Terrorism News StoriesExcerpts of Key Terrorism News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of terrorism news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The US Central Intelligence Agency used a wider array of sexual abuse and other forms of torture than was disclosed in a Senate report last year, according to a Guantánamo Bay detainee turned government cooperating witness. Majid Khan said interrogators poured ice water on his genitals, twice videotaped him naked and repeatedly touched his “private parts” – none of which was described in the Senate report. Khan’s is the first publicly released account from a high-value al-Qaida detainee who experienced [these] “enhanced interrogation techniques”. The 35-year-old Khan ... is awaiting sentencing after [confessing] to delivering $50,000 to al-Qaida operatives in Indonesia. Khan was captured in Pakistan and held at an unidentified CIA “black site” from 2003 to 2006, according to the Senate report. In the interviews with his lawyers, Khan described a carnival-like atmosphere of abuse when he arrived at the CIA detention facility. He said that he experienced excruciating pain when hung naked from poles and that guards repeatedly held his head under ice water. In a July 2003 session, Khan said, CIA guards hooded and hung him from a metal pole for several days and repeatedly poured ice water on his mouth, nose and genitals. When a doctor arrived to check his condition, Khan begged for help. Instead, Khan said, the doctor instructed the guards to again hang him from the metal bar. After hanging from the pole for 24 hours, Khan was forced to write a “confession” while being videotaped naked.
Note: For more, read about the 10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture and many other questionable intelligence agency practices.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), fresh off a fight over the Patriot Act, has turned his attention to another national security battle: declassifying 28 pages of a 2002 Senate inquiry into the cause of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Paul is sponsoring the "Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Victims and Survivors Act," which would require President Obama to declassify and make public the pages. The issue is a politically charged one, with some claiming the pages will show that Saudi Arabia financed the attacks. Paul appeared at a Capitol Hill press conference with a bipartisan group of House sponsors, including Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), and Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.). The group were flanked by members of the group 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism. Paul pointed out that 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, saying that information that has been reported over the years "does raise question about their (the government's) support" and if it was provided to the hijackers. "We cannot let page after page of blanked out documents to be obscured by a veil, leaving these family members to wonder if there is additional information surrounding these horrible acts," Paul said. "The 28 pages in the report of over 800 pages go to the question of who financed 9/11and they point a strong finger at Saudi Arabia," Graham said.
Note: Rand Paul joins several prominent current and former US politicians that are working to expose the Saudi government money behind terrorism by declassifying this material. Explore the statements of over 3,000 respected government officials, professors, military officers, architects, engineers who have gone on the record raising serious questions about the 9/11 official story. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 investigation news articles from reliable major media sources.
Four years after the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at the hands of US Navy Seals in Abottabad, Pakistan, a new report ... by journalist Seymour Hersh questions the Obama administration’s account of the killing of Osama bin Laden. The report claims that, among the lies, the biggest was the idea that the raid in May 2011 that killed bin Laden was an all-American event. "The most blatant lie was that Pakistan’s two most senior military leaders – General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the army staff, and General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, director general of the ISI – were never informed of the US mission," the report says. The report also says that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency had been holding bin Laden as a prisoner since 2006, and that the US learned about the Al Qaeda leader’s location through a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer, who gave the information in return for the reward being offered by American officials. The White House has said bin Laden was found through tracking his couriers. Hersh’s primary US source for his story is "a retired senior intelligence official who was knowledgeable about the initial intelligence about bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad." White House spokesman Josh Earnest ... dismissed the Hersh piece, saying it was "riddled with inaccuracies." Hersh, a longtime contributor to The New Yorker, is an award-winning journalist who has won numerous prizes for his investigative reporting, including the Pulitzer Prize.
Note: There are many big problems with the official story of the killing of bin Laden. For starters, read the review on the London Review of Books website. For more, see this ABC News article, this BBC article and this AP article.
