence... More »

Tens of Thousands in Contact With Terror Imam

Feds say number of Awlaki contacts made it hard to join the dots

(Newser) - The accused Fort Hood shooter was just one of tens of thousands who have been in email contact with radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, according to intelligence sources. Spy agencies analyzing huge amounts of raw intelligence following the Fort Hood killings made identifying the US-born, Yemen-based preacher's American contacts a priority.... More »

UK Gave US Detroit Suspect Intel: Gordon Brown

Abdulmutallab tried to contact extremists

(Newser) - Gordon Brown is denying allegations the UK failed to share intelligence on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab with the US. The suspected Detroit plane bomber was included in a dossier of individuals who had made contact with extremists, and that dossier was shared with American intelligence authorities, the UK PM's spokesman said... More »

CIA Had File on Detroit Bomber for a Month, Didn't Share

Agency wrote report after debriefing Abdulmutallab's dad

(Newser) - The "intelligence community" agency that President Obama said fumbled security in the Detroit bomb plot was apparently the CIA, which compiled a report on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab after speaking to his father but sat on the file for 5 weeks instead of circulating it to other agencies, reports CNN.... More »

US Spies Are Voice of Caution in Iran Debate

Israelis, Europeans believe Tehran is developing warheads

(Newser) - The global intelligence community is at odds over whether Iran is developing nuclear warheads, with US spies insisting it isn’t, and European and Israeli spies begging to differ. In what the New York Times calls a “mirror image” of the Iraq debate, the US say documents found by... More »

Taliban Blast Kills Afghan Spy Chief, 22 Others

Insurgents target intelligence official during mosque visit

(Newser) - A Taliban suicide bomber at a mosque near Kabul killed 23 people today, including Afghanistan's deputy chief of intelligence. The explosion ripped through a crowd in Laghman province just as officials were leaving the mosque. Two top provincial officials from Laghman were also among the dead, and the blast destroyed... More »

US Still Lacks Translators in Vital Languages

Intelligence, military officials often unable to read texts, emails

(Newser) - Nearly eight years have passed since 9/11, but national security agencies remain disturbingly low on translators for crucial dialects, the Washington Times reports. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives email and text-message each other freely in languages the CIA largely ignored before 2001. "I can't explain it,... More »

Feds Plan to Build Team of Terror Interrogation Pros

(Newser) - The Obama administration is working on plans to create a team of interrogation experts drawn from different agencies, insiders tell the Wall Street Journal. The unit would take the job of debriefing "high-value" terror suspects away from the CIA, the sources say, and would be tasked with creating new,... More »

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