Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 2, 2015

Posts in "Terrorism"

March 2, 2015

AIPAC, DNI and ISIS in the Week Ahead

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah leave Tel Aviv on their way to Washington D.C. on March 1. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah leave Tel Aviv on their way to Washington D.C. on March 1. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Getty Images)

It’s another week of manic budget hearings. The highlights are Ashton B. Carter voyaging to both Senate Armed Services and House Appropriations to talk fiscal 2016 authorization and spending bills, respectively. Other topics of budget hearings this week include all four services, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the F-35.

Here’s the non-budget hearing stuff — Thursday and Friday are light compared to the rest of the week with the exception of the aforementioned budget hearings, so we’ll leave them out: Full story

February 27, 2015

Weekly Recap: Jihadi John, Homeland Security Department, Afghanistan

Acrobatic pilots perform on the first public day of the Australian International Airshow at the Avalon Airfield near Lara southwest of Melbourne on Feb. 27. (Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images)

Aerobatic pilots perform on the first public day of the Australian International Airshow at the Avalon Airfield near Lara southwest of Melbourne on Feb. 27. (Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Department of Homeland Security. The big newsmaking security fight this week has been about whether, and how, DHS would run out of money because Congress hasn’t passed a short-term funding measure before Friday’s deadline yet. For as much as the two parties are at each others’ throats, some Republicans were willing to not assume the worst about Democrats on one part of the debate.
  • ISIS. There are a lot of cyberspace components to the fight between the Islamic State group and its nemeses. Here are some of them.
  • Security at the Oscars. National security made more than just a cameo at the Academy Awards.
  • Afghanistan. Views are shifting among Democrats, at the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, about the wisdom of the Afghanistan troop drawdown timeline.
  • Elsewhere. Who knows what to make of the story about Chicago’s mini-Gitmo; here’s the original story and some pushback. The Central Intelligence Agency wants to expand its cyber operations. And “Jihadi John” was unveiled.

 

February 25, 2015

Amid Homeland Security Funding Dispute, Inflated Mall of America Scare?

Security K9 teams are presented to the media during a tour of the Mall of America security systems on Feb. 23 in Bloomington, Minn. In a newly released video, Somali militant group al-Shabaab called for terror attacks at a number of sites, including Mall of America. (Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

Security K9 teams are presented to the media during a tour of the Mall of America security systems on Feb. 23 in Bloomington, Minn. In a newly released video, Somali militant group al-Shabaab called for terror attacks at a number of sites, including Mall of America. (Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

Some journalists have questioned the White House about whether administration officials have overhyped a potential terror threat against shopping malls like the Mall of America in Minnesota at the same time it is trying to end a congressional standoff over homeland security funding.

At least some Republicans said Tuesday that they bought the legitimacy of that threat. Full story

February 24, 2015

The Other Kind of ISIS War: in Cyberspace

President Barack Obama addresses the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Feb. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama addresses the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Feb. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Forget about the actual bombing campaign(s) against the Islamic State group for now. There’s a surprising amount of war being waged against, and by, the group online. Full story

February 20, 2015

Weekly Recap: Presidential Politics, Weaponry, Viagra (Again)

Syrian scholar and Muslim cleric Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi listens as U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Feb. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Syrian scholar and Muslim cleric Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi listens as U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Feb. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Weaponry. Armed drone exports are an area for congressional intervention, but maybe not like you think. And the technical capabilities of other countries bombing the Islamic State group might be one of several problems with others getting involved.
  • Politics. We’ve spent some time on the other GOP presidential candidates’ foreign policy views, and turned our attention this week to Jeb Bush‘s.
  • Viagra. People seriously can’t seem to get enough of us writing about the Pentagon Viagra budget so it keeps making the weekly recap.
  • Elsewhere. There’s a permanent Secret Service boss on tap. Here‘s what the Atlantic says ISIS is about, and a counterpoint. And here‘s what a Russian cybersecurity firm says about the United States spying on foreign computers.