We learned recently from Paris that the Western world is deeply and passionately committed to free expression and ready to march and fight against attempts to suppress it. That’s a really good thing, since there are all sorts of severe suppression efforts underway in the West — perpetrated not by The Terrorists but by the Western politicians claiming to fight them. One of the most alarming examples comes, not at all surprisingly, from the U.K. government, which is currently agitating for new counterterrorism powers, “including plans for extremism disruption orders designed to restrict those trying to radicalize young people.” Advocating any ideas or working for any political outcomes regarded by British politicians as “extremist” will not only be a crime, but can be physically banned in advance. Prime Minister David Cameron unleashed this Orwellian decree to explain why new Thought Police powers are needed: “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.” It’s not enough for British subjects merely to “obey the law”; they must refrain from believing in or expressing ideas which Her Majesty’s Government dislikes. Threats to free speech can come from lots of places. But right now, the greatest threat by far in the West to ideals of free expression is coming not from radical Muslims, but from the very Western governments claiming to fight them.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
Guantánamo Diary ... in which Guantanamo detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi tells of his odyssey through overseas prisons and his torture and abuse by the US and its counterterrorism allies, is pockmarked with redactions left by military censors. The diary was finally published last week. Slahi, a 44-year-old Mauritanian educated in Germany, was rendered by the CIA to prison in Jordan in late 2001, then held by the U.S. in Afghanistan and Guantanamo. The U.S. has never charged him with a crime. By the time the editor Larry Siems got hold of the manuscript in 2012, volumes of information about Slahi’s case had come into the public record. In 2006, the government released transcripts from hearings evaluating prisoners’ detention status, Slahi’s among them. Reports from the Justice Department and the Senate Armed Services Committee detailed his interrogation. Siems was able to cross-reference these materials to establish the chronology of Slahi’s narrative, in which all dates have been redacted. Journalists have not been allowed to speak directly to current detainees. For Larry Siems, censorship is at the core of Slahi’s story, and while the redactions sometimes impede his narrative, they serve a literary function as well. “Secrecy was imposed in order for abuse to happen, and then more secrecy was imposed in order to cover it up,” said Siems. “The redactions are like the fingerprints of that longstanding censorship regime.”
Note: Despite U.S. officials acknowledging that many Guantanamo detainees pose no real threat to society, prisoners like Slahi continue to be detained as part of the ineffective but profitable war on terror.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that many of those in charge of the CIA’s torture program – the same people whose names were explicitly redacted from the Senate’s torture report in order to avert accountability – “have ascended to the agency’s powerful senior ranks” and now run the CIA drone program. Rather than being fired and prosecuted, they have been rewarded with promotions. The longtime Counterterrorism Center chief who just stepped down, Michael D’Andrea, was previously in charge of the notorious CIA prison known as the Salt Pit, where prisoners were regularly tortured and some died. His replacement, Chris Wood, was also “central to the interrogation program”, according to the Times. The only reason we know D’Andrea and Wood’s names is because the New York Times’ executive editor Dean Baquet commendably decided to publish them. The CIA asked them not to. Adding to the disturbing nature of the CIA’s ability to kill people in complete secrecy, the agency apparently now has a carte blanche to conduct drone strikes on its own. President Obama doesn’t individually approve them anymore – he lets the CIA unilaterally decide to kill people. The Obama administration has promised more transparency around drone strikes, yet at the same time, won’t even acknowledge that the controversial drone strike it’s apologizing for even happened - just because such admission might force courts to hold the government accountable for its actions.
About once a month, staff members of the congressional intelligence committees drive across the Potomac River to C.I.A. headquarters in Langley, Va., and watch ... footage of drone strikes. The screenings have provided a veneer of congressional oversight. The C.I.A.’s killing missions are ... unlikely to change significantly despite President Obama’s announcement on Thursday that a drone strike accidentally killed two innocent hostages, an American and an Italian. Michael D’Andrea ... was chief of operations during the birth of the agency’s detention and interrogation program and then, as head of the C.I.A. Counterterrorism Center, became an architect of the targeted killing program. He presided over the growth of C.I.A. drone operations and hundreds of strikes. Mr. D’Andrea was a forceful advocate for the drone program. He was particularly effective in winning the support of Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who was chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee until January. The confidence Ms. Feinstein and other Democrats express about the drone program ... stands in sharp contrast to the criticism among lawmakers of the now defunct C.I.A. program to capture and interrogate Qaeda suspects in secret prisons. When Ms. Feinstein was asked in a meeting with reporters in 2013 why she was so sure she was getting the truth about the drone program while she accused the C.I.A. of lying to her about torture, she seemed surprised. “That’s a good question, actually.”
