Fahd Mohammad Ahmed Al-Quso, 37, from Yemen, was most notorious for being an alleged planner of the terrorist attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors and blew a 40-foot hole in the side of the warship 12 years ago.
The U.S. Government had offered up to $5 million for information leading to Quso's capture after placing him on the "most wanted" list in May 2003.
Quso had trained in al Qaeda camps in the 1990s, according to federal prosecutors who brought an indictment against him nine years ago.
(CBS News) Five men accused of masterminding or facilitating the 9/11 terror attacks are headed back to a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay on Saturday, after the Obama administration withdrew an effort to try the al Qaeda operatives in a civilian court in New York City.
All five are accused of conspiring to organize, train or transfer funds to the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 plot, and are each charged with killing 2,976 people. Among the charges: Conspiracy, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, murder in violation of the law of war, destruction of property in violation of the law of war, hijacking or hazarding a vessel or aircraft, and terrorism.
If convicted, each faces the death penalty.
The chief defendant is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the purported mastermind of 9/11 who told military authorities he was responsible for the operation's planning "from A to Z." While Mohammed and others on trial had previously said they would plead guilty and welcome death as martyrs, they are now expected to fight the charges.
The arraignment Saturday, before an audience that includes a handful of people who lost family members in the Sept. 11 attacks as well as journalists and human rights observers, will be followed by a hearing on a series of defense motions that challenge the charges and the extreme secrecy rules imposed to prevent the release of information about U.S. counterterrorism methods and strategy. [The start of their actual trial is at least a year away.]
News cameras are not permitted inside the courtroom, where the media and other observers are kept behind double-paned, soundproof glass.
Major-General Robert Mood takes over a mission that faces major obstacles before the full 300-member force approved by the U.N. Security Council has even gathered. The unrest has killed more than 9,000 people since March of last year, according to UN figures.
The Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC), an opposition activist network, reported the deaths of 31 people on Saturday, including three children, amid anti-government protests across the country.
(CBS News) Blind human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng, who had been under house arrest for 16 months, escaped his home in Shandong province on Sunday with the aid of fellow activists. There were unconfirmed reports that he made his way to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
Singapore newspaper Lianhe Zaobao reported that Chen had entered the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on Thursday evening, citing unnamed sources. Phone calls to embassy officials remain unanswered and the security presence outside the building was the same as usual on Friday morning.
"I am now free. But my worries have not ended yet," Chen said in a video recorded this week that was posted by citizen journalist organization Boxun.com. But he expressed concern that his escape "might ignite a violent revenge against my family."Continue »
It could have been just one of the drills regularly held by Philippine and American forces during annual joint military exercises called Balikatan, which literally means "shoulder to shoulder." But this year's exercises took place just as the Philippines and China are locked in a tense standoff over the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, a group of rock formations 124 nautical miles west of Zambales province in the Philippines, believed to be rich in oil and gas resources as well as marine life.
Both countries are claiming ownership of the area, the Philippines on account of its proximity in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and China on historical grounds as evidenced by ancient maps.
(Watch at left)
After the United Nations voted Saturday morning to expand the observer mission to Syria to monitor a shaky cease-fire, the secretary-general and ambassadors swapped business suits for soccer shorts in the afternoon to benefit the victims of violence in Sierra Leone.
Did they achieve more than they do at the U.N.? Not clear but they put aside politics for a good cause on a sunny day on Randall's Island.
Reuters said the girls suffered headaches and vomiting, with some in critical condition.
"This is not a natural illness. It's an intentional act to poison schoolgirls," Haffizullah Safi, head of Takhar province's public health department, told Reuters.
The Taliban banned education for women when it controlled Afghanistan, saying it was anti-Islamic.
Girls have gone back to school since the Taliban were toppled, but attacks against female students, teachers and school buildings have occurred, particularly in southern and eastern areas of the country, when Taliban insurgents enjoy more public support.
The revelations about Neil Heywood, 41, which have come to light since he was found dead November 15 in Chongqing, have already scuttled the prospects of a prominent government official, Bo Xilai, who was jockeying for a leadership position in the country's ruling Politburo.
Last week the Chinese government said that Heywood's death, which was at first classified a case of alcohol poisoning, was murder. Bo's wife, a lawyer named Gu Kailai, was taken into custody for complicity in Heywood's death. No further details were released, beyond Chinese state media's report that Heywood was killed following a financial dispute.
Reuters has reported that, according to sources familiar with the police investigation, Heywood was poisoned. He died at the Nanshan Lijing Holiday Hotel in Chongqing's Nan'an district.
The New York Times reported Monday that sources indicate Heywood - who had a long relationship with Bo and Gu - was involved in facilitating large, illicit transfers of money overseas for Bo's family. Heywood is also said to have helped Bo's son, Guagua, gain entrance to elite British schools.
