2013年5月20日月曜日

U.S. Attorney Obtains Phone Records

米司法省はAP通信の通話履歴を収集した
 AP通信は、米政府が同社のオフィスや記者の通話履歴を昨年、ひそか
に収集していたと報じた。司法省はAPに履歴収集の事実を認め、プル
イット社長兼最高経営責任者(CEO)は同日付の書簡でホルダー司法長官に
「大規模で例のない取材活動の侵害」と抗議した。

司法省
・理由を明らかにしていない。

AP通信
・米CIAが爆弾テロ計画をどうやって阻止したかを伝えた昨年5月配信の
 記事に絡み、同省が取材源を探ったとみている。
・通話履歴押収
 2012年4-5月
 NYやDCの支局、下院の取材拠点等電話回線20本以上
・回線は100人以上の記者が使った可能性がある。

APは、NSLによる報告で、通話履歴押収を知ったようだ。
米裁判所が、FBIによる個人情報に関する押収情報の非開示は違法とし、
NSLが必ず通知されるようになった。
テロや犯罪を目的に施行された愛国者法が、政府の情報流出源を見つけ
るために利用された。

マスメディアは、憲法で保証された報道の自由の侵害と主張。
弁護士資格のあるオバマが法律違反との報道もあるが、政府は司法省
が独断で実施と発表している。

治安当局は、通話履歴から情報源を見つける努力をしたようだが、最近は
暗号を利用した通話やIPアドレスを隠蔽するソフトウェア等が流通し、
見つけにくいようだ。
情報源が会社に乗り込んでくるとは思えないし、政府相手だから、記者
との接触でも慎重だろう。

米CIAが爆弾テロ計画阻止
・金属を含まない爆弾を開発し押収した。
 空港の金属探知機に反応せずに、航空機テロが可能。
 最新のボディスキャナでの探知は不明。
・AP通信は治安当局と調整し、報道時期を決定。
・Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiriが爆弾を作った可能性が高い。
 下着爆弾とプリンタインクカートリッジ爆弾を製作。

オバマ 米機テロ未遂は許し難いミス
米向け航空便に爆発物
爆弾便テロ
米 機内インクカートリッジ持込禁止
ウィキリークス 米外交文書公開
米政府 国民監視ネットワーク構築へ
Chinese Army Unit61398
FBI 監視強化


DOJ justifies searching Associated Press phone records


White House denies knowledge of AP investigation


---米司法省 APの通話記録入手---
2013年5月14日 夕刊
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/world/news/CK2013051402000245.html

 【ワシントン=竹内洋一】AP通信は十三日、米司法省が同社の電話の通話記録を極秘に入手していたとして同省に抗議したと報じた。昨年五月、米国行き航空機を狙った国際テロ組織アルカイダ系の爆弾テロ計画を中央情報局(CIA)が阻止した事件で、これを報じた同社の情報源を突き止めるためだと示唆した。
 APによると、米司法当局が入手したのはニューヨーク本社やワシントン支局の昨年四~五月の二十回線以上の通話記録。テロ計画未遂を報じた記者五人と編集者一人を含む百人以上の記者が使っていたという。通話の内容が把握されていたかどうかは確認されていないとしている。
 同社のプルイット最高経営責任者(CEO)はホルダー司法長官に宛てた抗議の書簡で「当局がこれほど広範囲に通話記録を入手したことは正当化され得ない。秘密の情報源とのやりとりが明らかにされかねない」として記録の返還とコピーの破棄を求めた。これに対し政府側は通話記録を入手した理由を説明していないという。
 同通信は昨年五月、CIAによるイエメンでの活動を含めて航空機爆破テロを未然に防いだ詳細を報道した。米司法当局はAP通信への機密情報の漏えいを犯罪として捜査していることを公に認めていた。


---米当局、記者の通話記録押収…特ダネ書かれ捜査---
2013年5月14日12時51分  読売新聞
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/world/news/20130514-OYT1T00477.htm