Note: The CIA has been aware that drone strikes are ineffective since at least 2009. If drones help terrorists, almost always miss their intended targets, and may be used to target people in the US in the future, what are the real reasons for the US government's drone program?
When Bruce E. Ivins, an Army microbiologist, took a fatal overdose of Tylenol in 2008, the government declared that he had been responsible for the anthrax letter attacks of 2001, which killed five people and set off a nationwide panic, and closed the case. Now, a former senior F.B.I. agent who ran the anthrax investigation for four years says that the bureau gathered “a staggering amount of exculpatory evidence” regarding Dr. Ivins that remains secret. The former agent, Richard L. Lambert, who spent 24 years at the F.B.I., says he believes it is possible that Dr. Ivins was the anthrax mailer, but he does not think prosecutors could have convicted him had he lived to face criminal charges. In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Tennessee last Thursday, Mr. Lambert accused the bureau of trying “to railroad the prosecution of Ivins” and, after his suicide, creating “an elaborate perception management campaign” to bolster its claim that he was guilty. Mr. Lambert’s lawsuit accuses the bureau and the Justice Department of forcing his dismissal from a job as senior counterintelligence officer ... in retaliation for his dissent on the anthrax case. The anthrax letters were mailed to United States senators and news organizations in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The bureau’s investigation ... focused on a former Army scientist and physician, Dr. Steven J. Hatfill, who was subsequently cleared and given a $4.6 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit.
It’s been over two years since President Obama promised new transparency and accountability rules when it comes to drone strikes. Virtually no progress has been made. The criteria for who gets added to the unaccountable ‘kill list’ is still shrouded in secrecy – even when the US government is targeting its own citizens. We know because a Texas-born man named Mohanad Mahmoud Al Farekh recently captured overseas was arraigned in federal court this week. It turns out, as the Times reported, that in 2013 “his government debated whether he should be killed by a drone strike in Pakistan.” The CIA and military were reportedly pushing hard to send drones to kill Al Farekh, but the Justice Department didn’t think there was enough evidence. An important new report released by the Open Society Justice Initiative this week also shows that - despite the Obama administration’s internal requirements for drone strikes that supposedly require a “near certainty” that civilians won’t get killed - the government quite often just disregards its own rules, which has led to the death of dozens of civilians in Yemen in the past two years. Though without Open Society’s study, the public would have no clue, since the Obama administration still steadfastly refuses to officially release any information on drone strikes in Yemen. The administration has said for years it prefers capturing to killing – but the data indicates that they practice the opposite.
Note: The CIA has been aware that drone strikes are ineffective since at least 2009. If drones help terrorists, almost always miss their intended targets, and may be used to target people in the US in the future, what are the real reasons for the US government's drone program?
President Barack Obama will remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the White House announced Tuesday, a key step in his bid to normalize relations between the two countries. The U.S. has long since stopped actively accusing Cuba of supporting terrorism. When Obama and [Cuban President Raul] Castro announced a thaw in relations in December, the U.S. president expressed his willingness to remove Cuba from that list. Removing Cuba from the terror list could pave the way for the opening of a U.S. Embassy in Havana and other steps. Cuba was designated a state sponsor of terror in 1982 because of what the White House said was its efforts “to promote armed revolution by organizations that used terrorism.” Cuba renounced its direct support for foreign militants years ago. The terror list has been a particularly charged issue for Cuba because of what the government there sees as the U.S. history of supporting exile groups responsible for attacks on the island, including the 1976 bombing of a Cuban passenger flight from Barbados that killed 73 people aboard. The attack was linked to Cuban exiles with ties to U.S.-backed anti-Castro groups. Both men accused of masterminding the crime took shelter in Florida, where one, Luis Posada Carriles, lives to this day.
The RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] have arrested a man after a peace bond was ordered against him based on allegations he might commit a terrorism offence. Police say Amir Raisolsadat was released on unspecified conditions and ordered to return to court on April 20. No other information about the man, including where he is from, was released by the RCMP, citing the fact there is an ongoing criminal investigation in the case. Radio station Toronto 680 News says the man was arrested in Prince Edward Island, but a spokeswoman for the Mounties in that province would not comment, referring questions about the case to RCMP national headquarters in Ottawa. The RCMP in Ottawa issued a news release on the arrest, but declined to answer any questions. The news release says police may pursue an application for an order requiring someone to keep the peace and be of good behaviour under the Criminal Code if they believe that person may commit a terrorism offence.
