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CAMP PENDLETON, California – Military prosecutors worked for more than six years to bring Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich to trial on manslaughter charges that could have sent him away to prison for life.
But only weeks after the long-awaited trial started, they offered Wuterich a deal that stopped the proceedings and could mean little to no jail time for the squad leader who ordered his men to "shoot first, ask questions later," resulting in one of the Iraq War's worst attacks on civilians by U.S. troops.

The 31-year-old Marine, who was originally accused of unpremeditated murder, pleaded guilty Monday to negligent dereliction of duty for leading the squad that killed 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha in 2005 during raids after a roadside bomb exploded, killing a fellow Marine and wounding two others.
Wuterich, who was indicted in 19 of the 24 deaths, now faces no more than three months in confinement.
It was a stunning outcome for the last defendant in the case once compared with the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. The seven other Marines initially charged were exonerated or had their cases dropped.
Military judge Lt. Col. David Jones will hear arguments from both sides Tuesday at Camp Pendleton, Calif., before sentencing Wuterich.


Legal experts said the case was fraught with errors made by investigators and the prosecution that let it drag on for years. The prosecution was also hampered by squad mates who acknowledged they had lied to investigators initially and later testified in exchange for having their cases dropped, bringing into question their credibility.
In addition, Wuterich was seen as taking the fall for senior leaders and more seasoned combat veterans, analysts said. It was his first time in combat when he led the squad on Nov. 19, 2005.
Brian Rooney, an attorney for another former defendant, said cases like Haditha are difficult to prosecute because a military jury is unlikely to question decisions made in combat unless wrongdoing is clear-cut and egregious, like rape.

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KANO, Nigeria (AP) — The aging Muslim spiritual leader of this northern Nigeria city, his eyes heavy with fatigue, leaned into a microphone Monday and whispered to God his wish for peace after the killing of at least 185 people in an attack by a radical Islamist sect. On the street, however, smudged black graffiti written in charcoal gave a different message: "Boko Haram good." Though businesses reopened and traffic again filled the streets Monday of Nigeria's second-largest city, people in Kano remained fearful the radical sect known as Boko Haram will attack again.

That tension only increased as police announced they had discovered 10 unexploded car bombs around the city, as uniformed officers and soldiers melted away from public view in this city of more than 9 million people. "We are not safe at all," warned resident Aminu Garba, 38. "We are not safe." Police issued a statement late Monday giving a fuller account of what happened during Friday's attack that saw at least two Boko Haram suicide bombers detonate explosive-laden cars.

The statement by state police commissioner Ibrahim Idris described attackers as speaking accented Hausa and other languages not normally heard in Kano as they assaulted police stations, immigration offices and the local headquarters of Nigeria's secret police.

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Posted by on in Daily News

The European Union formally adopted an oil embargo against Iran on Monday and froze the assets of Iran's central bank, part of sanctions to pressure Tehran into resuming talks on its controversial nuclear program.
Diplomats said the measures, approved in Brussels by the EU's 27 foreign ministers, include an immediate embargo on new contracts for crude oil and petroleum products. Existing contracts with Iran will be allowed to run until July.
Some 80 percent of Iran's oil revenue comes from exports and any measures or sanctions taken that affect its ability to export oil could hit hard at its economy. With about 4 million barrels per day, Iran is the second largest producer in OPEC.


Nations suspect it is trying to build nuclear weapons. Iran is now under several rounds of U.N. sanctions for not being more forthcoming about its nuclear program.
Two Iranian lawmakers, meanwhile, stepped up threats that their country would shutter the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world's crude flows, in retaliation for the EU oil sanctions on Tehran.
Lawmaker Mohammad Ismail Kowsari, deputy head of Iran's influential committee on national security, said Monday the strait "would definitely be closed if the sale of Iranian oil is violated in any way."
Tensions over the strait and the potential impact its closure would have on global oil supplies and the price of crude have weighed heavily on consumers and traders. Both the U.S. and Britain have warned Iran not to disrupt the world's oil supply.
Many analysts doubt that Iran could set up a blockade for long, but any supply shortages would cause world oil supplies to tighten temporarily.


For its part, the United States has enacted, but not yet put into force, sanctions targeting Iran's central bank and, by extension, the country's ability to be paid for its oil.
After news of the EU move, benchmark crude for March delivery rose 90 cents higher on the day at $99.23 a barrel in early morning European time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude was down 35 cents at id="mce_marker"09.51 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.
EU diplomats are calling the measure part of a twin track approach toward Iran: increase sanctions to discourage what they suspect is Iran pursuit of nuclear weapons but to emphasize at the same time the international community's willingness to talk.
Iran says its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes, but EU foreign ministers are not convinced.
"The recent start of operations of enrichment of uranium to a level of up to 20 percent in the deeply buried underground facility in Fordow near Qom further aggravates concerns about the possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program," they said in a statement.


That accelerated enrichment is in violation of six U.N. Security Council resolutions and 11 resolutions by the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, "and contributes to rising tensions in the region," the statement said.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague called the embargo part of "an unprecedented set of sanctions."
"I think this shows the resolve of the European Union on this issue," Hague said.
The EU also agreed to freeze the assets of the Iranian central bank. Together, the two measures are intended not only to pressure Iran to agree to talks but also to choke of funding for its nuclear activities.
In October, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton sent a letter to Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, saying her goal was a negotiated solution that "restores international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program."
She says she has not yet received a reply.
Ahead of Monday's decision, negotiators worked hard to try to ensure that the embargo would punish only Iran -- and not EU member Greece, which is in dire financial trouble and relies heavily on low-priced Iranian oil.