 【ワシントン=白川義和】AP通信は13日、米司法当局がAPの記者らの電話通話記録を事前通告なしに押収していたと発表した。
 APは「これほど広範囲に報道機関の通話記録が押収された前例はない」と指摘し、ホルダー司法長官に抗議の書簡を送った。
 APによると、ニューヨークやワシントンの支局、下院の取材拠点などの電話回線20本以上の2012年4~5月にかけての通話記録が今年初めに押収されていた。今月10日に司法当局からの書簡で初めて知ったという。回線は100人以上の記者が使った可能性があるという。
 APは12年5月7日、米中央情報局(CIA)のイエメンでの対テロ秘密作戦を報じ、司法当局が国家機密漏えいの疑いで捜査していた。この関連で記録が押収された可能性がある。押収された回線の中には、この記事を担当した記者が使っていたものもあった。
 ワシントンの連邦地検は13日、声明を出し、事前通告により捜査が相当に脅かされる場合でない限り、報道機関には押収について事前通告しているとした上で、報道の自由と捜査という二つの「公共の利益」のバランスを「慎重に考慮している」と主張した。


---米政府、AP通信の通話履歴収集 「取材活動の侵害」と抗議---
2013年5月14日 11時54分
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/s/article/2013051401001251.html

 【ワシントン共同】AP通信は13日、米政府が同社のオフィスや記者の通話履歴を昨年、ひそかに収集していたと報じた。司法省はAPに履歴収集の事実を認め、プルイット社長兼最高経営責任者(CEO)は同日付の書簡でホルダー司法長官に「大規模で例のない取材活動の侵害」と抗議した。
 司法省は理由を明らかにしていない。APは、中央情報局(CIA)が爆弾テロ計画をどうやって阻止したかを伝えた昨年5月配信の記事に絡み、同省が取材源を探ったとみている。
 カーニー大統領報道官は「われわれは犯罪捜査に絡む決定には関わらない」として、ホワイトハウスの関与を否定。


---U.S. attorney general says he didn't make AP phone records decision---
By David Ingram and Tabassum Zakaria
WASHINGTON | Tue May 14, 2013 6:59pm EDT
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/14/us-usa-justice-ap-idUSBRE94C0ZW20130514

(Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday he did not make the controversial decision to secretly seize telephone records of the Associated Press but defended his department's actions in the investigation of what he called a "very, very serious leak."

The decision to seek phone records of one of the world's largest news-gathering organizations was made by Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole, Holder said.

Holder, speaking at a press conference, said he recused himself from the matter to avoid a potential conflict of interest because he was interviewed by the FBI as part of the same leak investigation that targeted the AP records.

That seizure, denounced by critics as a gross intrusion into freedom of the press, has created an uproar in Washington and led to questions over how the Obama administration is balancing the need for national security with privacy rights.

Combined with a separate furor over the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative political groups for extra scrutiny, it also is stoking fears of excessive government intrusion under President Barack Obama.

The White House has said it had no advance knowledge of the IRS or Justice Department actions.

Lawmakers from both parties on Tuesday criticized the Justice Department's decision to obtain the AP records. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the action "inexcusable."

But in a letter to AP president Gary Pruitt, Cole on Tuesday defended the department's unusual action against a member of the media, saying it was a necessary step in the year-old criminal probe of leaks of classified information.

A law enforcement official said the probe is related to information in a May 7, 2012, AP story about an operation, conducted by the CIA and allied intelligence agencies, that stopped a Yemen-based al Qaeda plot to detonate a bomb on an airplane headed for the United States.

Cole declined Pruitt's request to return the records.

"We strive in every case to strike the proper balance between the public's interest in the free flow of information and the public's interest in the protection of national security and effective enforcement of our laws," he wrote. "We believe we have done so in this matter."

Pruitt, in a statement responding to Cole's letter, said "it does not adequately address our concerns," which include that the subpoena's scope was "overbroad under the law" and that the AP was not notified in advance.

