Entries in Department of Defense (4)


Saudi National, Gitmo Detainee Charged in 2002 Terror Attack

John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Department of Defense has sworn charges against Guantanamo detainee Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al Darbi for conspiracy and acts of terrorism.  The charges represent the first step in the process towards a military commission.  

Al Darbi, a Saudi Arabian national, is charged with participating in the 2002 terror plot against a French oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden.   The charges allege that al Darbi "joined a terrorist conspiracy with al Qaeda" prior to 1997 and trained at al Qaeda's Jihad Wahl camp in Afghanistan before participating in the 2002 terror plot on the MV Limburg oil tanker.  The attack on the vessel "severely injured multiple civilians and caused a large oil spill in the Gulf of Aden," the DOD said in a statement.

He now becomes the seventh detainee recommended for trial through the Military Commissions process.

If convicted, al Darbi faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Senators Hearing to Target China for Military Counterfeit Goods

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on counterfeit electronic parts in the Defense Department’s supply chain, which, they say, affects  the military’s ability to defend the nation.

“What we’ve learned so far will shock you and will shock the American people,”  Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the  Senate Armed Services Committee,  said Monday in a preview of the hearing, “There’s a flood of counterfeit parts entering the defense supply chain. It is endangering our troops and it is costing us a fortune.”

The committee hearing will take aim at China, which has been singled out as a source of the counterfeit goods, providing U.S. troops with “unreliable” weapons by using “fake parts” that have been “salvaged from trash heaps by Chinese counterfeiters.

“In more than 70 percent of the cases, the trail led to China, where a brazenly open market in counterfeit electronic parts thrives,” Levin said. “Rather than act to address the problem, Chinese authorities have impeded our investigation.”

Witnesses at Tuesday’s hearing who have seen first-hand how counterfeiters in China remove electronic parts from scrapped computers, wash the parts in dirty rivers and dry them on the streets so that they can be resold, will testify about what they’ve seen.

“We’ll hear how the counterfeiters make the scrap look like new parts. And then we’ll hear how these parts are sold openly as new parts in markets in Chinese cities like Shenzhen, the epicenter of the counterfeit trade, and they’re also sold through the Internet to buyers around the world,” Levin said.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the ranking member on the committee, said the finding that China had been the culprit in well over half of the counterfeit products is “worrisome but not surprising.

“China has long dominated as a source for counterfeit goods into the United States of America,” McCain said Monday. “We need to realize that this issue is part of a broader challenge we face in our relations with the People’s Republic of China, the fact that it’s falling short in certain important areas of its obligations as a responsible stakeholder in the international system.”

The senators said on Monday they couldn’t solve the counterfeiting problem in China, at least not in the short-term, so the focus should be on improving the way the Department of Defense purchased electronic parts.

“Our military and defense industry must act immediately,” Levin said Monday. “We must modify acquisition rules so that the cost of removing suspect counterfeit parts from defense systems is paid for by the contractor, not by the taxpayer—no ifs, no ands, no buts. And regardless of the type of contract, we should require in all cases that when contractors discover a case of suspected counterfeit parts in a military system that they report that discovery to the military right away, and we should enforce that requirement.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


The Pentagon View of Egypt: What the Uprising Means for the US Military

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- From the fighter jets that have flown low and loud over protesters, to tanks, to tear gas canisters clearly marked "Made in the USA" -- the extent of U.S. military support for Egypt has been on display throughout the anti-government protests.

Partly for that reason, the Defense Department has been keeping a close eye on developments in Egypt. From Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who has kept in close contact with his Egyptian counterpart, to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, the crisis there has been of major concern.

Sen. John McCain said on Good Morning America Thursday that the aid should be cut off if Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak does not step aside. A Pentagon spokesman Thursday referred questions to the White House about whether the administration is reviewing aid packages to Egypt. Later, an official seemed to indicate that if such a review is underway, it's not occurring at the Pentagon.

The U.S. and Egyptian military have had a close relationship for decades. Egyptian military officials were at the Pentagon when the protests began, and were recalled to Cairo.

The Egyptian military, one of the most respected institutions in the country, has helped the U.S., as well. It sent tanks into Iraq in 1991 after that country invaded Kuwait. And it allows U.S. warships to pass through the Suez Canal, significantly shortening the trip to Afghanistan and Iraq.

The greatest benefit to the United States may be the Egyptian military's level of training. The discipline and restraint that the Egyptian military thus far has shown has stopped the Egyptian crisis from becoming even more of a bloody mess.

Analysts now wonder if Egyptian forces will step in not to stop the protesters but the pro-Mubarak forces. Looking ahead, the military likely would play a key role in any transition of power -- helping any caretaker government keep the peace before elections can be scheduled.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said the Egyptian military's been acting professionally so far.

Lapan said the intimidation of reporters definitely is being noted throughout the government, including the Pentagon. "There is awareness at the highest levels here and over at the White House and the State Department," he said. "It is an issue that is being discussed here and there and over at the State Department and the White House. Everyone is aware of the issue."

"At this point, I don't know that we know the exact role of the Egyptian military in this situation with journalists," he added. "We're gathering the facts of what's happening over there."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gitmo Detainee Transferred to Algeria

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON ) – The Department of Defense Thursday announced the transfer of a Guantanamo Bay detainee to Algeria.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the release of Saiid Farhi to the government of Algeria in November 2009. His case was reviewed by the Guantanamo Review Task Force based on an executive order by President Obama in January of that year. Based on the review, Farhi’s transfer was approved unanimously by all six agencies on the task force.

In a statement, the DOD said they are grateful for the help of the Algerian government in assisting the U.S. to close the detention facility.

Currently, 173 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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