US intelligence

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Trump Warns North Korea of 'Fire and Fury'

He speaks after report of big advance by North on nuclear capability

(Newser) - The Washington Post is out with a chilling report about North Korea's nuclear capabilities: It says Pyongyang has figured out how to make a nuclear warhead small enough to be carried by a missile. The news comes from a newly completed assessment by US intelligence officials, and it suggests... More »

Trump Appears to Trust Assange Over US Intel

He's accused of 'mocking' intelligence officials who risk their lives

(Newser) - The American intelligence community had concluded Russia is to blame for cyberattacks during the US election, including those targeting Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange disagrees. And in a move one Republican political consultant sees as "mocking American men and women who … put their... More »

Report: 1K US Spies Helping Brazil Monitor Olympics

All 17 US intelligence agencies are reportedly involved

(Newser) - There may be more US spies than Zika-carrying mosquitoes in Rio over the next couple of weeks, per a "highly classified" intelligence report seen by NBC News . With the blessing of Brazil's government, some 1,000 espionage experts—about 350 of them onsite in Rio—are positioned and... More »

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 »

New Gag Order on Spies Will Make Us Less Safe

Jack Shafer: We need more debate on policies, not insular decision-making

(Newser) - The nation's intelligence chief has issued a new directive that severely clamps down on his underlings' ability to talk to reporters, reports the Federation of American Scientists . James Clapper's intent with Directive 119 is to eliminate leaks of classified information and thus make the country safer. Instead, this... More »

US Warns Intel Partners: Snowden Has Dirt on You

Some countries not publicly allied with the US are involved

(Newser) - American officials are quietly and delicately alerting intelligence services around the world that Edward Snowden made off with documents that could out them as US collaborators, government sources tell the Washington Post . Countries around the world—some of which are not officially US allies—have been helping the US gather... More »

We Distrust, Spy on Pakistan More Than You Think: Files

Snowden's 'black budget' shows 'no other nation draws as much scrutiny'

(Newser) - Included in the summary of the $52.6 billion "black budget" leaked by Edward Snowden: quite a bit of money spent keeping an eye on Pakistan. Despite the fact that Pakistan is technically a US ally, the documents reveal it is as much a target of US surveillance as... More »

Snowden Reveals Spy Agencies' $53B 'Black Budget'

We spend vast sums, still have critical intelligence gaps

(Newser) - The US has budgeted $52.6 billion on its intelligence operations this year, according to classified documents Edward Snowden leaked to the Washington Post . Yet those operations are, by their own assessment, doing a less-than-spectacular job on a host of critical intelligence questions. Here are some highlights of the Post... More »

US Sabotages al-Qaeda Mag

'Inspire' magazine's publication delayed

(Newser) - US operatives sabotaged al-Qaeda's Inspire magazine last month, temporarily delaying the publication of the latest issue, the Washington Post reports. When the issue initially came online on May 14, some text was garbled and some pages were blank. That version was removed within 30 minutes, and a new version... 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 »

US Talks Israel Out of Attacking Iran (for Now)

Says Tehran at least a year from nuclear weapons

(Newser) - The Obama administration believes it has persuaded Israel not to attack Iran immediately, after convincing Israel that the rogue nation isn’t especially close to producing a nuclear weapon. The administration believes it will take Iran at least a year to finish a “dash” toward a nuclear weapon, officials... More »

Obama to Tap Clapper as Spy Chief

Dennis Blair replacement experienced, seen as combative

(Newser) - President Barack Obama has settled on James Clapper, the Pentagon's top intelligence official, as his pick to oversee the nation's 16 spy agencies. Obama planned to announce the nomination of Clapper, a retired Air Force three-star general, as national intelligence director in a White House Rose Garden ceremony today. He... More »

Birthday Cake Awaited Suicide Bomber at CIA Base

Officers had birthday party for double agent al-Balawi

(Newser) - CIA officers in Afghanistan were so eager to meet the spy they believed would help them crack al-Qaeda's leadership they planned a birthday celebration for his visit in December. A birthday cake was waiting. But before they could begin to question their golden source, he detonated a powerful bomb, killing... More »

Next al-Qaeda Attempt 'Certain' Within 6 Months

US remains focus for bin Laden, top deputy, intelligence chief says

(Newser) - An attempt by al-Qaeda or one of its affiliates to attack the US is “certain” within the next six months, the director of national intelligence told a Senate committee today. As long as Osama bin Laden and his top deputy are on the loose, Dennis Blair says, US targets... More »

Abdulmutallab Now Cooperating With Feds

Authorities get 'useful, current' info from underwear bomber

(Newser) - The so-called “underwear bomber” is now cooperating with US authorities, who have acted upon the “useful, current” information Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has given them, sources tell Politico . Abdulmutallab is said to have clammed up when he was given his Miranda rights less than an hour into questioning after... More »

Phone-Bust Cohort Worked for US Intelligence

ACORN sting's buddy recruited spies on college campus

(Newser) - One of the four men busted for allegedly tampering with the phones in Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans offices once helped train spies for an organization funded by US in telligence. Stanley Dai was the assistant director of the Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence at Trinity Washington University... More »

US Found Out About Bomber's Terrorist Links as He Flew

Abdulmutallab was to be detained in Detroit

(Newser) - US authorities learned of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s links to Islamic extremists while the would-be bomber was aboard a Detroit-bound plane, the Los Angeles Times reports, and planned to question him when it landed. Intelligence officials have certainly gotten the chance—but only after passengers on Northwest Flight 253 stifled... More »

Obama Gets First Report on Detroit Terror Attempt

Prez gets answers to how Abdulmutallab boarded plane

(Newser) - As a first step in his effort to overhaul intelligence practices, President Obama will today receive a preliminary report on how exactly the Detroit bombing suspect managed to board a US-bound plane, along with recommendations on how to prevent a sequel. The reams of intelligence data that were combed through... More »

No 'Magic Piece of Intelligence' Existed on Abdulmutallab

Official defends CIA handling of data

(Newser) - With the US intelligence community under fire from President Obama on down about what was known, and when, about would-be airline bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, one insider is taking exception. “Abdulmutallab’s father didn’t say his son was a terrorist, let alone planning an attack,” an unnamed... More »

UN Nuclear Agency Blasts Iran Stonewalling

ElBaradei sees investigation at 'dead end'

(Newser) - The United Nations’ nuclear agency had unusually harsh words for Iran today, saying its investigation into Tehran’s nuclear program was at “a dead end” after more than a year of stonewalling. Ahead of a vote on a resolution criticizing Iran for failing to disclose a uranium enrichment plant,... More »

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