The Soufan Group Morning Brief



The U.S. military has transferred two Libyan nationals from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay to Senegal, according to government officials. Salem Abdul Salem Ghereby and Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr were accused of training with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and have been held in U.S. custody without trial since 2001 and 2002, respectively. This is the first time Senegal has resettled Guantanamo prisoners. Nine more detainees are expected to be transferred within the next two weeks. The transfers lower the number of prisoners held at Guantanamo to 89. New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald

BBC News: Guantanamo Bay: Libya pair transferred to Senegal
Foreign Policy: Libyans at Guantanamo Bay Can’t Go Home, So the U.S. Sends Them to Senegal
Deutsche Welle: Senegal accepts 2 Libyan prisoners from Guantanamo

The FBI has told state and local law enforcement agencies that it will help unlock confiscated phones when possible. FBI officials reportedly sent an advisory memo to local law enforcement partners that offered to “consider any tool that might be helpful” in cases involving seized electronic devices. However, technical experts predict that the method used to unlock the San Bernardino iPhone will be leaked or made public if it is used in additional cases, leading Apple to close any gap in its security software. BuzzFeed News, Guardian, Washington Post, Reuters

Vox: The FBI knows how to hack iPhones, and it may help local police do it
Vanity Fair: The F.B.I. Is Sharing Its Secret for Breaking into iPhones

CIA: The CIA has withdrawn its proposal to destroy the emails of former employees after they leave office, according to a source at the National Archives. In 2014 the National Archives had tentatively approved the CIA’s plan to delete all emails belonging to “non-senior” employees after three years “or when no longer needed, whichever is sooner.” Under the scrapped plan, the CIA would have only retained 22 top officials’ emails. The Hill

Counterterrorism: U.S. counterterrorism experts reportedly met with Belgian security officials prior to the March 22 attacks in Brussels. The experts focused on long-term reforms to Belgium’s security apparatus, including measures to fix intelligence-sharing and border security failures. American officials claimed that even if recommendations had been accepted, they would not have stopped last month’s attacks. New York Times

ISIS militants attacked Syrian government forces with mustard gas in an offensive against a Syrian military airport in Deir ez-Zor on Monday, according to Syrian state media. The state-run Ikhbariyah television station claimed that “terrorists fired rockets carrying mustard gas” at the heavily defended airport south of the city. Reuters, International Business Times

Yemen: U.S. Navy ships in the Arabian Sea intercepted an arms shipment from Iran that was likely being sent to Houthi rebels in Yemen, according to a statement by defense officials on Monday. The shipment included 1,500 AK-47 rifles, 200 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and 21 .50-caliber machine guns. Reuters

Nigeria: Nigerian security forces have arrested Khalid al-Barnawi, the leader of a splinter faction of Boko Haram, according to a Nigerian military spokesman on Monday. Al-Barnawi, the leader of the group called Ansaru, has a $5 million bounty on his head and the U.S. Department of State has listed him as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist.” If his arrest is confirmed, al-Barnawi would be the highest level extremist captured in the 6-year long battle against Islamic militants in Nigeria. Associated Press, Reuters

North Korea: Recent satellite images of North Korean nuclear facilities suggest “suspicious” activity including possible reprocessing of plutonium, according to the 38 North website, which monitors sensitive sites in North Korea. Over the last five weeks, exhaust plumes have been seen several times at the radiochemical laboratory facility at Yongbyon, North Korea’s main nuclear site. Reuters, Associated Press

Migrant Crisis: The first group of migrants sent back to Turkey from Greece as part of a new EU-Turkey agreement arrived in the Turkish town of Dikili on Monday. The deal requires Turkey to take back all migrants and refugees who cross the Aegean Sea and enter Greece illegally, in an effort to discourage migrants from attempting the dangerous sea crossing. Refugee agencies and human rights activists have sharply criticized the agreement. Reuters, BBC News
Could There Be a Terrorist Fukushima?: The “risk is real, however, and has been known for a while. The master planner of the 9/11 attacks had considered crashing a jumbo jet into a nuclear facility near New York City,” write Graham Allison and William Tobey in The New York Times. “An Al Qaeda training manual lists nuclear plants as among the best targets for spreading fear in the United States.”

Global Trump: “For much of Donald Trump’s astonishing rise toward the Republican Presidential nomination, his main contributions to the foreign-policy debate have been to debase it, by insulting Mexico’s hundred and twenty million citizens and the one and a half billion adherents of the Islamic faith worldwide,” writes Steve Coll in The New Yorker. “Trump hasn’t indicated that he would definitely pull out of treaty commitments to Europe and Asia. He seems to think that his threats and his pleas of poverty will soften up allies.”

New threats rose as U.S. apathy became policy: “The checks and balances that frustrate every president domestically do little to prevent the commander-in-chief from wielding the power of life and death all over the world,” writes Garry Kasparov on Reuters. “The overwhelming military might of the United States is inherently agnostic as well. It can be used to attack or to defend, to protect innocent lives or to take them, to remove dictatorships or to support them.”

For cutting-edge analysis of the geopolitical events shaping global affairs, read today’s TSG IntelBrief: The Turbulent Path to Stability in Libya

The Center on National Security at Fordham Law will host a full-day conference “Hindsight: Reflections on 15 years of The War On Terror” on Tuesday, April 26, 2016. To RSVP, click here.

Fordham Law School will host the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals for an Outreach Argument and Q&A: “United States v. Staff Sergeant Charles D. Buford Jr.” on Friday, April 15, 2016. To RSVP, click here.

Call for Papers: Revisiting the Role of International Law in National Security. For more information, click here.

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