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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2016
PENTAGON RELEASES 198 PHOTOS OF DETAINEE ABUSE IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN
On Friday, the Pentagon released 198 photographs from investigations of detainee abuse during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The photos, which were taken between 2001 and 2009, include close-up views of detainees’ bodies including cuts, bruises, and scrapes. The release of the photos comes as part of a 2004 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) following the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. However, the ACLU and other advocacy organizations argued that the government continues to cover up the worst details of the scandal, as Friday’s photo release was a “selective disclosure,” keeping over 2,000 more sensitive images classified. According to the Pentagon, out of 56 different investigations into detainee abuse, 42 were unsubstantiated. 65 military service members received some form of disciplinary action in the other 14 substantiated investigations. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, The Hill

Related:
Politico: Pentagon releases fraction of detainee abuse photos
The Intercept: Pentagon Releases Photos Of Detainee Abuse In Iraq And Afghanistan
Vice News: The Pentagon Just Released 200 Long-Awaited Photos Related to Detainee Abuse
Newsweek: The Pentagon Released 200 Images Of Detainee Abuse In Iraq And Afghanistan
The Daily Beast: Obama’s Pentagon Covers Up Bush-Era Detainee Abuse
TIME: Pentagon Releases Detainee Abuse Photos After ACLU Lawsuit
Huffington Post: Pentagon Continues To Block Release Of Bush-Era Torture Photos
The Nation: 200 images released by US military depict Bush-era detainee abuse
TWITTER DELETED OVER 125,000 TERROR-LINKED ACCOUNTS LAST YEAR
Twitter has shut down more than 125,000 accounts related to terrorism since mid-2015. “This type of behavior, or any violent threats, is not permitted on our service,” the company announced on Friday. Teams of specialists located in the United States and Ireland search through thousands of suspicious sites using a mix of human judgement and technology. This announcement sheds light on the ways American tech companies are working with governments in the fight against ISIS. Reuters, Wall Street Journal, BBC News, Guardian

Related:
The Atlantic: Twitter's New ISIS Policy

Gitmo: Last week, the chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay argued to keep secret a transcript of a public hearing from last year. Brig. Gen. Mark Martins claimed that the transcript was being reviewed for sensitive information and that its release could threaten national security. The hearing was related to the war court case against Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four others accused of planning the 9/11 attacks. According to the Miami Herald, approximately 90 pages of the 379-page transcript have been redacted, including testimony from two soldiers who work in Camp 7, the most secure area of the prison which houses “high-value” detainees. In January a group of 17 media organizations brought a legal motion to have the full transcript of the hearing disclosed. Miami Herald

Related:
New York Times: Guantanamo Prisoner Sent Home to Morocco Remains in Legal Limbo
Miami Herald: Quieter, smaller Guantanamo as debate rages on prison’s fate
Lawdragon: Lawyer Limelight – Guantanamo: James Connell
TRUMP, CRUZ IN FAVOR OF WATERBOARDING
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stood by his statements from last Thursday night’s Republican debate in New Hampshire about enhanced interrogations methods in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.” He stated at the debate that he would bring back “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding” if he were to become president. Ted Cruz responded that he would not rule out the use of waterboarding, and argued that the practice should not be defined as torture. Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Guardian, CNN, The Hill

Related:
Politico: Trump stands by proposal to revive waterboarding
NY Mag: Donald Trump Wants to Reclassify Waterboarding So It’s No Longer a War Crime for Him to Order It
Politico: Cruz: Waterboarding is not torture
The Independent: Donald Trump says he would bring back water-boarding and 'a hell of a lot worse'
The Week: Donald Trump: I'll bring back 'a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding'
BRITISH MAN IDENTIFIED AS MEMBER OF ISIS "JIHADI JOHN" GROUP
Alexanda Kotey, a 32-year-old man from West London, has been identified as the second individual in a four member British ISIS group. A joint Washington Post and Buzzfeed News investigation identified Kotey as part of an ISIS group nicknamed “the Beatles” led by Mohammed Emwazi, known as “Jihadi John.” The group was featured in execution videos of Americans James Foley and Steven Sotloff in 2014. U.S. officials have yet to confirm the reports, published on Sunday. Washington Post, New York Times