The AP story at issue, he said, contradicted White House assertions that there was no credible threat to the American people in May 2012 around the first anniversary of the killing of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

Cole disclosed that investigators conducted more than 550 interviews and reviewed tens of thousands of documents in the probe before seizing the toll records of AP phone calls.

Holder said he did not have specific knowledge about the formulation of the subpoena for the AP records, but does not believe the Justice Department did anything wrong.

PUT AMERICANS 'AT RISK'

"This was ... a very, very serious leak," he said. "I have been a prosecutor since 1976 and I have to say that this is among, if not the most serious, it is within the top two or three most serious leaks that I have ever seen," Holder said, speaking at an unrelated press conference on Medicare fraud.

"It put the American people at risk, and that is not hyperbole," he said. "And trying to determine who was responsible for that, I think, required very aggressive action."

In June 2012, Holder ordered two U.S. attorneys to pursue separate leak investigations, the subject of which he did not identify.

The probes followed calls by Congress to crack down on national security leaks after the Associated Press report on the Yemen plot and a New York Times report on details of the Stuxnet computer virus that sabotaged Iran's nuclear centrifuges.

The AP said it was informed last Friday that the Justice Department had gathered records for more than 20 phone lines assigned to the news agency and its reporters, covering April and May of last year.

Pruitt, in a letter to Holder on Monday, called the seizure a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into news-gathering operations.

Five reporters and an editor involved in the AP story about the Yemen plot were among those whose phone records were obtained by the government, the AP said.

Reuters reported that on May 7, 2012, Obama's top White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, who is now CIA director, held a small, private teleconference to brief former counterterrorism advisers who are TV commentators and told them the plot was never a threat to U.S. public safety because Washington had "inside control" over it.

One of the former officials on the call later said on network TV that the U.S. government had indicated implicitly that "they had somebody on the inside who wasn't going to let it happen."

U.S. and European authorities later acknowledged the alleged plot had been discovered because an informant had been planted inside the conspiracy by MI5, Britain's principal counterterrorism agency.

The original AP story made no mention of an undercover informant or "control" over the operation by the United States or its allies.

Brennan acknowledged during his Senate confirmation hearing that he had been interviewed by prosecutors in connection with two leak inquiries, including the Yemen probe. He told Congress that he had not leaked any classified information.

Several prominent Republicans last year called for a crackdown on leaks, with some suggesting the White House was orchestrating them to burnish Obama's security credentials and chances for re-election in November.

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican on the Judiciary Committee, when asked whether Republicans had the type of action taken against the AP in mind, said: "No, I don't think anybody wants to take away the freedom of the press. ... You can't be free if you've got government monitoring your calls, and your interviews. How is that a free press?"

Reid, the Senate's top Democrat, told reporters at the Capitol, "I don't know who did it, why it was done, but it's inexcusable, and there is no way to justify this."

The Obama administration has been aggressive in combating national security leaks, conducting at least a half-dozen prosecutions - more than under all other previous presidents combined, according to tallies by multiple news organizations.

Mark Corallo, a Justice Department spokesman between 2002 and 2005, said that during his tenure, the rule was that any request from any part of the Justice Department for the issuing of subpoenas against a news organization had to be submitted to his office for approval.

Corallo said that of "dozens" of requests from prosecutors for subpoenas directed against news organizations, he approved one during his tenure.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said that President Barack Obama "believes that the press as a rule needs to have an unfettered ability to pursue investigative journalism."

"He is also committed, as president and as a citizen, to the proposition that we cannot allow classified information, that can do harm to our national security interests or do harm to individuals, to be leaked," Carney said.

"Certainly there have been lots of presidents upset about leaks and there have been a number of chief executives who have gone to rather extraordinary lengths," said Darrell West, director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution think tank.

"But I think people believed that Obama was more committed to civil liberties so it's actually more shocking that he did it rather that someone like (George W.) Bush and (Richard) Nixon because people had higher expectations of him," he said.