In the spring of 2010, Afghan officials struck a deal to free an Afghan diplomat held hostage by Al Qaeda. But the price was steep — $5 million. To come up with the money, [senior security officials] turned to a secret fund that the Central Intelligence Agency bankrolled with monthly cash deliveries to the presidential palace in Kabul, according to several Afghan officials. The Afghan government, they said, had already squirreled away about $1 million from that fund. Within weeks, that money ... was handed over to Al Qaeda, replenishing its coffers after a relentless C.I.A. campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan had decimated the militant network’s upper ranks. The C.I.A.’s contribution to Qaeda’s bottom line, though, was no well-laid trap. It was just another in a long list of examples of how the United States, largely because of poor oversight and loose financial controls, has sometimes inadvertently financed the very militants it is fighting. While refusing to pay ransoms for Americans kidnapped by Al Qaeda, the Taliban or, more recently, the Islamic State, the United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars over the last decade at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, some of which has been siphoned off to enemy fighters. The C.I.A., meanwhile, continued dropping off bags of cash — ranging each time from a few hundred thousand dollars to more than $1 million — at the presidential palace every month until last year, when Mr. Karzai stepped down. The money was used to buy the loyalty of warlords, legislators and other prominent — and potentially troublesome — Afghans, helping the palace finance a vast patronage network that secured Mr. Karzai’s power base.
Note: A 2013 New York Times article called the US the "biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan" for its CIA bankrolling of Afghan warlords. Meanwhile, over a billion dollars of Iraqi "reconstruction" cash disappeared and was later tracked to a bunker in Lebanon. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The FBI and major media outlets yesterday trumpeted the ... latest counterterrorism triumph: the arrest of three Brooklyn men, ages 19 to 30, on charges of conspiring to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS. It appears that none of the three men was in any condition to travel or support the Islamic State, without help from the FBI informant. One of the frightening terrorist villains told the FBI informant that, beyond having no money, he had encountered a significant problem in following through on the FBI’s plot: his mom had taken away his passport. In this regard, this latest arrest appears to be quite similar to the overwhelming majority of terrorism arrests the FBI has proudly touted over the last decade. These cases ... end up sending young people to prison for decades for “crimes” which even their sentencing judges acknowledge they never would have seriously considered, let alone committed, in the absence of FBI trickery. We’re constantly bombarded with dire warnings about the grave threat of [terrorism]. But how serious of a threat can all of this be, at least domestically, if the FBI continually has to resort to manufacturing its own plots by trolling the Internet in search of young drifters and/or the mentally ill whom they target? Shouldn’t there be actual plots, ones that are created and fueled without the help of the FBI? The Justice Department is aggressively pressuring U.S. allies to employ these same entrapment tactics in order to create their own terrorists, who can then be paraded around as proof of the grave threat. The FBI’s terrorism strategy — keep fear alive — drives everything they do.
Note: Human Rights Watch has documented the government manufacture of fake "terrorism" plots being used to keep fear alive in war on terror. There is even evidence that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was an F.B.I. entrapment plan gone awry. In 2012, the New York Times exposed the pattern of F.B.I. entrapment used to produce these fake "terrorism" plots. How can corrupt intelligence agencies continue to blatantly manipulate public perception like this?
The leader of one the most notorious insurgent groups in Iraq was said to be a mysterious Iraqi named Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi. As the titular head of the Islamic State in Iraq, an organization publicly backed by Al Qaeda, Baghdadi issued a steady stream of incendiary pronouncements. Despite claims by Iraqi officials that he had been killed in May, Baghdadi appeared to have persevered unscathed. On Wednesday, a senior American military spokesman provided a new explanation for Baghdadi's ability to escape attack: He never existed. Brigadier General Kevin Bergner, the chief American military spokesman, said the elusive Baghdadi was actually a fictional character whose audio-taped declarations were provided by an elderly actor named Abu Adullah al-Naima. The ploy was to invent Baghdadi, a figure whose very name establishes his Iraqi pedigree, [and] install him as the head of a front organization called the Islamic State of Iraq. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, sought to reinforce the deception by referring to Baghdadi in his video and Internet statements. Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official and a Middle East expert ... suggested that the disclosures made Wednesday might not be the final word on Baghdadi and the leaders of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. "First, they say we have killed him," Riedel said, referring to the statements by some Iraqi government officials. "Then we heard him after his death and now they are saying he never existed. That suggests that our intelligence on Al Qaeda in Iraq is not what we want it to be."
