DHS Chief: U.S. Tested Prototype Bombs Before Implementing New Airplane Electronics Rules
ASPEN, Colo. — The U.S. government tested two prototype bombs, based on new terrorist technology, to determine that they could take down a passenger jet before implementing new cabin rules on electronic devices, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told NBC News’ Pete Williams Wednesday night
“We tested it on a real airplane on the ground, pressurized, and to say the least, it destroyed the airplane,” Kelly said during the opening session of the Aspen Security Forum.
Pentagon Weighs More Aggressive Role in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is considering an expanded and more aggressive role in Afghanistan, one that would include the American military once again targeting both Taliban and Haqqani network fighters, according to four U.S. defense officials.
Both Pentagon and White House officials have been considering the expanded authority for several months as they have worked through a strategy review for Afghanistan.
Hawaii Challenges Enforcement of Trump Travel Order
Just hours after the Trump administration's travel order went into effect, the state of Hawaii went to federal court Thursday to challenge it, saying the order barred too many people.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Trump's order could be enforced in part until the court makes a final ruling on the order later this year. The order went into effect at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday.
The ruling allowed Trump to impose a 90-day ban on travelers from six countries — Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen — as well as a 120-day ban on any refugees who have no "bona fide relationship" with an entity or person in the United States.
During the campaign, Trump said a Muslim ban would make America safer from terrorist threats, later walking that back slightly before his election to be a ban on people traveling from certain countries.
As president, he signed two executive orders temporarily banning refugees and citizens of several Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States, but both orders were quickly challenged on legal grounds. The first order's immediate implementation resulted in chaos at the nation's airports and borders before being stopped by the courts, while the second order was blocked by the courts before implementation.
Trump promised to "destroy" ISIS as a candidate, and his first public effort against the terror group was certainly a headline maker. The U.S.military dropped the so-called “Mother of All Bombs” in Afghanistan, where ISIS was believed to be establishing a new foothold in the border region near Pakistan. The impact on the terror group is still unknown.
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90d ago / 8:05 PM UTC
U.S. Drops 'Mother of All Bombs' on ISIS Target in Afghanistan
U.S. forces dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in a strike against ISIS in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, according to Pentagon officials, reportedly killing 36 militants.
The U.S. dropped a GBU-43 bomb, nicknamed the "mother of all bombs," on ISIS fighters and tunnels and caves used by the terror group in the country’s Nangarhar province, officials said. It was dropped from an aircraft.
Trump Admin Ups Drone Strikes, Tolerates More Civilian Deaths: U.S. Officials
The Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to make it easier for the CIA and the military to target terrorists with drone strikes, even if it means tolerating more civilian casualties, U.S. officials told NBC News.
The military already has declared that parts of Yemen and Somalia are war zones — "areas of active hostilities" in Pentagon parlance — which means the U.S. has greater latitude to launch strikes even if civilian deaths are possible.
Fact Check: Trump Quotes Mattis Claiming the SEAL Raid in Yemen Yielded 'Vital Intelligence'
"I just spoke to General Mattis who reconfirmed that, and I quote, 'Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies,'" President Trump said of the raid in Yemen that killed Navy SEAL Ryan Owens.
NBC News Investigations' reporting disputes this claim. Multiple sources, including senior U.S. officials in different parts of the government with knowledge of the situation, told NBC News that last month's deadly commando raid, the first of its kind approved under Trump, has so far yielded no significant intelligence. But as NBC reported yesterday on "Nightly News," Department of Defense officials and military officials push back on that and insist they have obtained "significant intelligence," including data on explosives, according to a senior U.S. official cited by the AP.
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90d ago / 8:12 PM UTC
Yemen Raid Had Secret Target: Al Qaeda Leader Qassim Al-Rimi
The Navy SEAL raid in Yemen last week had a secret objective — the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, who survived and is now taunting President Donald Trump in an audio message.
Military and intelligence officials told NBC News the goal of the massive operation was to capture or kill Qassim al-Rimi, considered the third most dangerous terrorist in the world and a master recruiter.
But while one SEAL, 14 al Qaeda fighters and some civilians, including an 8-year-old girl, were killed during a firefight, al-Rimi is still alive and in Yemen, multiple military officials said.