---AP: Justice Department seizure of phone records an unprecedented intrusion---
Ewen MacAskill in Washington
The Guardian, Tuesday 14 May 2013   
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/14/associated-press-phone-records

Obama administration took records in apparent effort to track down source who disclosed alleged Yemen terrorist plot story

The Obama administration has opened up a new front in its battle against media freedom by seizing phone records from the offices of the Associated Press news agency in what appeared to be an effort to track down the source who disclosed an alleged Yemen terrorist plot story.

The US attorney's office for the District of Columbia confirmed on Monday that subpoenas had been issued for phone records. It said it valued press freedom but it had to balance this against the public interest.

AP revealed on Monday that the justice department, without informing the organisation in advance, had obtained two months' worth of phone records of calls made by reporters and editors.

Lawyers for AP said the records, which the justice department appears to have obtained from the phone companies earlier this year, listed every call made by about 100 reporters from AP's main offices in New York, Washington and Hartford, Connecticut, and from its office in the House of Representatives press gallery between April and May last year. The justice department informed AP last Friday. AP described it as a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into newsgathering operations.

The attorney's office refused to say why the seizure had been made but it is almost certainly in relation to an AP exclusive report on 7 May last year in which it reported the CIA had stopped a plot by an al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen to destroy a US-bound airliner.

AP at the time agreed to White House and CIA requests to hold back publication because they said an intelligence operation was still under way. After being satisfied that these concerns had been met, AP published on the Monday, ignoring a request from the Obama administration to wait until Tuesday for the official announcement.

The justice department has since launched an investigation into the leak. The phone records of five of the reporters plus an editor involved in the Yemen story were among those taken.

AP's president and chief executive officer, Gary Pruitt, sent a letter of protest to the attorney-general, Eric Holder. "These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP's newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know," Pruitt said.

He described it as "serious interference with AP's constitutional rights to gather and report the news".

Although Obama was elected on a liberal ticket in 2008 and again in 2012, his administration has mounted a sustained campaign through the courts and other means against whistleblowers, particularly in relation to what it claims are sensitive intelligence matters.

Media organisations and civil rights groups complain that many of the cases it appear to have to do with administrative secrecy than matters of national security.

The Obama administration has brought six cases against people suspected of leaking classified information, which AP described as being more than under all previous presidents combined.

A former CIA officer found himself in trouble for revealing details to journalists about waterboarding while a former member of the National Security Agency was prosecuted for disclosing that the agency was about to spend millions of dollars on a software programme that he argued was more expensive than a similar programme developed in-house.

The justice department, in its statement, defended the AP seizure. "Because we value the freedom of the press, we are always careful and deliberative in seeking to strike the right balance between the public interest in the free flow of information and the public interest in the fair and effective administration of our criminal laws," it said.

The justice department said that it had, as required by law, made every reasonable effort to obtain the information through alternative means. Normally too, it would have had to notify the media in advance unless, as in this case, "doing so would pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation".

The White House denied it had been involved in the justice department move or had any knowledge of it, insisting there was a separation between the executive and the judicial branches of government.

Jay Carney, the White House press spokesman, who was travelling with Obama on a Democratic fund-raising trip to New York, said: "Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the justice department to seek phone records of the AP. We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the justice department. Any questions about an ongoing criminal investigation should be directed to the department of justice."

The CIA director, John Brennan, in February described the Yemen story as "an authorised and dangerous disclosure of classified information" and that disclosure was "irresponsible".

The alleged plot, apparently aimed to coincide with the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, contradicted a claim by the Obama administration earlier that it had no knowledge of any plans for attacks to mark the anniversary.


---Government secretly obtains phone records from journalists---
By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
May 13, 2013, 9:33 p.m.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/middleeast/la-na-telephones-ap-20130514,0,5698169.story

Prosecutors targeted the Associated Press in an attempt to learn who leaked information about the CIA and an apparent terrorist plot in Yemen.