Note: The above was written in 2007. More recently, the current Islamic State caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was reported in Newsweek to have been held alongside Al Qaeda militants by U.S. forces at Camp Bucca, a "virtual terrorist University" in Iraq.
A 13-year-old boy killed in Yemen last month by a CIA drone strike had told the Guardian just months earlier that he lived in constant fear of the “death machines” in the sky that had already killed his father and brother. “I see them every day and we are scared of them,” said Mohammed Tuaiman. He died two weeks ago. In 2011 an unmanned combat drone killed his father and teenage brother as they were out herding the family’s camels. The drone that would kill Mohammed struck on 26 January in Hareeb, about an hour from his home. The drone hit the car carrying the teenager, his brother-in-law Abdullah Khalid al-Zindani and a third man. “I saw all the bodies completely burned, like charcoal,” Mohammed’s older brother Maqded said. US government officials told Reuters that the strike had been carried out by the CIA and had killed “three men believed to be al-Qaida militants”. Maqdad said the family had been wrongly associated with al-Qaida. Speaking from al-Zur the day after his brother’s death, Meqdad said: “After our father died, al-Qaida came to us to offer support. But we are not with them. We will do anything – go to court, whatever – in order to prove that [Mohammed] was not with al-Qaida.” When the Guardian interviewed Mohammed last September, he spoke of his anger towards the US government: “They tell us that these drones come from bases in Saudi Arabia and also from bases in the Yemeni seas and America sends them to kill terrorists, but they always kill innocent people. We don’t know why they are killing us."
Note: How is it that the US gets away with killing so many innocent civilians and there is not an uproar? For a possible answer, read what a top US general had to say in this article . For more, read a summary of the revealing Los Angeles Times report "Living with death by drone".
A still-classified section of the investigation by congressional intelligence committees into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has taken on an almost mythic quality over the past 13 years. Now new claims by Zacarias Moussaoui, a convicted former member of Al Qaeda, that he had high-level contact with officials of the Saudi government in the prelude to Sept. 11 have brought renewed attention to the inquiry’s withheld findings. Representative Stephen F. Lynch, Democrat of Massachusetts [has authored] a bipartisan resolution encouraging President Obama to declassify the section. Mr. Lynch and his allies have been joined by former Senator Bob Graham of Florida, who as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee was a leader of the inquiry. He has called for the release of the report’s [28 page] Part 4, which dealt with Saudi Arabia, since President George W. Bush ordered it classified when the rest of the report was released in December 2002. Mr. Graham has repeatedly said it shows that Saudi Arabia was complicit in the Sept. 11 attacks. “The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11, and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier,” Mr. Graham said last month as he pressed for the pages to be made public. Proponents of releasing Part 4, titled “Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain National Security Matters,” have suggested that the Bush and Obama administrations have held it back for fear of alienating an influential military and economic partner rather than for any national security consideration.
Note: Several prominent current and former US politicians are working to expose the Saudi government money behind terrorism by declassifying this material. Moussaoui's new claims suggest that they are on the right track. For more along these lines, read concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 investigation news from reliable major media sources.
What do you call the unelected leader of a state that beheads people in public, permits only one faith and exports an extreme form of Islam to other countries? If he happens to be Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, self-appointed caliph of Islamic State (Isis), the answer is one of the world’s most wanted terrorists. If he is King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, the proper form of address is “Your Majesty”. Yesterday, the Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister turned up in Riyadh to pay their respects to Salman’s half-brother, King Abdullah, whose death was announced on Friday. Flags flew at half-mast in Whitehall while David Cameron ... praised the deceased despot’s efforts towards “strengthening understanding between faiths”. This is the same David Cameron who marched in Paris two weeks ago in solidarity with the victims of al-Qaeda-inspired terrorism. Barack Obama ... found the time to praise the absolute monarch and hailed the US-Saudi relationship “as a force for stability and security in the Middle East”. Few of the people hailing Abdullah as a “reformer” said anything about [how] the Saudi royal family promoted the puritanical ideology that created al-Qaeda and its offshoots, [and] sent Osama bin Laden and other young Saudis to fight in Afghanistan, creating a worldwide jihadist movement. Since then, Wahhabist ideology has inspired horrific attacks on civilians in the Middle East, Africa, the US and a string of European capitals.