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Terrorists used disguise to execute two attacks in Iraq recently. A suicide bomber wearing a police uniform detonated his explosives at a police checkpoint near a Shiite mosque the southern Iraqi city of Basra recently, killing at least 53 people and injuring more than 137 others. Then just one day later militants wearing police uniforms executed a brazen attack on the western Iraqi city of Ramadi’s anti-terrorism police building killing least 21 people many of them police personnel and injuring more that 14 others.

Remember that in the past many social scientists referred to guerrilla warfare as the “weapon of the weak” and terrorism as the “weapon of the weakest.” Terrorists use violence to generate fear, and thereby achieve their political goals. Experts say that terrorists target two types of targets: symbolic items of the country, and places with large numbers of people.

Additionally, remember that infiltration is a classic tactic, officials have warned that terrorists could use uniforms as a means of to bypass established security protocols and strike hardened, high-value targets.  In today’s threat environment, the potential exists for the use of official looking uniforms to bypass security and gain access to a secure area for terrorist activities or an actual terrorist attack.

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Posted by on in HSN Blog

Tuberculosis is a major global public health issue. it typically affects the lungs, but can also target other organs and body parts, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine. Although antibiotics are effective in treating most cases, tuberculosis (TB) kills approximately 4,500 people worldwide every day. Some strains have developed resistance to these drugs, and Doctors in India have recently reported the country's first cases of the virtually untreatable form of tuberculosis.

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Western intelligence agencies are said to be aware that al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, personally dispatched a former British detainee to Libya.

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The increased number of frequency of crimes is a terrifying picture in today’s America. Fueled by a lack of jobs, and deprivation of opportunities crime hovers over every community in our nation like an ominous dark cloud. The spate of violent crimes is evidenced by a recent survey by the National Retail Federation. The organization is now in its seventh year, and has found that criminals are increasingly resorting to violence. Additionally, according to preliminary data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in 2011 there was a 13% increase of line of duty deaths of police officers from 2010.

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As one year comes to an end and a new year is about to unfold we must take a look back at the individuals whose lives and evil deeds changed ours. Below is a fairly extensive but partial list of significant terrorists killed in the year, 2011:

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Cargo traffic at the Port of Los Angeles was disrupted recently when longshoremen discovered a shipping container with the word "bomb" painted on the outside of the intermodal container.

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Despite Saudi Arabia's promises to implement a comprehensive internal revision and modernization plan for textbooks in the kingdom, and the Saudi king’s declarations that he was determined to eradicate an ideology of hate, Ali Al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs in Washington, D.C, says translations of recent Saudi Arabian textbooks continue to raise alarms.

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Scientists at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, Netherlands claim they have developed a highly contagious deadly strain of bird flu, which potentially could lead to a global pandemic.

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Posted by on in HSN Blog

Although there are no evidence any plots that are being planned, analysts have warned us in the past that there is the potential terrorists could decide to launch attacks during the holiday season.  Officials have citied several foiled plots that have drawn national attention to potential terror plots staged during the holiday season, including last years vehicle born explosive device (VBIED) or car bomb attempt, targeting the Christmas tree lighting at Portland, Oregon’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, and the foiled attempt to bomb a US-bound flight on Christmas Day 2009.

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Federal prosecutors unsealed allegations in a New York federal court recently lending further proof of the nexus between narcotics trafficking and terrorism.

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Posted by on in HSN Blog

At least four people were killed and more than 123 others injured in the Belgian city of Liege recently, when a lone attacker armed with grenades and an Fusil Automatique Léger or FAL  ("Light Automatic Rifle") lobbed hand grenades and fired shots at a bus stop a busy downtown square in front of the Belgian city’s La Place Saint Lambert, an enormous Gothic cathedral in the city’s centre.

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Posted by on in HSN Blog

At least one person was killed and more than 10 others injured recently when militants detonated explosive devices at venues packed with sports fans watching a soccer game in the Nigerian city of Jos.

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Posted by on in HSN Blog

In a recent interview in one of their country’s newspapers officials from Germany's domestic intelligence agency, “Verfassungsschutz” said they had proof that in an effort to raise funds to finance their operations, members of the National Socialist Underground sold a neo-Nazi version of the popular board game “Monopoly.”

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Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX) announced recently that on his recent visit to Karachi, Pakistani officials made aware of a potential threat to our national security. The officials warned that potential operatives from Pakistan, and Iran, possibly members of al-Qaeda, the Taliban or the Haqqani network could easily obtain visas which would allow them to enter Mexico from Mexican diplomatic settlements in Pakistan, making Mexico a perfect way station en-route to the US.

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Not knowing what unseen hazards they may encounter, veteran firefighters will tell you there’s always inherent risks in a our jobs. Within the fire fighting community, we know that one of the greatest hazards in firefighting is the threat of structural collapse.

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Posted by on in HSN Blog

First base: Appoint a well-known voice of hate  and member of the Muslim Brotherhood to the Department of Homeland Security and give him a secret clearance ; Second base: See all your undercover people in Lebanon identified; Third base:  Refuse to say that Hamas is a terrorist organization.

Result: Political correctness scores another massive win over common sense and counter terrorism!

 

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“Lone offender” or “Lone Wolf” terrorism poses a particular problem for officials, as it is considerably more difficult to gather intelligence on lone wolves, compared to conventional threats. The reason for this is because the individual commits violent and/or non-violent acts in support of some group, movement, or ideology, but does so alone, outside of any command structure. While the lone wolf's actions are motivated to advance the group's goal, the tactics and methods are conceived and directed solely by the lone wolf, without any outside command or direction.

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