WASHINGTON - Federal prosecutors secretly obtained telephone records from more than 20 lines belonging to the Associated Press and its journalists in an attempt to learn who leaked information on how the CIA thwarted an apparent terrorist plot hatched in Yemen.

The Associated Press on Monday called the action a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into news gathering. The government subpoenaed records covering a two-month period in early 2012 from telephones in the wire service's offices in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., as well as the homes and cellphones of at least five reporters and an editor.

The American Civil Liberties Union called the subpoenas "an unacceptable abuse of power."

In the past, prosecutors have obtained telephone records from individual journalists, but subpoenas directed at so many telephone lines in a single leak investigation are unusual.

The records would not have included the contents of the calls, but would have shown the phone numbers of people or agencies that reporters called, and could have included numbers of those who called reporters and the length of the conversations.

Prosecutors are known to be investigating who tipped the Associated Press about a secret CIA operation that foiled a plot to bomb an airplane bound for the U.S., an attack that would have coincided with the one-year anniversary of the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The Associated Press story, published May 7, 2012, said Al Qaeda operatives had devised a new type of bomb that would not contain metal, making it easier to evade airport security. The Associated Press reported that the terrorists had not yet selected a target city or purchased a plane ticket "when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb."

The Associated Press said it had learned about the plot a week earlier but agreed to hold off publishing because of the sensitivity of the investigation. The wire service said it went ahead after it was told "those concerns were allayed."

Last June, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that he had appointed U.S. Atty. Ronald C. Machen Jr. to investigate the leak, and said he was confident prosecutors would follow the facts and evidence wherever they led.

"The unauthorized disclosure of classified information can compromise the security of this country and all Americans, and it will not be tolerated," Holder said.

John Brennan, the former White House counter-terrorism advisor who became CIA director in March, testified on Capitol Hill in February that the FBI had questioned him about whether he was the Associated Press' source on the foiled plot. He denied it, calling the breach an "unauthorized and dangerous disclosure of classified information."

The Obama administration has been vehement about tracking down leaks of classified information. Gregg Leslie, legal defense director with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said the administration seemed to be starting criminal investigations into all leaks of classified information, often in disregard of 1st Amendment rights.

"We've given up thinking they might respect the role of the press," Leslie said.

Aides to Machen declined to discuss the matter, except to indicate in a short statement that prosecutors had subpoenaed the telephone records and other material after trying to obtain them through "alternative means."

"Because we value the freedom of the press, we are always careful and deliberative in seeking to strike the right balance between the public interest in the free flow of information and the public interest in the fair and effective administration of our criminal laws," the statement said.

But Machen's office noted that the government was not required to notify a media organization in advance about a records seizure if doing so "would pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation." Prosecutors informed the Associated Press on Friday that they had obtained the records.

Justice Department policy typically calls for the attorney general to sign off on any decision to obtain records of news organizations. Officials did not say whether Holder had done so in this case.

Because phone logs are considered the property of the telephone company, not the person who uses the phone, prosecutors typically obtain them with a subpoena to the company.

"There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of the Associated Press and its reporters," Gary B. Pruitt, president and chief executive of the Associated Press, said in a letter to Holder.

Saying the records "potentially reveal" discussions with confidential sources, Pruitt added that the material also would have provided federal law enforcement officials with private news gathering information "that the government has no right to know."

The government also obtained records from the Associated Press' telephone switchboard and an office-wide fax line. Pruitt demanded an "immediate explanation as to why this extraordinary action was taken."

At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement: "Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP. We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department."

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said he believed the matter should be reviewed by either his panel or the House Judiciary Committee.

"This is obviously disturbing," Issa said in a statement.

Democrats also criticized the administration's actions.

"I am very troubled by these allegations and want to hear the government's explanation," said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Leslie said the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press would write a letter of protest to the Justice Department.