(CBS News) UNITED NATIONS - The language of Monday's U.N. Security Council's Presidential statement condemning North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile last Friday was particularly strong, deploring the launch as a grave security concern in the region. But the most important element of the council's condemnatory statement is that China - North Korea's strongest alley - was on board.
It gives weight to the fact that Beijing also considers North Korea's nuclear ambitions a threat to security.
After lengthy debate, and resistance from China during negotiations on Friday and Saturday, the U.N. issued its Presidential statement (which is a U.N. document that has to be adopted unanimously) condemning the rocket launch, making the point that any launch using ballistic missile technology - even if it a satellite launch or a space vehicle - is a violation of Security Council Resolutions.
That was intended to dispel any pretext by North Korea that its launch was for peaceful purposes, permissible under treaty obligations.
The observers departed for Syria shortly after the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday to authorize the mission.
The observers' aim is to monitor and help maintain the still-shaky cease-fire between the government of President Bashar Al-Assad and armed opposition fighters.
The unarmed military team, headed by an Indian general, is expected to be on the ground in blue helmets as early as tomorrow. They will be augmented by additional personnel on Monday, and 25 to 30 more observers in the coming days, according to U.N. spokesman Khaled Massri.
Assuming the cease-fire holds, the 15-nation council will be asked to approve a full mission of about 250 observers, based on a report by the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon next week.
Syrian officials welcomed the arrival of the "technical" team, and said Damascus was committed to the U.N. plan, which calls for the government to ensure unimpeded freedom of movement for the observers and the ability to interview anyone they want to in private, in addition to unimpeded access for humanitarian workers.
(CBS News) In one way, the renewed military trial of the acknowledged mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks and four others is a bit of Kabuki theater. Everyone knows the charges. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshib have admitted to, even reveled in, their roles as principal planners the attacks.
In another way, it is a bit of a high-wire act - the military commission system is one that hadn't been used since the 1940s to execute Nazi spies who came in from a German submarine off Montauk Point in New York. In the few cases from the post-9/11 battlefields, it has been clunky.
When I was with the FBI, I traveled to Guantanamo Bay and saw the military commission system at work. I was a witness at the trial of Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's bodyguard and driver. After being held for seven years, Hamdan was convicted and sentenced to time served, plus six months. At the same time, back in the civilian federal court system, people who were being convicted of material support of terrorism charges far more benign than being on bin Laden's personal security detail were receiving longer sentences. In one case, two men convicted of sending blankets and backpacks to the Mujahedeen were being sentenced more than 10 years in federal prison.Continue »
(CBS News) The $10 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Pakistani extremist Hafiz Mohammad Saeed is essentially the first step in publicly recognizing that the militant group he founded, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is bigger, richer, more sophisticated and in many ways more dangerous than al Qaeda.
LeT is a group that has operated largely in the shadows. Its front organization, Jamaat ud Dawa, is well-funded, well-known and popular in Pakistan for its charitable endeavors - running hospitals, offering relief from earthquakes and floods and managing a network of schools. But large amounts of the millions raised for its charity work are believed to be funneled to LeT for terrorist operations.
Drones have become the favorite weapon system of the Obama administration, currently in use in several countries around the world by both intelligence services and the military. Be it for spying or killing, drones keep pilots safe thousands of miles away as they spend sometimes days in the air. Now imagine if drones could spend months in the air.
Just as nuclear energy is used to keep submarines and ships at sea for months on end, plans have been drawn up to give drones a similar capability in the skies, the Guardian reports. Sandia National Laboratories and Northrup Grumman developed blueprints that would not just give drones an incredible extended range, but also more power for onboard surveillance, communications, and weapons.
Despite years of development, the project has been shelved for now, according to Wired's Danger Room blog.Continue »
(CBS News) I have never met an Afghan who knows the day when he or she was born. Very few Afghans know the year they were born. When asked their age they will say, for example, "I'm about 31 or 32."
If you ask a man how many children he has, he will generally only tell you the number of boys. If you know him well, you can push him and he will tell you - sheepishly - the number of daughters. But in the countryside, a man must never ask another man about daughters, or his wife. Never.
I have eaten in many Afghan villages over the years, and after dinner the men talk, and their sons listen, as they have for millenia. Their daughters, with modern haircuts and dresses and dirty faces, crowd in the doorway and stare at visitors.
Many men have told me over the years that a man is not a man unless he has at least 10 children, and by that he means 10 sons. Sons form a militia. Yet I recall vividly in the 1980s sitting around a campfire with the Mujahedeen north of Kandahar. As Soviet tanks in the distance sent flares up lighting the night, a lean, strong-looking man wearing a black turban sat next to me holding his daughter, less than a year old, closely to his chest.Continue »
And in the U.S., where women may be overtaking men in pay, Bachelet told CBS, "When women earn the money for the family, everyone in the family benefits. "We also know that when women have an income, everyone wins because women dedicate 90% of the income to health, education, to food security, to the children, to the family, or to the community, so when women have an income, everybody wins."Continue »