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.
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.
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.
Status: Some action, progress stalled or unknown
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.
"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.