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Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick for CIA director, tied to use of brutal interrogation measures


President Trump on Tuesday chose CIA veteran Gina Haspel to be the spy agency’s next director, picking a woman who spent multiple tours overseas and is respected by the workforce but is deeply tied to the agency’s use of brutal interrogation measures on terrorism suspects. Haspel, 61, would become the first woman to lead the CIA if she is confirmed to succeed outgoing director Mike Pompeo, who has been picked to serve as secretary of state.

CIA Helped Russia Foil Terror Plot, Kremlin Thanks Trump


The CIA reportedly tipped off Russian security forces about an impending terror attack planned for St. Petersburg last weekend, President Vladimir Putin revealed in a thank you call to U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced on Friday that it detained seven suspected members of an Islamic State (IS) sleeper cell preparing a suicide attack in St. Petersburg the next day. IS is a terrorist organization banned in Russia. “The information received from the CIA was enough to locate and detain the criminals,” the Kremlin said in an English-language statement.

The CIA reportedly provided advanced warning of the plan to set off explosions at the Kazansky Cathedral and other public places in St. Petersburg.

In its readout of the phone call, the White House said “Russian authorities were able to capture the terrorists just prior to an attack that could have killed large numbers of people.”

Newly Released Bin Laden Document Describes Iran, Al Qaeda Link


A document published on the night of the Bin Laden killing suggests that Al Qaeda and Iran had a more complicated and intimate relationship with the former – one that included threats and abductions, but also occasional co-operation. The document was resumed among a lot of material released Wednesday by the CIA following a request from the Long War Journal, a website that has introduced the history of the US War on Terrorism. The site received a copy of the materials on Tuesday. The US government released hundreds of thousands of files after the raid on May 1, 2011 in the territory of Bin Laden Pakistan and issued other tranches in 2015 and 2016. The Wednesday edition included nearly 470,000 more files recovered in the raid. Most of the material just described is in Arabic, not translated and calibrated. Includes Bin Laden private magazine 228 pages and other documents officials say support US estimation of US intelligence produced shortly after the attack that bin Laden continued to act as Al Qaeda’s operational commander even in the months prior to his death.


CIA believes Kim Jong Un is a very rational actor


Despite the months of hostile talk indicating a possible war breaking out, now a top CIA spook has said that the North Korean dictator is actually a “very rational actor”. U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed changed emotions for Kim Jong Un over the months, from calling him a “tough cookie” who he would be “honored to meet” to labelling him an “evil madman” and “Little Rocket Man.” Kim Jong Un has meanwhile called Trump “deranged” and a “dotard” Yong Suk Lee, deputy assistant director of the CIA’s Korea Mission Center has said, “The last person who wants conflict on the Korean Peninsula is Kim Jong Un” Lee said, Kim’s “long-term goal is very clear,[and it’s been clear for the history of the Kim family regime, to come to some kind of big-power agreement with the United States and remove US forces from the peninsula”, Lee and other CIA officials believe there has been a “clarity of purpose” to the way the North Korean ruler is acting on the world stage. They believe that Pyongyang’s goal is to gain recognition as a major nuclear power and eventually negotiate a deal with the United States that sees American forces leave the Korean peninsula.

C.I.A. Wants Authority to Conduct Drone Strikes in Afghanistan for the First Time


The C.I.A. is pushing for expanded powers to carry out covert drone strikes in Afghanistan and other active war zones a proposal that the White House appears to favor despite the misgivings of some at the Pentagon, according to current and former intelligence and military officials. If approved by President Trump, it would mark the first time the C.I.A. has had such powers in Afghanistan, expanding beyond its existing authority to carry out covert strikes against Al Qaeda and other terrorist targets across the border in Pakistan.

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