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US Journo Escaped 'Crazy' Kidnapping, Lands in New Mess

Lindsey Snell has been detained by Turkey on charges of violating military zone

(Newser) - On Aug. 5, American freelance journalist Lindsey Snell posted hints of a "crazy story" on Facebook , noting she'd been kidnapped by an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria and had escaped "with the help of an incredible, selfless badass." She promised to share more details, but that never... More »

Friends, Family: Iran May Be Holding San Diego Man

Human rights advocate Robin Shahini taken by Iranian authorities, family says

(Newser) - After graduating from San Diego State University in May, Gholamrez "Reza" Shahini, known to most as Robin, headed to Iran to visit his mom and other family. But the 46-year-old San Diego man hasn't been heard from in more than 10 days, and friends and family back in... More »

'Disturbed' Man Detained Near Taylor Swift's Home

Sources say 25-year-old stopped in NYC had also shown up near singer's RI residence

(Newser) - A "disheveled" man who sources say had previously been caught lurking near Taylor Swift's home in Rhode Island was detained Tuesday while hanging around outside of her Tribeca apartment in New York City and ringing her doorbell, police say, per Page Six . He's been identified as 25-year-old... More »

N. Korea Releases American Detainee

Jeffrey Fowle is on his way to Guam; 2 others still held

(Newser) - Jeffrey Fowle, one of three Americans being held in North Korea, was released today after six months in custody and is currently aboard an American plane bound for Guam, reports CNN . A State Department official confirmed the release of Fowle, an Ohio resident who was suspected of leaving a Bible... More »

American Detained in North Korea Utterly Alone

Matthew Miller left no family contact info, no one looking for him: tour group

(Newser) - Matthew Todd Miller, the 24-year-old American detained in North Korea earlier this month , traveled to the country by himself—and so far, there's no sign of family looking for him, the travel company that put together his trip tells the New York Times . He didn't leave any contact... More »

N. Korea Confirms American Being Held

Pyongyang 'plans to use missionary as bargaining chip'

(Newser) - North Korea has confirmed that it has been holding an American citizen in detention since last November, the AP reports, and is preparing to bring charges against him. Pyongyang names the man as Jun Young Su, and says he was arrested for committing a crime against the country and he... More »

Iran Reportedly Jails Mousavi

Tehran formally detains opposition leaders, wives

(Newser) - Iran is cracking down on its opposition today, jailing prominent leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, reports the AP. The pair and their wives were arrested and taken to Tehran's Heshmatiyeh jail, according to reformist website The two have been under house arrest for two weeks for... More »

US Woman Detained as Spy, Says Iran

State media claim 55-year-old was found with microphone in mouth

(Newser) - A 55-year-old American women has been detained in Iran, according to the state-owned newspaper, which claims she was found with spying equipment hidden on her body and "a microphone" between her teeth. Customs authorities allegedly detained the woman upon her arrival from neighboring Armenia without a visa, reports the... More »

CIA Promised to Cover $5M in Legal Fees for Waterboarders

Psychologists first known waterboarders in secret prisons

(Newser) - The CIA secretly agreed to pay at least $5 million in legal fees for two contractors who designed interrogations and repeatedly waterboarded detainees, say former US officials. Whereas CIA agents generally receive agency-paid insurance for potential legal bills, psychologists Jim Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the first individuals to have been... More »

Detroit Bomber Should Be in Military Hands

'We need to know what suspect knows'

(Newser) - The most alarming thing about the administration's unimpressive response to the Detroit terror incident was its failure to immediately hand the suspect over to the military, writes Michael Mukasey. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab should have been treated like a valuable source of information instead of a mere criminal suspect, the former... More »

Castro: Obama's Out to Destabilize Cuba

Cuban prez slams US over arrested contractor

(Newser) - Raul Castro signaled that his honeymoon with the Obama administration is over in an angry speech yesterday accusing the US of stepping up its effort to topple the country's Communist government. "The enemy is as active as always," said Castro, pointing to the Cuba's recent detention of an... More »

Gitmo Inmate Policy Chief Bails

Phillip Carter led search for prison replacement

(Newser) - The Pentagon official tasked with closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center has quit the Obama administration after seven months on the job. Phillip Carter, the chief official in charge of detainee policy, cited personal reasons. His resignation comes in the wake of the administration's announcement that it will miss its... More »

No Clear Way for US to Prosecute Gitmo Prisoners

Experts split on whether to use federal courts or military commissions

(Newser) - President Obama is edging closer to his goal of closing the Guantanamo Bay prison: Congress has approved detainee trials on US soil and the National Defense Authorization Act, passed yesterday, attempts to repair the damaged legality of President Bush’s military-commissions system. But hurdles remain, with legal scholars split on... More »

Iran Allows Swiss Envoys Visit With Detained Hikers

Policy reversal may be gesture of goodwill ahead of nuclear talks

(Newser) - Iran has changed its policy on three detained US hikers, allowing Swiss diplomats—who represent American interests in Iran—to visit them. Officials have been denied access to the three Americans since they were detained in July after crossing the border from Iraqi Kurdistan into Iran. Tehran’s reversal may... More »

Iran Admits Protester Was Beaten to Death

First official acknowledgment of post-election state violence

(Newser) - A man arrested in the upheaval following Iran's presidential election was beaten to death in jail, Iranian media reported yesterday—offering the first official acknowledgment that a detained protester died after the disputed vote. Officials had originally said the man died of an illness, but a coroner's report said he... More »

Freed Gitmo Detainee to Sue US for Damages

(Newser) - A Guantanamo inmate recently released to his native Afghanistan after almost 7 years of detention plans to sue the US for damages, the AP reports. Mohammed Jawad is considered one of the youngest prisoners held at the Cuban base—he claims he was 12 at the time he was captured,... More »

Judge Orders Gitmo Detainee Returned to Afghanistan

But Mohammed Jawad may still face conventional prosecution

(Newser) - A Guantanamo Bay inmate may be released to Afghanistan next month after successfully challenging his detention under habeas corpus, the Washington Post reports. US District Judge Ellen Huvelle ordered Mohammed Jawad’s release based on the dodgy evidence against him—mainly, a confession allegedly obtained by threatening to kill Jawad... More »

Ireland Agrees to Take in 2 Gitmo Detainees

(Newser) - Ireland has agreed to resettle two Uzbek detainees from the US’ Guantanamo Bay detention center, Ireland’s foreign minister tells the Irish Times. The detainees are among those who are not considered a threat, but can’t be returned to their home countries. Dermot Ahern, a longtime proponent of closing... More »

Sadistic Brit Soldiers 'Made Iraqis Dance Like Jacko'

(Newser) - British troops called Iraqi detainees "apes," beat them so that their moans of pain sounded like an "orchestrated choir," and forced them to dance like Michael Jackson, a public inquiry into the death of one of the detainees heard yesterday. The inquiry panel was told... More »

Detainees, Once Acquitted, May Still Die at Gitmo

Like Bush, Obama administration argues for indefinite detention

(Newser) - Detainees held at Guantanamo Bay and other military prisons may not be freed even if a US commission acquits them of all charges, an Obama administration official testified yesterday. The Defense Department rep told a Senate committee that detainees would be assessed on an individual basis and that prisoners might... More »

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