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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archives May 21 2015, Page 4

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - May 21, 2015, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 4A The Gazette œ Thursday, May 21, 2015 Slain leader studied U. S. terrorism investigations, military history Tribune Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Wednesday released details of what it calls “ Bin Laden’s Bookshelf,” more than 400 documents, reports, books and other materials seized during the May 2011 raid by Navy SEALs in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden. The public release, the most expansive since the raid, suggests that the now- dead al- Qaida leader had eclectic interests and closely followed U. S. policy and operations relating to the terrorist network he founded. He regularly downloaded U. S. indictments of accused terrorists as well as applications for U. S. passports, visas and other immigration documents. His library of several dozen Englishlanguage books included works by Bob Woodward and Noam Chomsky. And his collection of downloaded media included a Los Angeles Times review of a BBC documentary from January 2005. The trove also included dozens of newly declassified letters, in Arabic with English translations, between bin Laden and his lieutenants around the globe. Bin Laden wrote about fundraising and recruiting young leaders as well as how the terrorist group could take advantage of the unrest in the wake of the Arab Spring protests. Bin Laden also collected 19 reports on France’s economy and military capabilities, indicating an interest in launching attacks inside the country. The raid also seized about 30 computer manuals, as well as documents believed to be used by other members of the bin Laden household, such as a video game guide for “ Delta Force: Xtreme 2,” silk- screening instructions and a sports nutrition pamphlet. The release comes as the administration struggles to gain ground in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State, the al- Qaida offshoot that has overshadowed bin Laden’s organization as a terrorist threat around the globe. It also serves to deny claims that the SEAL commandos took nothing from the compound in the city of Abbottabad. ‘ Bin Laden’s bookshelf’ NATION/ WORLD © 2015 The Gazette Reuters Osama bin Laden is shown watching himself on television in this video frame grab released May 7, 2011, by the U. S. Pentagon. Four years after the bin Laden raid, the United States has declassified a list of 39 English- language books the former al- Qaida leader had on display at his home. The non- fiction books include topics such as: œ U. S. conquests abroad: “ America’s Strategic Blunders,” “ America’s ‘ War on Terrorism,’” “ Obama’s Wars,” “ Killing Hope: U. S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II,” “ Unfinished Business, U. S. Overseas Military Presence in the 21st Century,” “ Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower,” “ New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/ 11” œ Islam: “ A Brief Guide to Understanding Islam,” “ Christianity and Islam in Spain,” “ Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources, and Strategies,” “ In Pursuit of Allah’s Pleasure” œ International relations and war: “ Handbook of International Law,” “ Guerrilla Air Defense: Antiaircraft Weapons and Techniques for Guerrilla Forces,” “ The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers,” “ Oxford History of Modern War,” “ International Relations Theory and the Asia- Pacific,” “ Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies” See the complete list here, originally posted on the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s website: http:// www. dni. gov/ index. php/ resources/ bin- ladenbookshelf? start= 3 Washington Post THE LIST ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE Tribune Washington Bureau NEW LONDON, Conn. — President Barack Obama warned Wednesday that climate change poses an “ immediate risk to our national security” so significant that U. S. military forces will have to adjust how they train and operate. In a speech to the graduating class of cadets at the Coast Guard Academy here, Obama noted the dangers of rising sea levels that threaten health and safety in coastal areas and pointed to volatile new storm systems, droughts and wildfires that endanger the rest of the world. “ This is not just a problem for countries on the coast or for certain regions of the world,” he said. “ Climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and make no mistake: It will impact how our military defends our country. “ We need to act,” Obama said, “ and we need to act now.” The call to action comes as Obama pursues a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The White House hopes to close an ambitious deal with sweeping goals at a December summit in Paris. Crucial to that push is a good- faith display by the United States to cut its own emissions. Obama wants the country to cut greenhouse gases dramatically over the next decade. In his address to the new class of Coast Guard officers, Obama made a sales pitch for his climate agenda: that national and global security depend on