Related:
Washington Post: ISIS losing ground
The Daily Beast: America’s ISIS War Is Helping al Qaeda
Buzzfeed: Unmasked: The Second Member Of ISIS’s “Beatles” Execution Cell

Afghanistan: The Afghan government hopes to hold direct negotiations with the Taliban by the end of February, according to government officials. Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and the United States agreed to a roadmap for peace talks during a meeting in Islamabad on Sunday, according to an Afghan government spokesperson. Previous talks between Afghanistan and the Taliban broke down last summer after the announcement of the death of Mullah Omar, the former Taliban leader. The four countries will meet again, without the Taliban, on February 23 to discuss the roadmap and prepare for peace talks.

Related:
Washington Post: Outgoing Afghanistan general: U.S. military needs to do more to beat back TalibanGuardian: Taliban ‘close to capturing Sangin’ as militants step up assault on Helmand
Belgium: On Friday, the Belgian government announced plans to double its spending on the country’s intelligence, police, and justice departments and hire 1,000 additional police officers by 2019. The decision comes after criticism of the government’s failure to detect and thwart the suspects in the Paris attacks, including the leader of the group, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who was living in Brussels in the weeks leading up to the attacks. Also included in the plan is the ability of the justice department to closely monitor financial activity of mosques that are not officially recognized as such by the government. Mosques registered as nonprofit organizations could be shut down in the case of financial misconduct. New York Times

Related:
The Atlantic: Are ISIS Members Posing as Refugees?

Spain: On Sunday, Spanish police arrested seven people in coordinated counterterrorism raids carried out in Alicante, Valencia, and Ceuta. The individuals are suspected of shipping guns, bomb materials, money, and communications equipment to extremist groups in Syria, including ISIS and al-Nusra. Spanish authorities said that the supplies were disguised as humanitarian aid packages. Five of the suspects were Spanish citizens, of Syrian, Jordanian, and Moroccan origins. Two suspects were Syrian and Moroccan nationals. Since 2015, 83 people have been arrested in Spain for ties to terrorist organizations. CNN, Deutsche Welle, International Business Times
When A Disunited Europe Meets Transnational Terrorism: “Europe is facing a unique threat, and it seems logical that the response should be European,” writes Marc Hecker on Lawfare. “Practices have to be harmonized in the different European countries. It is striking to note that jihadists returning from Syria are condemned to heavy prison sentences in certain countries, while they receive suspended jail sentences in others.”

: “There’s no doubt that WikiLeaks, which Mr. Assange founded in 2006, has been a boon for global civil liberties. The problem is that the project is inseparable from the man,” writes Jochen Bittner in The New York Times. “His personal politics undermines WikiLeaks’ neutrality -- and the noble cause for which WikiLeaks used to stand. What we need is a WikiLeaks without the founder of WikiLeaks.”

Pakistan’s Hand In The Rise Of International Jihad: “The United States and China have been asking Pakistan to persuade the Taliban to make peace,” writes Carlotta Gall in The New York Times. “But Afghanistan argues that Islamabad has done nothing to rein in the Taliban, and if anything has encouraged it to raise the stakes in hopes of gaining influence in any power-sharing agreement.”
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SOUFAN GROUP
For cutting-edge analysis of the geopolitical events shaping global affairs, read today’s TSG IntelBrief: The Offline Allure of the Islamic State

ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Center on National Security at Fordham Law will host “A Discussion with Peter Bergen, Author of United States of Jihad” on February 12, 2016. To RSVP, click here.

The Center on National Security at Fordham Law will host “Iran in Context” with Laura Secor, Hooman Majd, and others on February 23, 2016. To RSVP, click here.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, KAREN J. GREENBERG, DIRECTOR, CENTER ON NATIONAL SECURITY, FORDHAM LAW SCHOOL
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