Note: Read how several current and former US government officials have been trying to expose the Saudi government money behind terrorism. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption articles from reliable major media sources.
Following the lashing of blogger Raif Badawi and leaked footage that showed the public execution of a woman accused of beating her daughter, Saudi Arabia's harsh interpretation of sharia law and its use of capital punishment have come under international scrutiny. For many, the Saudi justice system sounds not unlike that of the Islamic State, the extremist Islamist group which has struck fear in much of the Middle East. This week, Middle East Eye, a Web site that focuses on news from the region and is frequently critical of Saudi Arabia, contrasted a set of legal punishments recently announced by the Islamic State with the corresponding punishments in Saudi Arabia. One key difference between the Islamic State and Saudi Arabia, of course, is that the latter is a key U.S. ally in the region – and a member of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State. Some experts argue that the fundamentalist brand of Islam practiced by both has theological links, however, and Riyadh's recent crackdown has been interpreted as an act of appeasement for Saudi hard-liners. Saudi Arabia's own concern about the Islamic State is likely genuine (plans to build an enormous wall along its border with Iraq are a good sign of that), but for many Americans, the extremist group's rise is also bringing with it a renewed skepticism about American allies in the region.
Note: Here is the diagram that compares Saudi justice with I.S. justice, and here is a diagram of the big, expensive security wall mentioned above. Is Saudi Arabia concerned that the Islamic State is less aligned with Saudi interests than other popular Islamic terrorist groups have been?
A man is given 50 lashes in a public square for "insulting Islam" on a liberal blog. Another is arrested for filming and uploading a woman's public beheading. Two females are imprisoned and put on trial for writing on Twitter in support of women driving. The cases are part of a sweeping clampdown on dissent. Acts that offend the country's religious hard-liners or open up the kingdom to criticism – like the video of the execution of a woman convicted of murdering her stepdaughter – have landed people in jail as a warning to others. The case of Raif Badawi, a 31-year-old father of three who was flogged this month, has attracted the most attention in recent days, particularly in the aftermath of the deadly attack in Paris. Badawi was arrested in 2012 after writing articles critical of Saudi Arabia's clerics on his Free Saudi Liberals blog. He was sentenced in May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes and was fined $266,000. Just days after the attacks in Paris, Saudi Arabia's minister of state for foreign affairs took part in the huge march that was held there to support free speech and honor the victims. Two days earlier, Badawi was flogged [for "insulting Islam" on his blog]. Critics of the crackdown on dissent point out that public beheadings are also practiced by al-Qaida and IS.
Note: Saudi Arabia continues to be a key ally of the US. Is this really what we want to support? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
Drone strikes and "targeted killings" of terror targets by the United States can be counterproductive and bolster the support of extremist groups, the CIA has admitted in a secret report released by WikiLeaks. The document, by the intelligence agency's Directorate of Intelligence, said that despite the effectiveness of "high value targeting" (HVT), air strikes and special forces operations had a negative impact by boosting the popular support of terror organisations. The CIA report is dated 2009 and talks of operations conducted in countries such as Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan and Yemen. Operations against terror targets "may increase support for the insurgents, particularly if these strikes enhance insurgent leaders' lore, if non-combatants are killed in the attacks, if legitimate or semi-legitimate politicians aligned with the insurgents are targeted, or if the government is already seen as overly repressive or violent," the report said. "Senior Taliban leaders' use of sanctuary in Pakistan has also complicated the HVT effort," it reveals. "Moreover, the Taliban has a high overall ability to replace lost leaders ... especially at the middle levels." It speaks of drone strikes also having limited effect in Iraq. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, US drone strikes have killed between 2,400 and 3,888 people in Pakistan in the years 2004 to 2014 and between 371 and 541 people in Yemen in the years 2002 to 2014.
Note: This report proves that the CIA has been aware that drone strikes are ineffective since at least 2009. If drones help terrorists, almost always miss their intended targets, and may be used to target people in the US in the future, what are the real reasons for the US government's drone program?
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.