it. It’s a strategy that he has employed recently in an effort to sell his trade and economic policies, as he argues that U. S. security depends in part on building new and strong commercial and financial ties to the rest of the world. Drought and famine have made basic resources like food and water scarce, leading to instability around the world, he said. Violent storms force people from their homes. Climate change poses a threat to the readiness of American forces, he said, ticking off floods at bases in Norfolk, Va., damage from thawing permafrost at military facilities in Alaska and the possibility of extensive droughts and wildfires threatening training areas in the West. Obama: Climate change poses threat to national security Reuters Graduate Robert McConnel asks President Barack Obama to strike a “ James Bond” pose Wednesday during the 134th commencement exercises of the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. NATIONAL SECURITY Seattle Times SEATTLE — The fossil has the very sexy name of UWBM 96770, but at the Burke Museum in Seattle, they’re pretty excited. The fossil is not that big — 1 1/ 2- feet long, weighing maybe 15 pounds. But it is the first dinosaur bone ever found in Washington state. It was a leg bone from an animal from the T. rex family, but smaller by tyrannosauroid standards — around 36 feet long. Still, think of a transit bus to imagine its size. Think of a carnivorous transit bus with bonecrunching teeth. The fossil is a rarity in the state because it goes back 80 million years. Much of the land mass that encompasses the region didn’t exist in those days. It was mostly under water; obviously, not a place for land- roaming big guys. That’s why Washington’s official state fossil is much younger. The Columbian mammoth, with its big, curved tusks, was found in Western Washington until as recently as 10,000 years ago. This fossil was found in April 2012. Three years later, we have the big unveiling. “ It’ll be a point of civic pride for this state. We’re now the 37th state to have found a dinosaur fossil,” says Brandon Peecock, a University of Washington graduate student and co- author of the paper about the find. As can happen with such discoveries, it was by accident. The fossil was found along the shore — at the high- water mark — at Sucia Island State Park in the San Juans. First dinosaur bone found in Washington state Tribune Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency will begin as early as Friday shutting down its program to collect bulk telephone records unless Congress reauthorizes or changes the controversial program by then, Justice Department officials advised Capitol Hill lawmakers Wednesday. The data- collection program is set to expire by June 1, but the NSA will need to start the process to close it down sooner “ to ensure that it does not engage in any unauthorized collection” of phone records, the Justice Department officials said in a memo to lawmakers. The House approved a bipartisan measure last week to rein in the NSA program while still allowing some access to the telephone information law enforcement agencies say they need. But the bill’s fate in the Senate is uncertain. Republican leaders oppose the House measure and prefer to renew the NSA program as is. The Justice Department warning noted that a court order stipulates the government must file a request for any renewal no later than Friday. “ For these reasons,” the memo said, “ after May 22, 2015, it will become increasingly difficult for the government to avoid a lapse in the current NSA program of at least some duration.” Separately, FBI Director James Comey has warned in recent days that congressional inaction also would put at risk other crimefighting tools the bureau needs in the war on terrorism. Sen. Rand Paul, R- Ky., took to the Senate floor Wednesday in an hourslong address to voice opposition to renewing the NSA program. NSA could begin shutting down data collection Friday Los Angeles Times BEIRUT — Islamic State forces are closing in on the ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra in central Syria, authorities said Wednesday, drawing alarm worldwide about the fate of one of the world’s most spectacular architectural treasures. Islamic State fighters, some using tunnels, have entered the city of Tadmur adjoining the ruins, said Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria’s general director of antiquities and museums. Syrian army units, he said, are fighting to stop the extremists from entering the sprawling archaeological site, known for its majestic colonnades from the Roman era, stone roads and ancient burial site. “ There are solitary elements with light weapons who infiltrated some areas. They are trying to spread into the city,” Abdulkarim said in a telephone interview. “ The large numbers have yet to come in, and we are asking for the international community to stop those people.” Islamic State, an al- Qaida breakaway faction that adheres to a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, has made a point of destroying pre- Islamic ruins, statues and relics, labeling them as idolatrous, and reveling in the shock value and outrage caused worldwide by the wanton destruction. 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