The Downsides of Other Countries Bombing ISIS

Jordanians hold banners shouting slogans during a demonstration on Feb. 6 in the capital Amman to express their solidarity with the pilot murdered by the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS. (Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images)

Jordanians hold banners shouting slogans during a demonstration on Feb. 6 in the capital Amman to express their solidarity with the pilot murdered by the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS. (Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images)

On one level, there’s an upside for the United States being joined in its fight against the Islamic State group by, say, Egypt and Jordan. There are, however, downsides starting to emerge. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 7:30 a.m.
Terrorism, War

February 17, 2015

Violent Extremism, Space, Cyber in the Week Ahead

President Barack Obama walks off Air Force One as it snows at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland upon his return from a four-day trip to California on Feb. 16. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama walks off Air Force One as it snows at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland upon his return from a four-day trip to California on Feb. 16. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Neither rain nor sleet nor gloom of night can stop Washington on a congressional recess week. Full story

February 13, 2015

Weekly Recap: New Pentagon Chief, AUMF, Viagra

A Pakistani policewoman fires a heavy machine gun during a special elite police training course at a police training centre in Nowshera, a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province on Feb. 11. (A Majeed/AFP/Getty Images)

A Pakistani policewoman fires a heavy machine gun during a special elite police training course at a police training centre in Nowshera, a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province on Feb. 11. (A Majeed/AFP/Getty Images)

February 12, 2015

ISIS Could Further Unite Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gen. Campbell Says

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel talks with Campbell (right) on his arrival in Kabul on Dec. 6. (Mark Wilson/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel talks with Campbell (right) on his arrival in Kabul on Dec. 6. (Mark Wilson/AFP/Getty Images)

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., said Thursday that the wisdom of the Afghanistan troop drawdown being decided based on the calendar rather than events is challenged by the Islamic State group making a showing there. His panel’s top Democrat, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, also said the group’s appearance is worrisome.

The U.S. Army general serving as commander of International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces-Afghanistan talked of a potential silver lining. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 10:37 a.m.
Terrorism, War

ISIS AUMF Debate So Lame

Obama announces he has sent Congress an authorization for the use of military force against the Islamic State group with (L-R) Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the White House Feb. 11. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Obama announces he has sent Congress an authorization for the use of military force against the Islamic State group with Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the White House Feb. 11. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Some people aren’t much buying that the legislative debate over the authorization for use of military force against the Islamic State group means much. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 8:40 a.m.
Terrorism, War

February 10, 2015

Kayla Mueller on Her ISIS Imprisonment, in a Letter

The family of Kayla Mueller has confirmed her death. The U.S. aid worker had been held captive by the Islamic State group, which claimed she died in a Jordanian air strike, although the U.S. government has not confirmed the manner of her death. She wrote a letter to her family last year, which they released Tuesday. It includes this passage:

I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful. I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it. I pray each each day that if nothing else, you have felt a certain closeness + surrender to God as well + have formed a bond of love + support amongst one another…

By Tim Starks Posted at 12:09 p.m.
Terrorism

United States (or Pals) Sharing Military Intelligence With Bashar al-Assad?

Syrians walk past a billboard bearing a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad on Saadallah al-Jabiri square, on the government controlled side of Aleppo, on Nov. 16, 2014. (Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrians walk past a billboard bearing a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad on Saadallah al-Jabiri square, on the government controlled side of Aleppo, on Nov. 16, 2014. (Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has made new claims that the United States-led coalition has shared intelligence with him about its strikes on the Islamic State group inside his country. Sort of. Full story

February 9, 2015

ISIS and the Law, Military Benefits & Afghanistan in the Week Ahead

Putin places a blanket around German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Peterhof garden during the G20 summit near Saint Petersburg on Sept. 5, 2013. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin places a blanket around German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Peterhof garden during the G20 summit near Saint Petersburg in 2013. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s a slow stretch at the beginning of the week, unless you’re keen on German-U.S. relations, which is a perfectly fine thing to be. (In case you’re wondering about that photo, here you go.) Full story

February 4, 2015

Lawmakers Vow to Speed Weapons to Jordan

From left: King Abdullah II of Jordan, Sen. John Boozman ,R-Ark., committee chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss, and ranking member Barbara A. Mikulski ,D-Md., wait for a meeting with the Senate Appropriations Committee on Feb. 3. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

From left: King Abdullah II of Jordan, Sen. John Boozman ,R-Ark., committee chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss, and ranking member Barbara A. Mikulski ,D-Md., wait for a meeting with the Senate Appropriations Committee on Feb. 3. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

The video purportedly depicting a Jordanian pilot being burned to death by the Islamic State group has key lawmakers saying they will press legislation, if necessary, to speed weapons to Jordan. Full story

Ashton Carter on Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, China, Russia

Ashton Carter gets a full day of congressional interrogation Wednesday, starting this morning, with the Senate Armed Services Committee set to vet his nomination for Defense secretary. He’s already shared some of his views via written answers to the panel’s questions.

Here are his answers to those pre-hearing questions on a number of countries. Full story

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