"It's shocking and appalling that they would do something so broad for so many records over such a long time without ever attempting to notify the media," Leslie said. The Justice Department "has a long-standing policy to negotiate and narrowly define their requests, and they didn't do any of those things here. And that policy is 30 years old."


---US: CIA thwarts new al-Qaida underwear bomb plot---
By ADAM GOLDMAN and MATT APUZZO | Associated Press - Mon, May 7, 2012
http://news.yahoo.com/us-cia-thwarts-al-qaida-underwear-bomb-plot-200836835.html

WASHINGTON (AP) - The CIA thwarted an ambitious plot by al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design around the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, The Associated Press has learned.

The plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. This new bomb was also designed to be used in a passenger's underwear, but this time al-Qaida developed a more refined detonation system, U.S. officials said.

The FBI is examining the latest bomb to see whether it could have passed through airport security and brought down an airplane, officials said. They said the device did not contain metal, meaning it probably could have passed through an airport metal detector. But it was not clear whether new body scanners used in many airports would have detected it.

There were no immediate plans to change security procedures at U.S. airports.

The would-be suicide bomber, based in Yemen, had not yet picked a target or bought a plane ticket when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb, officials said. It's not immediately clear what happened to the alleged bomber.

White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said President Barack Obama learned about the plot in April and was assured the device posed no threat to the public.

"The president thanks all intelligence and counterterrorism professionals involved for their outstanding work and for serving with the extraordinary skill and commitment that their enormous responsibilities demand," Hayden said.

The operation unfolded even as the White House and Department of Homeland Security assured the American public that they knew of no al-Qaida plots against the U.S. around the anniversary of bin Laden's death. The operation was carried out over the past few weeks, officials said.

"We have no credible information that terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida, are plotting attacks in the U.S. to coincide with the anniversary of bin Laden's death," White House press secretary Jay Carney said on April 26.

On May 1, the Department of Homeland Security said, "We have no indication of any specific, credible threats or plots against the U.S. tied to the one-year anniversary of bin Laden's death."

The White House did not explain those statements Monday.

The AP learned about the thwarted plot last week but agreed to White House and CIA requests not to publish it immediately because the sensitive intelligence operation was still under way. Once officials said those concerns were allayed, the AP decided to disclose the plot Monday despite requests from the Obama administration to wait for an official announcement Tuesday.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security acknowledged the existence of the bomb late Monday, but there were no immediate plans to adjust security procedures at airports. Other officials, who were briefed on the operation, insisted on anonymity to discuss details of the plot, many of which the U.S. has not officially acknowledged.

"The device never presented a threat to public safety, and the U.S. government is working closely with international partners to address associated concerns with the device," the FBI said in a statement.

It's not clear who built the bomb, but, because of its sophistication and its similarity to the Christmas bomb, counterterrorism officials suspected it was the work of master bomb maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri or one of his protegees. Al-Asiri constructed the first underwear bomb and two others that al-Qaida built into printer cartridges and shipped to the U.S. on cargo planes in 2010.

Both of those bombs used a powerful industrial explosive. Both were nearly successful.

The operation is an intelligence victory for the United States and a reminder of al-Qaida's ambitions, despite the death of bin Laden and other senior leaders. Because of instability in the Yemeni government, the terrorist group's branch there has gained territory and strength. It has set up terrorist camps and, in some areas, even operates as a de facto government.

But along with the gains there also have been losses. The group has suffered significant setbacks as the CIA and the U.S. military focus more on Yemen. On Sunday, Fahd al-Quso, a senior al-Qaida leader, was hit by a missile as he stepped out of his vehicle along with another operative in the southern Shabwa province of Yemen.

Al-Quso, 37, was on the FBI's most wanted list, with a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture. He was indicted in the U.S. for his role in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in the harbor of Aden, Yemen, in which 17 American sailors were killed and 39 injured.

Al-Quso was believed to have replaced Anwar al-Awlaki as the group's head of external operations. Al-Awlaki was killed in a U.S. airstrike last year.

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